Sixty-nine new pairs of police-issue boots will be walking the beat in communities all across the Bay of Plenty.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush has announced the Bay will receive 69 new frontline officers over the next four year under the government's $500 million Safer Communities package.
All 12 of the country's police districts will receive more officers and the Bay of Plenty is one of the biggest beneficiaries of today's announcement, says MP Todd Muller.
“I am thrilled to see 69 allocated to our region over the next four years, and I know this news will be well received by our community. I've been strongly advocating for this, and am pleased to see we will be receiving our fair share of the additional police resource.
“While it is up to the District Commanders to work through which towns will receive the additional staff, it's pleasing to see a significant number of those new officers allocated in the Bay of Plenty.”
Todd says having additional resources in the community will not only be good for emergency responses, but will also help reduce crime.
The Bay MP knows today's news will also be welcomed by local police who do “an extraordinary job”, and believes its important the government continue to adequately resource them.
But today's announcement is not just about the numbers, he adds.
“This investment in policing also means 95 per cent of New Zealanders will live within 25km of a 24/7 patrolling police officer. It means a new 24/7 non-emergency police number, as well as resources targeted at disrupting and dismantling organised crime”.
As part of the Safer Communities package, 1125 more police staff, including 880 more frontline officers, plus 12 new mobile police stations will also be established around New Zealand over the next four years.
The government has also set new targets for police, including 98 per cent of home burglaries attended within 48 hours and one minute faster emergency response times.
The first intake of new recruits begins in July, with the first recruits on the beat by November.