Police set five-year targets for change

22:18, May 28 2012

Police have set a series of five-year targets including more women in senior roles, more management on the frontline and faster disciplinary processes.

A damning State Services Commission report last year said the force needed to take decisive action to improve police culture in the wake of the Commission of Inquiry led by Dame Margaret Bazley in 2007.

The report, by PricewaterhouseCoopers, revealed nepotism, sexual discrimination and poor performance among senior staff as problems within the force.

A follow-up lists a series of targets to tackle problem areas.

It includes a boost of female commissioned officers – those above senior sergeant level – from 8.1 per cent to 10 per cent of the workforce by 2017. Women are under-represented at senior level, the report says.

A workplace survey conducted last year and previous reviews revealed frontline staff felt senior staff were out of touch. However, senior staff are now becoming more visible, the report says.

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Another area of concern was the disciplinary process.

Police will implement a "fast-tracking process" for low-level matters and reduce the amount of time for disciplinary processes.

A longitudinal study with a wing of recruits entering Porirua police will begin this year to keep track of culture change.

Last year's progress report said progress had been made on culture change but senior management needed to make bold moves. Since then Peter Marshall and Mike Bush have been made commissioner and deputy commissioner.

Police would now report directly to the State Services Commission, which was "a significant step", Police Minister Anne Tolley said.

The Dominion Post