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Nats cut police resources then demand the impossible

Written By: - Date published: 12:02 pm, August 30th, 2016 - 46 comments
Categories: accountability, crime, national, police, useless - Tags: , , , ,

An interesting measure of the times:

PM reassures Chinese community over crime

An open letter from Prime Minister John Key has been published in Chinese media in New Zealand, reassuring people who are concerned about crime levels.

Mr Key said he wrote a weekly column for about 30 Korean, Indian and Chinese media outlets, and this week Chinese media asked for that column to be presented as a open letter.

The letter assured people the police were treating burglary as a high priority and that despite a recent “upturn in burglaries” the crime rate was “still at near historic lows”.  …

Burglaries are indeed to receive more attention, as of yesterday:

Police to attend all household burglaries

From today, police will attend every single household burglary. Police Minister Judith Collins has announced the new directive that will target an increase in burglaries in the last year. “This shows police are serious about tackling burglary and also sends a clear message to offenders,” she said. The move will see burglaries become a “priority offence”. …

Whatever happened to not interfering in operational matters? This is a huge commitment. As of May: Burglary exclusive: 164 burglaries a day unsolved.

And it is being demanded of a police force that has been systematically underfunded for years:
Budget 2016: Virtually Another Frozen Police Budget
Budget 2014: Police budget frozen
Police ‘despair’ at freeze
Police under resourced, survey says
Gangs exploiting under-resourced police
‘The Govt is in damage control because they’ve been closing suburban police stations’
Government denies police underfunding to blame for spike in road toll
West Coast towns ‘paying price for police underfunding’
Crime up as police numbers fall: Nash
And so on…

Even if the police were properly funded, you can’t redirect that much resource without something else suffering:

Organised crime, drug policing ‘will suffer’

In a major policy change, police will now aim to attend nearly all of New Zealand’s 35,000 home burglaries a year.

Burglaries increased by about 11 percent in the year to February and police are solving fewer than one in 10 cases. Minister of Police Judith Collins said she hoped the new focus on burglaries would help turn this around. “I would expect that there will be an increase in resolution rates, we’ve certainly seen that where police have been targetting burglaries around the country, particularly in Auckland, that there was an immediate up-pick in the resolution rate. “And that sends a very strong message to burglars that they will be found,” she said.

However, Police Association president Greg O’Connor said this approach had been tried before and there simply were not enough officers to cope.

“It’s a good idea, however the reason we stopped doing it is that we didn’t have enough people to do it, and now there’s no more people and yet we’re going to have to do it again, so something else is going to suffer. And it will probably be organised crime policing and drug policing – which is the cause of most of the burglaries anyway.” …

In other reaction:

Police attending break-ins won’t help catch burglars – criminologist

UT senior criminology lecturer John Buttle said the main reason burglars were caught was because there were witnesses, but burglaries rarely have witnesses and criminals plan not to be seen.

“So the fact that police officers are going to turn up and talk to the people who haven’t seen the burglar, really isn’t going to make a difference to my mind.”

While he said no change to the resolution rate was likely, it was hard to say what would have an impact.

“There’s probably nothing they can do. And I mean if you turn around and look internationally, it’s not just New Zealand police who are useless at catching burglars, it’s pretty much every police force. They all suffer from the same statistic. No matter what they try to do they all suffer from that same statistic; really, really low resolution rates for burglary.”

Mr Buttle said the move was more about public perception. …

Ahh yes, public perception. Now you’re talking National’s language.

46 comments on “Nats cut police resources then demand the impossible ”

  1. BM 2

    Police aren’t interested in burglaries, that’s why there’s really low resolution rates for burglary.

    If they actually did some basic police work by following up on information supplied, they’d probably solve a hell of a lot more cases.

    Currently the only reason why you ring the police if you’re burgled is for insurance purposes.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Yes, I think if they attended each scene, took fingerprints, and went out and did detective work, talk in the community etc, they’d be able to resolve a lot more cases than now.

      But it would also use a huge amount of resources, that simply aren’t there. And I suspect if those resources were available, that actually on balance the public would probably prefer the bulk of those resources to be used for other police work, like domestic violence etc.

      • BM 2.1.1

        Thing is where not talking 1000’s of people per town doing burglaries, we’re probably only talking a handful of people, most likely teenagers.

        For the amount of misery these small group of individuals cause it’s money well spent.

        • Lanthanide

          If you could guarantee that doing 10 hours investigation would nab the crim each time, sure, I’d agree.

          But I think there’d be a fair number of cases where 40+ hours of investigation wouldn’t catch the culprit.

          And while that cop spent 1 full-time week investigating a single burglary, there will be several more committed in that same week.

        • Garibaldi

          Are you willing to pay more tax BM ? Proper policing has to be paid for……. or would you be stupid enough to privatise the Police?

          • BM

            There are some issues with the police union.
            For example, swabbing for fingerprints and accessing a burglary crime scene can only be done by a sworn police officer.

            As the guy who came round to do our place said , anyone could do this work with a bit of training, there’s no special skills required.

            You’d think it would make sense to delegate those tasks to non sworn personal.

            • joe90

              AFAIK, and as with buccal and blood sampling, all of those tasks can be carried out by anyone deemed a suitably qualified person.

              Police are sending civilian staff in place of sworn officers to investigate burglaries.


            • Jay

              Non sworn staff do do it. In fact most who attend burglary scenes are non-sworn.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              So it turns out that the only issue with the Police union is that BM rote-learned some hate against unions and is too brainwashed to check the facts.

              • BM

                Nope, I just went on what the police officer told me, I had no reason to doubt what he was saying.

                Or maybe my recollection isn’t that good, it was around 4-5 years ago,

    • Gabby 2.2

      If the odd judge put the occasional burglar in gaol, well that might help the police to take it a bit more seriously.

    • Anno1701 2.3

      “Currently the only reason why you ring the police if you’re burgled is for insurance purposes.”

      i never ring the police for ANYTHING, they will only make it worse

  2. dukeofurl 3

    The reason for the fob off from police is they know if they dont attend, then people wont report for the 30% who dont have household insurance.
    less crimes reported means bonuses all round!

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      That’s an interesting point.

      Collins may have dug her own grave. Make it very public that all burglaries will be investigated, and the rate of reported burglaries is quite likely to increase. It will look like things have gotten worse, not better.

      This can then be used as a model to skewer other statistics produced by the police – reported crime has gone down, not because there is less, but because people don’t bother reporting it because the police are so underfunded there’s no point.

    • Keith 3.2

      The Pavlov’s dog approach to crime statistics, why bother reporting a crime when you nothing will be done? Very dark art but a very cheap way of running a ministry!

  3. Siobhan 4

    I wonder if there is a correlation between burglary rates and people disappearing from our Unemployed Statistics, not to mention all those people whose benefits are being withheld while they jump through bureaucratic hoops.

    And, no, I am not ‘justifying’ burglary…but I am saying if you have Government policy that leaves people with no income, sometimes for weeks on end, well, they are quite possibly going to resort to theft. Especially youths.

    • Jono 4.1

      I am pretty sure there will be a link as desperate people will commit crime. So the harder MSD get the higher the number of burglaries.

  4. esoteric pineapples 5

    If the government legalised marijuana it would have more money to take care of real crimes like buglaries

    • McFlock 5.1

      lol if the government legalised marijuana they’d still be cutting everything to the damned bone – if a government agency is properly funded and run, there’s no excuse to privatise it.

    • Lloyd 5.2

      If the government legalised marijuana the police would have the time to catch burglars.
      Our Police – yes they are ours -we pay taxes to keep them in money and cars – spend an inordinate amount of time catching marijuana smokers and sellers. We would also be able to go back to single prisoner per cell prisons. We spend a lot of taxes keeping marijuana smokers and sellers in cells, where they mix with people who smoke stronger drugs and sell stronger drugs. The end result of this is very negative for our society.
      Shifting the police from drugs to burglary sounds like good common sense.
      Shifting drug control from the police to the Inland Revenue would be positive in so many ways.

  5. Simonm 6

    I’m willing to speculate John Key’s letter to Auckland’s Chinese community had little to do with crime and lots to do with votes. A poll obsessed pollie like Jonkey will be well aware that how Auckland votes will be critical to next year’s election. This was his way of reminding all the new citizens he has imported, who they owe allegiance to.

  6. Keith 7

    Here is a trail of the National Party’s influence on the Police.

    Counties Manukau for the longest time starved of decent policing numbers was given 300 extra cops after National was elected. Brilliant and thumbs up to National because people were literally dying out there because it’s police were so under resourced. Labour deserve a kicking for that and so do the senior police officers denied publicly, they needed more staff.


    Right now sadly there are plenty of the old Counties Manukau districts out there, again, horribly under resourced, with everything bad that goes with it,. Why?

    After the extra cops there was a 10% budget cut with Judith Collins as Minister, and this saw police surrendering amongst other things 10% of their vehicle fleet. Try to do anything in any organisation like that with a shortage of vehicles.

    Then a further 19% cut under Anne Tolley as Minister, masked sneakily as “voluntary savings”. I recall many a government department having the same massive cuts of 19% as well.

    Then a frozen budget ever since only rising in this years budget to cover “wage rises”

    From the above damage the police shed non constabulary support staff gained under Labour meaning constabulary staff had to fill in the gaps and that means less police out there doing good things. They really had to buckle down with an axed budget and it has taken it’s toll. Cell block closures and lots and lots of “centralisation” meaning station closures, meaning far less efficient deployment and arguably lots of blind eye turning to lesser criminal activity.

    And then knock me down with a feather when violent crime, burglaries and other nasty’s skyrocket upward. The police could only hold the fort so long until criminals figured out how life just got a whole lot easier under National.

    Tough talking Judith Collins is an embarrassment. For starters intervening in the Police day to day business is not her job both morally and lawfully. Secondly it’s her shitty government, broke from tax cuts to the wealthy that has caused this. It will mean robbing Peter to pay Paul and the ol’ National shell game of now you see it now you don’t happens all over again and as Greg O’Connor said somewhere in the police, resources will be taken away to please Collins. That won’t work, it never does.

    The time for doing things for appearance sake is over, but it’s all National know.

    • Erik Bloodaxe 7.1

      Yeah that sounds like Tolley – slash and burn merchant. She is up to the same old cost cutting at MSD and is about to gut the social service sector in NZ – good work National

  7. Richard Christie 8

    The first person to write the words burglarize or burglarizing gets sent to his/her room, no dinner.

  8. Steve 9

    Given that Police’s own belief and operational policy is “prevention is better than cure” I guess they must be a bit upset by the Minister’s statement.

  9. srylands 10

    so you think the Minister should be seeking to increase the costs of MSD outputs?

    • McFlock 10.1

      If by “MSD outputs” you mean “poor people”, I suspect the more accurate term would be “MSD dustbin”.

      Read the article: the costs are already much higher than if the government just did its job and ensured that the most vulnerable people in NZ had food, a home, and a future, you fucking sociopath.

    • Anno1701 10.2

      “so you think the Minister should be seeking to increase the costs of MSD outputs?”


      you respect the people that built the society you enjoy ?

      Double pensions…..

      Want to empower the poor to contribute/participate more in society

      Double the dole


    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.3

      Bludging sociopaths like you use that kind of language against your betters, eh S Rylands.

      • Chuck 10.3.1

        You must of been looking in the mirror when you wrote that OAB.

        • In Vino

          ‘Must of’?? Get literate, chucker. You’re making a fool of yourself.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          It’s hard for me to be clear enough for you, Chuckie, and I’ll give it a try all the same.

          S Rylands bludges his income authoring ‘Rebstock’ quality ‘reports’, based on dogma, not evidence. The National Party needs people who are comfortable with this behaviour.

          Don’t worry your pretty little head over it.

  10. Meanwhile the “war on P” has been an abysmal failure and I still can’t get pseudoephedrine over the counter for this damned head cold.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      If you can’t beat them, join them: the next government must think seriously about declaring war on liars.

  11. Daveosaurus 12

    If they’ve got enough resources to rough up some little kid for pedalling while brown, then they’ve got enough resources to investigate burglaries. If they think they don’t have enough resources to investigate burglaries, then perhaps they need to better allocate the resources they do have.

    • Wensleydale 12.1

      I think they roughed him up because he had a siren attached to his bike, which he probably prised from the side of a building somewhere. The kids hereabouts compete to be ‘Siren King’, and they flog the damn things from wherever they can find them. Then the irrepressible wee scamps hold contests to find out who is the most obnoxious noise polluter on the block. It’s all in good fun, unless you happen to live close by, in which case you want to go out there and throw furniture at them.

      Having said that, uniformed officers pushing kids off bikes is not cool. Not cool at all. I hope you feel all big and special, Constable.

  12. Thinkerr 13

    It would be a good question for the house in 6 months time: has the police attended every single burglary since the government made its promise to do so in an open letter in the Chinese media?

  13. AmaKiwi 14

    People, many of you have written excellent comments and scathing criticisms.

    Why haven’t Opposition MPs said in public what you/we are saying here?

    If The Standard (and a few other blogs) are the only genuine opposition, let’s demand some seats in parliament and the salaries that go with them.

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