Canty police areas reduced to two
Canterbury's police district will move to a two-area structure after a large-scale organisational review.
As indicated in the draft proposal released in May, the new structure will see the four policing areas replaced with two areas - Christchurch Metro and Canterbury Rural.
The metro area will encompass Christchurch city, which is currently split into three policing areas. It will also take in North Canterbury and Selwyn.
Canterbury Rural will encompass the Mid-South Canterbury area.
District commander Superintendent Gary Knowles said the new structure retained all existing police stations, and existing staff numbers were maintained.
The district operations were realigned into four new functional areas - investigation, response, prevention and support - each led by an inspector or detective inspector, Knowles said.
Criminal investigation teams would remain area-based.
"What we are doing is reorganising the high-level structure in a new way that fits with our prevention focus and fits with the new post-earthquake environment,'' Knowles said.
"The move to a single area to cover Christchurch City makes a lot of sense in the current environment.
''This move was well supported by a number of external stakeholders. The creation of a new prevention group also allows us to bring together many of our existing functions which are focused on preventing crime."
The new structure brought Canterbury into line with other police district structures and with national policing priorities, Knowles said.
"This change will ensure we have the management systems in place to focus on frontline policing and on prevention activities so we can continue delivering outstanding police services to the people of Canterbury,'' he said.
''And as we have said from the outset of this process, there are no reductions in staff numbers and no stations will be closed."
Some existing management positions have been changed and new ones created, and existing managers would be deployed in the new roles, Knowles said.
At lower levels, most district staff would remain in the same or similar roles.
The review proposal, released in May, attracted 40 submissions representing 55 police staff. A comprehensive submission was made by the Police Association.
Police also met a range of external stakeholders to present the proposal and seek feedback.
Knowles said he hoped to have the new structure operational by the time the new Christchurch central station opened in December.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Would you like to see a bike-share scheme in Christchurch?Related story: Free bikes plan for Christchurch