A prevention-first strategy is boosting police effectiveness in tackling crime, says top of the South police chief Richard Chambers.
Police have released their quarterly performance statistics with the Tasman District ranked top for increased foot patrols, and the greatest percentage of the public feeling safer in their neighbourhoods during the day (97 per cent).
They ranked second-equal with Wellington for the greatest percentage of people who had trust and confidence in police (81 per cent), just behind Canterbury with 82 per cent.
Tasman had the third best results behind Northland and Counties-Manukau for the percentage of resolved crimes within 30 days, and the third highest reduction of victims of crime behind Auckland and Waitemata.
Tasman District Commander Superintendent Richard Chambers said the results across the board were outstanding and he was pleased for the staff across the district.
"I have seen how much effort they have put in and it is a real credit to their work and what they do."
Police tended to get a hard time from the media so it was great to see positive statistics, he said.
"It means a lot to the public and our staff. I am very proud."
He credited the 400 supportive staff across the district, paying particular attention to the sergeants, the senior sergeants and the area commanders who were the primary supervisors in the field.
"They had to do a pretty tough job at times," he said.
It would be a challenge for police in the next year to maintain and build on the statistics but they were heading in the right direction, he said.
The success could be attributed to their prevention first strategy that was originally put in place in December 2011.
The strategy was still in its early stages, but the shift in perspective was definitely working, he said.
In the past, police had a strong reactive focus where they would particularly try to catch offenders after the fact.
Now, police were spending their time and energy focusing on victims, police visibility and preventing crime from happening in the first place.
The work done on Nelson city's Bridge St for the past 18 months and the increased police visibility was an example.
There was clearly a reduction in crime, he said.
The prevention first strategy induced better outcomes for the community, he said.
"Victims are at the heart of everything we do now," he said.
It was a better model for now and the future.
There would always be people breaking the law but little by little police were making a difference.
"These statistics are an indication that our shift in focus is definitely working," he said.
On average police stopped 1500 cars, conducted 220 foot patrols, completed 860 bail checks and conducted 7950 breath screening tests nationally per day. Each year police dealt with 1.74 million calls for police assistance including 715,000 emergency calls.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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