Extra Police officers are being deployed from Northland to Southland with the graduation of a new wing of recruits from the Royal New Zealand Police College.
“The graduation of 78 constables today means that 1524 new constables have been deployed since the government took office,” says Police Minister Stuart Nash.
“One quarter of today’s new constables will be deployed to our largest Policing district, Counties Manukau. The remainder will commence duties on 12 August in towns from the far north to deep south and all across regional New Zealand.
“It is important for Police to maintain an active and visible presence in neighbourhoods all over the country. The success of the firearms buy-back and amnesty in many small towns has highlighted the strong relationship between local police and communities.
“Reports from towns like Piopio, Waipu, Fairlie and Picton show conversations between police and gun owners are positive and engaging. Many officers graduating today can expect to play a part working alongside communities to remove the most dangerous firearms from circulation.
“The buyback is also making the everyday job of Policing much safer for our new recruits. Every month Police are called out to 200 crimes involving firearms. Every year up to 1000 guns are reported stolen from licensed owners. Many disappear into the hands of gangs.
“Today’s new constables will help tackle gang-related crime and reduce harm from drugs like methamphetamine. They are also increasingly supporting vulnerable communities. Last year Police responded to 33,000 mental health callouts, an 11 per cent increase.
“Wing 328 continues the strong commitment to increased diversity in our Police. Just over 30 per cent are women, 13 per cent Maori, ten per cent Pasifika, and six per cent identify as Asian. The youngest is 19 and the eldest is 50 years old. Between them they speak eight languages other than English. Their sporting and cultural achievements include a professional rugby player, an Olympic swimmer, and a waka ama champion.
I also want to personally acknowledge and thank the wing patron, journalist and community leader Venkat Raman. He has long supported the work of Police through advisory forums, and been a great mentor to the recruits during their training.
The constables are being deployed to Police Districts as follows:
Northland – 2
Waitematā – 12
Auckland – 2
Counties Manukau – 19
Waikato – 7
Bay of Plenty – 6
Eastern – 4
Central – 5
Wellington – 7
Tasman – 2
Canterbury – 7
Southern – 5