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Veteran officer loving new role

BY KRIS DANDO
Last updated 10:37 12/02/2013
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Kris Dando
HOT SEAT: Detective Inspector Paul Basham brings a wealth of operational experience to his new role as Kapiti-Mana Police’s new area commander.

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Paul Basham can count on lessons learnt in South Auckland, Wellington, Wairarapa and Holland to succeed in his new role.

The area commander for the Kapiti-Mana police district took over from John Price this month, with Mr Price to head the New Zealand Police College.

Mr Basham joined the police as an 18-year-old and spent his first 13 years in blue in his home patch in South Auckland. The majority of the past 15 years have been spent in the Criminal Investigation Branch, aside from a five-year stint based in Holland as an investigator for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Although he held roles at police national headquarters and was in charge of Wellington's CIB, it was a year-long secondment to the Wairarapa as acting area commander in 2011 that gave him a taste for the job he has now.

Mr Basham echoes his predecessors in naming the key issues facing police from Linden to Peka Peka.

"We've got a very diverse demographic in terms of age groups and different crime affects different parts. With a helicopter view, we have family violence, youth, alcohol, organised crime and drugs, and road policing.

"All of these are very relevant and the community can expect me to be robust when it comes to our tactics tackling these."

Mr Basham says he can already sense the "strong sense of community" in Kapiti-Mana, exemplified by the police staff.

As part of a "prevention first" strategy, he has a target to reduce crime by 13 per cent in the next 12 months.

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