Police changes 'not too drastic'
Changes to the Canterbury policing structure are not expected to have a big impact on South Canterbury.
It was confirmed yesterday the Canterbury police district would move to a two-area structure after a district review. It will see the four policing areas replaced with two areas - Christchurch metro and Canterbury rural.
Mid-South Canterbury area commander Dave Gaskin said the only change for the Mid-South Canterbury area appeared to be in the name. "It's exactly the same area, with exactly the same stations."
However, he said the impact on staffing was not yet known. "It will all depend on how they do their staffing formulas."
The structure is expected to be in place in December, when Christchurch police move into their new building. The Hereford St central station was vacated after last year's earthquakes.
The Christchurch Metro Area, now split across three different policing areas, will change to encompass the entire city area. It will also take in the North Canterbury and Selwyn areas.
All stations will remain under the new structure and existing staff numbers will be retained.
District commander Superintendent Gary Knowles said the new structure was about reorganising the district's resources into functional areas.
The new structure brought the region in line with other police district structures, and with national policing priorities, he said.
Some existing management positions would change and new ones created, but Mr Knowles said he expected managers would be deployed into the new roles.
At lower levels, most district staff would remain in the same or similar roles, and in some cases reporting lines or work locations would change.
The review proposal, put out in May, attracted some submissions.
Mr Knowles acknowledged the final decision may not have met expectations. "It is not about closing stations or reducing numbers, and no closures or reductions are proposed in this review. I am confident that this structure is appropriate, [and] highly workable.
He would work with his management team to ensure that all those affected were supported through this process.
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