Labour will deliver largest Police service in history

A Labour Government will deliver a further increase of 300 additional frontline Police officers, new ways to crackdown on gangs and strengthen legal protections against stalking and harassment.

  • 300 additional Police officers, creating the best ratio of Police to population in modern history
  • Strengthened legal protections against stalking and harassment
  • Further crackdown on gang leaders and disruptive gang convoys
  • Review of reparation system, to speed up payments for victims

“While in Government we delivered 1800 new Police officers, the largest increase in policing numbers in our history, meaning every district received extra resources,” Labour Leader Chris Hipkins said.

“This was a deliberate policy to support our frontline and increase community safety, following a decade of underinvestment by the previous National Government, which resulted in 30 Police stations closing around the country.

“We will build on our achievement by delivering an additional 300 officers, ensuring there’s at least one officer for every 470 New Zealanders, the best ratio in modern history. This will be a huge improvement on the one in 541 ratio in 2017.

“With 300 more cops we would increase the frontline by 2,100 officers since we came into office. This is three times the amount National delivered over the same timeframe, when they were last in office.
“We will also continue to crack down on gangs. Recently, we’ve seen communities disrupted and intimidated by dangerous gang convoys. This is intolerable.

“Labour will introduce laws to punish this behaviour and develop new ways to target gangs leaders and break their international links.

“This builds on our effective work in Government to curb the illegal profits and offending of gangs, including passing laws to give Police more powers during gang conflicts.

“Labour has a proud track record of standing up for victims of violent crime. We’ve established a new criminal offence for strangulation, tripled funding for the Victims Assistance Scheme and doubled funding for Victim Support. Recently passed legislation also provides more rights and protections to victims of family and sexual violence.

“We will go further for victims in relation to stalking and harassment by modernising our laws, to bring them in line with overseas jurisdictions. This will include exploring the possibility of creating an offence for stalking with a penalty of imprisonment,” Chris Hipkins said.

Better support for victims will be provided following a review of the reparations system, which sees offenders ordered to pay victims for the harm caused.

“Being the victim of a crime is painful enough without having to wait an extended period of time for the reparations you deserve. We will review this process to investigate how we can speed it up,” Chris Hipkins said.

“We will continue with our plans to free up Police time by enabling mental health experts to respond to mental health call outs, pass law to make ram raiding an offence, and make aiding and abetting youth crime and posting yourself committing crime online aggravating factors at sentencing.

“Police officers will receive better training with the nationwide rollout of the Tactical Response Model and we will continue to support the firearms registry, which is at risk under an ACT-National Government, who refuse to make keeping it a bottom-line.

“New Zealanders will be less safe if there is a change in Government. Taxpayers will be forking out for their American-style mega prisons and there is a risk of more high-powered military-style guns getting into the hands of gangs and other criminals due to ACT’s firearms proposals.

“National’s policies on gangs will see Police provided with softer, tokenistic and ineffective measures to tackle organised crime and the reintroduction of bootcamps, which have an 80 per cent failure rate.

“Labour will deliver actual, evidence-based policies on law and order that will put community safety and victims at the forefront,” Chris Hipkins said.