2 Aug 2010

West Coast town could be without fulltime officer

7:10 pm on 2 August 2010

A decision whether to reinstate a fulltime police officer in the West Coast town of Ross will not be made until the end of this year.

The South Island town's policeman is moving and West Coast area commander John Canning is considering putting an extra officer in Hokitika instead of replacing him.

Hokitika is almost 30km from Ross, which has a population of about 600.

Inspector Canning says if the change is made, an officer would still spend two days a week in the town.

He says it is a question of transferring resources to where they are most needed, with the Hokitika officers' workload three times that of the Ross constable.

Mr Canning says the decision is on hold until after local government elections in October. In the meantime, the Ross station will be covered by officers from Hokitika.

The Ross community will be consulted, he says.