15 Nov 2008

Best officers may be lured across Tasman - police union

8:58 pm on 15 November 2008

A recruiting drive from Australia could cost New Zealand its best future officers, the union for frontline police says.

The state of West Australia is currently looking to New Zealand for potential police recruits, as well as serving officers.

The Western Australia Police is holding recruitment sessions from 18-19 November in Auckland and Christchurch.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor says the state's booming economy is hitting its police force hard.

He says at the moment it is possible to earn more as a truck driver than a police officer in West Australia.

Mr O'Connor says a steady stream of officers leaves for Australia and it is often the best who go.

"When police forces like West Australia and Queensland come recruiting in New Zealand, they're looking for essentially experienced police officers - ones that they can get up and running into their own forces.

"Unfortunately, that means they're taking the very people who are probably at the stage they're of most benefit to New Zealand and New Zealand police."

Mr O'Connor says all Western countries are competing for police recruits and New Zealand has been looking in Britain.