19 Oct 2012

Labour leader pledges to make police funding a priority

12:48 pm on 19 October 2012

The Labour Party has offered no guarantees about funding for the police but says if it forms the next government it would make such funding a priority.

Party leader David Shearer told the Police Association conference in Wellington on Friday that he can't make any precise funding commitments to the police two years out from the election.

But he said Labour has always backed the police and will continue to do so.

Mr Shearer reminded his audience that the last Labour government increased staffing by more than 1000 sworn police officers.

The Police Association says a lack of funding means staff are having their training and access to firearms and tasers restricted further.

David Shearer says that is alarming, and says it is important to have a wider discussion with the public about police arming.