Police shut 30 stations in effort to combat budget cuts

Police are closing 30 stations across the country.
SUPPLIED

Police are closing 30 stations across the country.

Thirty police stations have closed to the public as police struggle to balance the books.

The force has quietly been reviewing its 400 "public facing" properties - which includes stations and community policing centres - as a Budget freeze continues to bite. And with resources thinly-stretched, response times to 111 calls are rising.

Since 2009, the shutters have come down in 28 stations and another two are to be closed, which means the public must go elsewhere to report crime.

This includes stations in Orewa, Auckland's Fort Street, Papatoetoe, Otara and Waitemata police managers' headquarters. Porirua community constable base has closed, as has Christchurch's Halswell Community Office. But police could not provide a full list of stations where the doors have permanently shut.

There are also reduced public opening hours in stations in Rotorua, Porirua, Upper Hutt and New Plymouth, Gisborne, Napier and Hastings.

Police say the blow is softened by putting more officers on the street. And they say 16 facilities were opened or upgraded.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Grant Nicholls said police districts are "changing the way they operate," using technology, changing opening hours and freeing up frontline officers. Any revenue from the sale, or saved by the closures, was re-invested back into police, Nicholls said.

"This 'more street than station' approach means having police officers out on the street and visible in communities, rather than sitting in buildings or in front of computers . . . Effective policing is not about bricks and mortar - it is about the police staff out on the street working in our communities to keep people safe and utilising new mobile technologies to ensure staff on the beat are better informed than ever before with the latest intelligence and information."

Figures show response times to 111 calls grew longer in the last year and fell below targets.

In 2012-13, 91 per cent of calls to the 111-communications centres were answered within 10 seconds. By 2013-14, this fell to 88 per cent - two points below a performance benchmark.

Ad Feedback

In the same period, respectively, 83 per cent of non-emergency calls were answered within 30 seconds. It dropped to 81 per cent - but still above the 80 per cent "performance standard".

The Police Association's president Greg O'Connor says innovation in policing should be welcomed but centralisation is a flawed model. "There is some merit in the argument that just because a station was built, doesn't mean it should be there forever.

"But what we are talking about here is centralisation . . . it's circular because this happened in the 1960s and we lost touch with our communities. I think we are making the same mistake again. It is a bit too hard to think those [closures] are anything other than resource driven when the budget has been frozen since 2010."

O'Connor says stations are being moved from low-socio economic areas, because residents tend to put up less of a fight. "That's why we are a little cynical about this . . . people there often do need somewhere to go running to."

* Comments have been disabled on this story.

 - The Dominion Post

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Flashback: 'Gunner Billy' boy's own high seas adventure

Cigarette-card portrait of World War I hero William 'Gunner Billy' Sanders.

The VC winner lived and died in a boy's own dream.

Prison barbie canned

North Auckland's Paremoremo Prison cancelled a barbecue intended for some of its inmates with psychological and ...

The barbecue had been planned for some of Auckland Prison's most disturbed inmates.

Why are our cities stinking?

Land around the Piako River in Waikato flooded in early April.

First the flooding, then the warm weather. A perfect cocktail of conditions for stench, Niwa scientist says.

Memories in ink

Rebekah Henderson, 27, is waiting for a life-saving double lung transplant.

Before Rebekah Henderson gets a new pair of lungs, she wants to pay tribute to the friends she lost to the same illness.

Wellington

'I don't need 13 Reasons Why'

Aroha McKenzie lost her daughter, Jacinta, to suicide in 2015 and faces a real experience similar to the controversial ...

Aroha McKenzie's daughter committed suicide. She's written an open letter to her and explained why she's against "13 Reasons Why".

Karori hospital scam

A Google listing for the fictitious St Vincent Ranui Hospital, supposedly in the Wellington suburb of Karori.

Bogus hospital in Wellington suburb used to target foreign doctors wanting to work in NZ.

Congestion eases on SH1

Traffic heading north on the way into Paekakariki on Friday night.

Traffic is flowing freely again after long northbound delays on the Kapiti Coast.

Hotel closure hits wedding plans

The Amora Hotel in Wakefield St is to close for major renovation work.

Couple had venue booked and invitations sent when Amora announced closure.

Canterbury

Invercargill shootings: A tragic end

Those on the outside described the McLeans as a "role model family".

The city has been rocked to its core after a love triangle turned fatal. Where did it all go wrong?

Quad bike death

The man crashed a quad bike just before midnight on Friday night.

A man was killed in a crash on a south Canterbury highway just before midnight.

Neglect upsets quake victim's family

The memorial sign and site today. Tagging shows a lack of respect for the earthquake victims, family say.

Quake victim family say neglect of place where she was killed shows disrespect.

Sam Neill backs theatre rebuild

Sam Neill in the Ngaio Marsh Theatre at the University of Canterbury after its refurbishment in 2002.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople actor hunting funds for quake-damaged theatre replacement.

Waikato

Architectural wonders revealed

The new law and management building at Waikato University was designed by Opus Architecture.

A lot of well known Waikato and Bay of Plenty buildings - and spaces - have earned accolades.

It's our turn to fix this

A medical school backed by Waikato Hospital, pictured, and Waikato University  seeks to train GPs to fill a critical ...

OPINION: The old boys have failed to fix New Zealand's doctor shortage, now it's our turn.

Join the fight for our med school

Waikato University vice-chancellor Professor Neil Quigley and Waikato District Health Board chief executive Dr Nigel Murray.

A proposed medical school in the Waikato has the Government interested.

Ref raids accounts

050711 NEWS. Robert Charles/Taranaki Daily News. Cheque/ cheque book. Money. Bank.

Colleagues blew the whistle on referee who swiped $13K and a video camera.

Taranaki

Kiwi dies in France

Beau St George, his fiancee Herminie Gouard  and their daughter, Joan.

The New Zealand man killed in car crash in France had Taranaki links and was weeks away from getting married.

McFarlane recovering

Long serving Waitara councillor Craig McFarlane is still recovering in hospital after suffering a stroke in February.

Council colleagues keen for deputy mayor to have time to recover

"Don't send me to jail"

A young man's heartfelt plea to a judge saw him receive home detention instead of jail for a raft of offences.

"I hate being in trouble and looking like a meat head, this behavior is not who I am," man tells judge.

Mystery pack 'rescued' 

An unusual search and rescue mission was launched on Mt Taranaki, after a backpack was left behind at Holly Hut.

A backpack left behind in a mountain hut had people thinking the worst.

Manawatu

Sculpture pops up in courtyard

28042017 News photo DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ
New Dibble sculpture of couple of huia sitting on a perch.

Sculptor Paul Dibble's latest work was too big for its exhibition space - so it's now perched outside.

Arson a 'cry for help'

Scott Peter Bulman was sentenced at the Palmerston North District Court for arson.

A man committed arson so he would be locked up. The courts obliged.

Wrongfully convicted man dies

Palmerston North man David Dougherty, who was wrongfully accused of rape, has died.

David Dougherty, who was wrongfully convicted of rape and abduction, has died. 

Fire ravages home

Three people escaped from a fire at a house on Upham Tce in Palmerston North.

Three people escape a house fire in Roslyn, Palmerston North.

Nelson

Not a house, it's a croquet shelter

Athol Turner has a few home comforts at the Hinemoa Croquet Club shelter, including coffee and a biography of Alec Guiness.

As the Nelson City Council looks to implement a new law banning sleeping in the city we meet a man who has made a croquet club his home.

Guilty of murder

Philip Quayle died after being attacked on a street in Cairns, Australia, about 100 metres from home.

A man who choked a Nelson man to death during a random street attack in Cairns has been found guilty of murder.

Taking a leaf out of the future

Nelson Mail Journalist Tim O'Connell with the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle(EV) that the Nelson Mail has had on loan from ...

Nelson Mail journalist Tim O'Connell shares the thrills, trials and tribulations of driving an electric vehicle.

Crash upsets apple cart video

A stretch of the Coastal Highway near the intersection of Pukeko Lane was strewn with apples and boxes after a truck's ...

Traffic delays continue after cruck carrying thousands of apples spills load.

Marlborough

Ophthalmology waiting list halved

The ophthalmology service at Nelson Marlborough Health has been remodelled which has cut the waiting list for those ...

The health board has remodelled its ophthalmology service and cut the waiting list for those needing follow-up.

Pokies accused 'collateral damage'

The Department of Internal Affairs said Mike O'Brien was "unsuitable" to be involved in the pokie gambling business.

Inquiry into who was behind pokie machine operations was flawed, says lawyer.

Old dog with new tricks

Vincent the retired guide dog plays Sandy in the new production of Annie.

A retired guide dog is treading the boards as the furry star of Marlborough's newest musical.

It's the climb

Blenheim cyclist Andrew Bidwell, 16, is aiming for a podium finish at the upcoming Age Group Road National Championships ...

When another cyclist said he was going to make Andrew's race hell, he laughed it off and smashed the pack by five minutes.

South Canterbury

Parents remember 'talented' son

Rowan Yeager died following a crash near Lake Ohau on Anzac Day. This photo, supplied by friend Andrew Weatherall, shows ...

Man killed in crash near Lake Ohau was just a week off moving into house he built by hand.

Cleverley 'exonerated'

Former South Canterbury District Health Board chair Murray Cleverley has spoken out for the first time about his ...

Former SCDHB chair Murray Cleverley says decision to resign as chair was tough.

'We have got a lot of work to do'

SCDHB chief executive Nigel Trainor says the DHB is going try and improve low rates of HPV vaccination by providing more ...

SC has a 'poor' HPV vaccination rate, prompting the DHB to turn to social media.

Strong winds lash SC

Police were called to the scene of a camper van crash on Friday afternoon, thought to be caused by the wind.

Tourists escape with minor injuries after two campers blown off road south of Tekapo.

Southland

Shark attack video

The French tourist arrives at Dunedin Hospital by helicopter after she was attacked by a shark while bodyboarding in ...

A surfer has been attacked by a shark at a beach in the Catlins in Southland.

Struggle after shooting

Ben and Verity McLean.

Families say they're humbled by the outpouring of support and compassion.

Deputy mayor resigns

Cr Darren Ludlow.

Darren Ludlow has resigned as deputy mayor of Invercargill.

SDHB propose axing 23 jobs

Southern DHB chief executive Chris Fleming.

"There will be some people very positive about what we're proposing, and there will be some negativity."

Ad Feedback