The government is concentrating police staff in cities at the expense of small towns, Northland MP Winston Peters says.
Mr Peters told a Paihia audience today a six-year freeze on police funding has led to a new style of policing in the regions, using "fly-by" car patrols.
Councils are being forced to employ private companies for security patrols, and spend millions on CCTV to keep their streets safe, he said.
The New Zealand First leader said 18 councils were now seeking support from Local Government New Zealand to lobby the government for better policing resources.
Statistics showed police were attending 20 percent more incidents than in 2008, but making fewer arrests, and fewer warnings and cautions. instead.