29 Oct 2010

300 more police officers in Counties Manukau

11:18 pm on 29 October 2010

The Government says it has fulfilled an election promise to provide 300 extra police officers to the Counties Manukau District in order to reduce crime.

Police Minister Judith Collins says the officers have had an immediate impact on crime in the district.

Ms Collins says in the last fiscal year, overall crime dropped by 3.3% and the number of murders fell from seven to three.

Illicit drug offences, however, rose by almost 30% and sexual assaults increased by just over 22%.

But the Labour Party on Friday said the Government has just poached police from other districts in order to fulfil its election promise.

Police spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says 80 of the 300 officers have been brought in from other areas.

Mr Cosgrove says he does not believe the 300 new recruits are adequately resourced and there is a dire shortage of patrol cars.

Counties Manukau area commander Superintendent Mike Bush disputes that.

The Government has promised that by the end of next year, an additional 300 officers will be deployed throughout the rest of the country.