13 Oct 2011

Labour pledges to restore police staffing levels

12:15 pm on 13 October 2011

The Labour Party's election-year law and order policy promises to boost police numbers so that one-person police stations become staffed by two officers.

The party says it is committed to restoring police staffing levels in communities that it says have been raided under the National-led Government to police South Auckland.

It is promising an extra 145 constables at a cost of $24 million a year, to be phased in over the next four years.

Labour's law and order spokesperson, Clayton Cosgrove, says it will increase police numbers further as finances allow.

He says Labour also wants non-sworn staff to help with paperwork and do work such as fingerprinting at secured crime scenes.

Mr Cosgrove says sworn staff need to concentrate on investigative work - including for petty crimes - before they escalate.

But the Minister for Police and Corrections says much of what is proposed in the Labour's law and order policy is already happening, including getting non-sworn staff involved in gathering evidence to free up police to investigate crimes.

Judith Collins says another of Labour's policies - more rehabilitation programmes in prisons - is also under way.

Ms Collins says police themselves should decide where resources go.