Police reject redeployment claim

Police have rejected claims from the Police Association that members of the Central District-organised crime squads have been temporarily reassigned to child-abuse investigations.

Police Association vice-president Luke Shadbolt expressed concern to media yesterday that members of organised crime squads had been temporarily reassigned to fight child abuse.

While combating child abuse was "rightfully" high priority, the reassignment of staff could allow gangs and criminals to take advantage, he said.

He believed staff affected by such changes were in Central District, Eastern District, Bay of Plenty and Waikato.

A police spokesman said yesterday other districts had temporarily reassigned a "small number" of their investigative staff to respond to an increased demand for child-abuse investigations. That was not the case in the Central District.

"Police district commanders continuously manage their resources to achieve the right balance across a wide range of areas, which is part of normal good business practice. This from time to time may mean investigative resources are temporarily reallocated to areas where there is a higher demand."

There are three organised crime units in Central District, based in Palmerston North, Whanganui and New Plymouth. The Palmerston North unit is made up of a detective sergeant plus six investigators.

Manawatu Standard