14 Nov 2008

Shadbolt's plans for sheriff shot down

2:21 pm on 14 November 2008

The incoming government has blocked Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt's idea of a sheriff for the city.

Mr Shadbolt is looking at options for law enforcement, calling for a report on locally elected officers.

The mayor of the Southland town is known as a bit of a maverick and earlier this year first raised the idea of locally elected sheriffs.

In June, he suggested they be elected as they are in parts of the United States.

Now, he is pointing to Canada where there is a central police force for major and organised crime and the local police for keeping the streets clean of violence.

Mr Shadbolt told Nine to Noon on Friday that many local councils throughout New Zealand are looking at options for responding to crime, including private patrols or banning gang patches - and Invercargill's idea is just another approach.

But the short answer from National's police spokesperson, Chester Borrows, is "no". Mr Borrows believes that having a nationwide police force is a real strength.

He says he is more than happy to talk to Mr Shadbolt about policing issues and how to meet his community's expectations.