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Blue line thins to vanishing point

Auckland, Wednesday, July 29, 2016

Phil Goff

With population in Auckland increasing by over 40,000 a year, just five new police constables have been added to the Police force across Auckland over the last five years.

In 2012, Police numbers across Auckland’s three Police Districts were 2575, according to Police Minister Judith Collins. By 2016, that number had increased by just five to 2580, an average of one a year.

The Police Minister also admitted that over the last four years, only one year saw an increase in Police funding across the country above the level of inflation.

In our city and beyond, the Police are no longer able to do what we expect of them. As a result, over the last five years, crime resolution rates for high volume offending like burglaries and vehicle theft have got worse every year.

In the latest year, the Police Minister was able to provide figures for resolution rates for burglaries in Waitemata were 7.5%, for Auckland City 6.2% and Counties Manukau 8%.

In other words, about 93% of burglars committing these crimes were getting away with it.

These are the worst figures on record.

Latest crime statistics for Auckland released yesterday showed that in almost every category crime rates over the last year have been getting worse.

It is little wonder that when people have sought help to recover items like cell phones which were robbed from them and they have tracked down the offenders, Police have said they were unable to help.

The public deserves better than this and Police need help in staffing and funding to do their job properly as our city’s population balloons.

Phil Goff is former Foreign Affairs, Trade and Justice Minister and has been Member of Parliament for 35 years. Elected from Mt Roskill, he is today Labour Party’s Spokesperson for Defence and Ethnic Communities. Mr Goff is a Mayoral candidate for Auckland, postal voting for which will be held from September 16 to mid-day on October 8, 2016.

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