Fewer police, more crime

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 am, August 5th, 2016 - 39 comments
Categories: crime, law and "order", national, police, useless - Tags: , ,

This piece, Morgan Tait in The Herald, will not please Nat spinsters (or grammarians):

Less cops on the street – and the crims know

There are less frontline cops per New Zealander than there were five years ago, and “the people who know it the most are the criminals,” says the Police Association president.

There was one constabulary staff member per 503 Kiwis in 2015 — down from one per 488 in 2009, according to police data.

Police Association president Greg O’Connor said there was a “serious shortage” of frontline staff, and boosting numbers was an obvious fix to reduce recent crime rises.

His comments came after the latest crime figures showed a national average rise of 3.1 per cent across all crimes in the year to June 30, 2016, with 13 per cent more burglaries, 12 per cent more robberies and 6.5 per cent more assaults.

Labour Police Spokesman Stuart Nash said more staff were needed to address the hikes and called on Police Minister Judith Collins to seek more funding after the department’s budget has gone relatively unchanged since 2009. …

“Tough on crime” is of course one of National’s reliable spin lines, they were first elected on a wave of such rhetoric and promises to increase police numbers.

Turns out that – surprise! – the reality of a Nat government is very different. NZF claims that the crime figures are even worse than they seem.

Still, never mind the facts. No doubt National will play the “tough on crime” card again next year.

39 comments on “Fewer police, more crime ”

  1. fisiani 1

    Actually despite Greg O’Connor the union leader trying to spin the immigration numbers we have the lowest crime rate in 35 years and there are 600 more police officers on the frontline.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Yes, Police = bad, National Party = good.

      Lying policemen. They’re probably communists too.

    • Muttonbird 1.2

      Lol. Quotes National Party figures as if they are reliable.

      • James 1.2.1

        Any evidence that they are not?

        • Muttonbird

          fisty’s data is from 2014. He only works in election cycles and that is nothing more than a marketing document for electioneering. Today however…

          Nationally, robberies were up 12 per cent, burglaries 12 per cent, and assaults by more than 3000, he said, adding: “These new statistics make grim reading.

          It’s all very well for fisty and Collins to cherry pick stats from years ago to minimise the suffering of victims today. And it’s all very well for Collins to bring out the tried and tested line, ‘Labour did it too’, but she’s shouldn’t be competing with Labour on this, she should be looking at the root cause of increasing crime and that is her government’s social policy experimentation.

          If it wasn’t so sad I’d laugh at their claims about strengthening the safeguards for our most vulnerable and (introduction of) stronger child protection measures. This government has lead New Zealand to the very top of the domestic abuse ranking in the developed world.


        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Muttonbird, Autonomous, and Reason have all provided you with evidence.

          Before you reject the evidence and go back to believing what Dear Leader says, the least you could do is thank them.

        • reason

          Been infected with keyzheimers james ??? …. .

          “Fudging statistics, numbers, facts, and dollar-figures is not isolated when it comes to this government. Only a few days ago, English was sprung giving false financial information relating to Sue Moroney’s paid-parental leave bill;”

          … “Ms Moroney then asked how Mr English got it so wrong.

          He replied that he did so because he confused the $280m over four years, with $280m a year.”


          ……..back to nationals bogus crime stats ….. “O’Conner’s scorn is confirmed by an event last year where one police district was caught out, red-handed, falsifying crime statistics. Seven hundred burglary offences “disappeared”; …….”Herald journalist, Eugene Bingham, reported;…….. “ It transpired others knew about the allegations around the same time, including the local MP and then-Minister of Justice, Judith Collins.”

          did fisi infect you with the keyzheimers brain disease ? ….

          or can’t you remember 😉

    • Autonomouse 1.3

      Yup, population 2009 = 4,316,000 & if 1 cop per 488 people then there was 8,844 cops walking the beat. 2015 population = 4,649,000 & if 1 cop per 503 people then there was 9,242 walking the beat, so factually speaking (presuming Greg O’Conner’s stats are correct) there’s an extra 398 front line cops in 2015 compared with 2009. The facts are easily spun in either direction.

    • reason 1.4

      Parkin pointedly asked if the statistics are being manipulated. O’Conner’s response was startling in it’s honesty;


      “Of course they are.

      “Well, it’s uh, lies, damned lies, and statistics…….

      If you look at the stats around calls for service, they’re the phone calls that police receive in communications centes, etc, and just an example, family violence, domestic disputes; up by 10% a year pretty much, and across the board, 20% increase. So it’s the calls for service, to the extent that the communications centres couldn’t manage last summer. ” …. http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/07/03/lies-damned-lies-and-statistical-lies/

      “There was one cop per 503 Kiwis last year, down from one per 488 in 2009, according to police data.

      In the police’s four-year plan to 2020, forecast staff numbers do not change despite projected population increases to about 4.8 million Kiwis.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11687890

  2. TopHat 2

    So, police are now releasing numbers that paint a picture of rising crime. This time last year we lambasted them for not recording the real figures as we watched crime rates fall.
    Maybe if our police were a little more honest about the true nature of events they’d garner more support.
    Maybe if our police made a commitment to those they are charged to protect and serve rather than serve those who flavour their butter best at their time of choosing, they may have more public support.

    • ianmac 2.1

      Tophat do you think that the police chose to change the way they recorded crime or were they were following instructions from their political masters or Mistresses?

      • TopHat 2.1.1

        “Maybe if our police made a commitment to those they are charged to protect and serve rather than serve those who flavour their butter best at their time of choosing, they may have more public support.”

      • dukeofurl 2.1.2

        Its a specif icily discouraging those who report ‘volume crime’ thats harder to solve.

        Then the numbers are massaged once the reports are in by those up the chain of command. Overseas we hear about all the methods they use to do this and NZ Police would be quick to pick up on these’unofficial’ methods as it leads to promotion’s for those who do it.

        • Philj

          I contacted the police about a burglary and was questioned about the details and discouraged from pursuing it as it was deemed unlikely to be followed up. I got the impression that if I had caught the person they may have shown more interest. I don’t think my call would end up in the crime statistics. Talking to a neighbour, he had a similar experience. I don’t have any confidence in Government statistics anymore including the Police statistics.

        • Jay


  3. Muttonbird 3

    The two are unrelated despite what Greg O’Conner suggests.

    The increase in crime is due to the John Key government policies which have resulted in widening inequality, the under-funding of social services including mental health support, the ad hoc selling of social housing. All of Key government policies pitch and entrench the haves and have-nots against one another and increase the desperation of those most vulnerable.

    Fewer police just means that justice is done less often to victims in the face of rising crime and it’s the hardworking people who suffer along with the communities from where the crime is born. Communities which have been ripped apart by the social upheaval caused by John Key’s blind, ideological 12 year plan.

    This period in NZ’s history will be worse than the 90’s for social damage done and the effects on the children in broken communities will be ours to own in half a generation to come.

    • aerobubble 3.1

      Dont forget. Govt becoming a court and declaring a judicial standard applied by civil courts, balance of probabilities to justify its acts, though i’ve never heard of a plaintiff having to giveup all future rights to appeal. But what the hey, rich people found wanting in their tax affairs suddenly finding the cabinet cherry picking reports to justify a balanceof probabilities legal standard. Any fool can see that leaving compensation to politicians makes which ever way they declare look bad for our democracy. Even worse now that govt can act using pseudo judicial declarations. The executive and judicial arms must be kept seperate. Just have the balls Key, say you know one of the Bains was a murderer so all collectively must suffer.

  4. NZJester 4

    One of the National parties biggest smoke and mirrors jobs while in power is their many statements that they have been increasing funding of all New Zealand public services including the police. When you look at the actual funding numbers, however, you will see that none of that extra funding has actually been keeping up with inflation and certainly not taken into account the increase in the population of New Zealand. In real world terms most of our public services are getting way less funding per head of population in New Zealand than they got under the previous Labour government.
    For certain things they are also paying more for a lower quantity of service, such as the money wasters that are charter schools, privately run prisons, and public hospital meals.

  5. save nz 5

    The police are all in cordons trying to get revenue for people for not having a handsfree or so forth rather than investigating crime. Person I knew the other day was just talking in her car, NOT holding a cell phone, did not have any hand on the cell phone, but fined for not using blue tooth. Apparently you need to be rich enough to have a new car with blue tooth!!!

    The council never being one to miss out on revenue, takes to the schools to fine parents who drop off their kids.

    Meanwhile probably those who have been denied their benefits are forced to turn to crime to feed themselves!

    What happened to the war on P, because apparently all the state houses are contaminated with it (sarc) and need to be sold off, but who bought the p into the country in the first place and what happened to National’s war on it?

    Meanwhile anyone defending themselves from petty crime and threats are arrested aka Dairy owners.

    I did read the other day, that some employees stealing smokes from a tobacco firm was arrested in a big sting.

    The police have their priorities straight! sarc.

  6. Muttonbird 6

    Shuffling the deckchairs here. Other regions lose police presence as a ‘police state’ declared in Northland…


    How does this tally with the trumpeting by fisty about how many more cops there are now. It doesn’t seem like there are enough for Northland.

    • Keith 6.1

      Huge cuts in budget on more than one occasion followed by years of a frozen budget, what can anyone expect from this lying government? Tax cuts cost money people!

      Combine that with a justice system run on a cut price budget and the whole “Tough on Crime” bullshit thing is a just bad joke.

    • Keith 6.2

      Northland is so under policed it is scary so to call it a Police state is like calling John Key honest!

    • Rosemary McDonald 6.3

      But, but, back in May…


      “Joint venture reduces burglaries

      Kaitaia has experienced a dramatic reduction in burglaries after the council and police joined forces to combat the problem.

      Senior Sergeant Geoff Ryan, officer in charge of Kaitaia police station, said there had been a 60 per cent reduction in commercial burglaries; 40 fewer businesses had been broken into in the first six months since the initiative started in August 2015.

      The initiative has led to the Te Hiku o Te Ika Neighbourhood Police Team scooping a Problem-Orientated Police (POP) award for basing a trust and community-owned security organisation in the Kaitaia station.

      In addition, and in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development, the innovative approach has created nine local jobs for people who were considered long-term unemployed.”

      Good news story from the crime capital of NZ!!!

      Excellent plan…hire long- term unemployed, give them basic training, base them in the local cop shop, pay them minimum wage and voila! Oh, and work your new ‘security guards’ long hours with little reward or support….(I’m not knocking these guys…the scheme captured at least one great person deserving of a break)

      Now, with the proper cops having less to do…how come ‘violent crime’ in the FN is at crisis point?

      I’m there more often than not these days and have never felt at risk from ‘random’ violence….most of these incidents could be classed as domestic.

  7. Keith 7

    Huge cuts in budget on more than one occasion followed by years of a frozen budget, what can anyone expect from this lying government? Tax cuts cost money people!

    Combine that with a justice system run on a cut price budget and the whole “Tough on Crime” bullshit thing is a just bad joke.

    • NZJester 7.1

      Don’t forget some places caught out fiddling the books to hide some crime to make the government policies seem to be working.
      Under this government, it is hard to believe any figures they release as they have become very skilled at manipulating them and hiding statistics that do not match the narrative they wish to push in the press.

      • Grace Miller 7.1.1

        Not to mention making shit up on the fly!

        Breaching people’s privacy and smearing them in the press. Criminalising the underclass instead of helping them. The Directives coming from Bullshit Castle (police colloquial name for HQ) are bizarre and tainted by the mucky interference of subsequent Ministers.

        Vote them out!

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Tax cuts cost money people!

      National view it the other way. Public services cost money that rich people could have and thus they go round public services so that the rich can get that money through tax cuts and higher government subsidies.

  8. Jay 8

    I usually agree with fisiani but he/she is wrong this time. “Prevention first” and “victim focus” are in the process of backfiring badly. The police is losing the culture of arresting offenders, and now has a “warn wherever and whenever possible” attitude. There are now zero consequences for committing minor offences – you will probably be warned. This leads to more serious offences being committed, which explains our record high prison population yet record low crime – there is now more serious crime that should have and could have been nipped in the bud but wasn’t. Trust me the new police culture has led to at least one horrific murder. And we have also seen a massive increase in calls for service, which again makes no sense in light of crime stats. The commissioner just wants to massage stats to make the government look good, and bugger victims, or doing what’s right. The answer to crime is now to hand out leaflets explaining how to avoid being victimized – not to actually catch offenders. It’s not working and we’re seeing crime go up. I am certain that this coincides with the seismic shift in police culture and focus. Extra staff won’t fix it – there are plenty of staff already, but they’re stuck in roles like community teams and neighbourhood policing, none of which achieve anything worthwhile.

    The good news is that rising crime stats will force change, I think they have fiddled the books as much as they can, and won’t be able to halt the inexorable rise in crime without abandoning these ridiculous “modern” policing theories which are entirely unscientific.

    I was a national voter, but I will now likely vote NZF, at least they won’t repeal the three strikes legislation which Labour have promised to do.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Three strikes increases recidivism and therefore the crime rate – yes it does: look it up – I’m done explaining this to people who are wilfully ignorant.

      Why do you support policy that increases crime? What is wrong with you?

      • Jay 8.1.1

        Rubbish. Has a single third strike been handed out yet? No. It’s working.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Keep telling yourself that, in the country with one of the highest recidivism rates in the world.

          Of course, you know better than all the judges and other legal experts who pointed out that it’s a shit policy.

          You have no excuse for the extra crime and misery you support, other than that you swallowed something a politician said. Can you remember the name of the politician who (in the late ’90s) kick started your “get tough” revenge fantasies? It was your spiritual leader, Graham Capill.

          Slow clap.

  9. Kelly-Ned 9

    A recent conversation with officers I was working with produced these two comments….
    • We spend our time doing ‘civilian’ work because we have no ‘back office’ staff.
    • Experienced officers are asked ‘have you considered what opportunities outside of the Police might offer you?’

    What will these situations lead to?
    • Fewer front line presence (even if there are the same number of Police)
    • Experienced Police replaced by cheaper inexperienced staff.

    Does this combination of situation lead to poor Policing?

    Seems like it might to me.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      It seems to me that I have heard tales of police complaining about doing written reports since forever.

  10. KJT 10

    Increased amount of desperate, disadvantaged and disconnected people.

    Crime figures rise.

    I would never have thought it.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1


      Exactly. Crime rises as society collapses under the weight of delusional capitalism.

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