The bill to taxpayers for clothing police and dry-cleaning
their uniforms last year was more than $9 million. Figures
released under the Official Information Act reveal police
forked out $1.08 million on dry-cleaning, $5.5 million on
clothing (2011-12 financial year) and $2.46 million for
plain-clothes allowance (2012 calendar year).
In an effort to slash the dry-cleaning bill, police were
about to trial new trousers for operational staff that could
be washed rather than dry-cleaned, Police National
Headquarters finance general manager John Bole said.
A decision on the new trousers was expected within 18 months,
Police had ''no intention'' of following overseas examples
and changing operational staff uniform to a more relaxed
uniform of baseball caps and overalls, he said.
Uniform overalls and baseball caps were supplied to selected
specialist police groups, including the dog section,
commercial vehicle investigation unit and specialist search
Mr Bole said new recruits were issued with standard uniform
items and any replacement of those items was at the
discretion of their police district.
''Items are replaced in response to reasonable wear and tear
and taking account of the type of duties the officer is
undertaking and the impact on uniform items.''
He confirmed the most common clothing items to be replaced
were socks and shirts.
As part of a collective employment agreement, detectives were
provided with a plain-clothes allowance, which was paid to
CIB staff on a fortnightly basis.
Those employees were also entitled to have three uniforms
dry-cleaned every six months. Annual clothing allowances
payments have increased from $2.288 million in 2009 to $2.463
million last year.
While clothing allowances for CIB staff had increased, the
cost of police clothing had decreased from $6.9 million in
2007-08 to $5.5 million in 2011-12.
Southern district police spent $77568 on dry-cleaning and
laundry during 2011-12, down from a high of $80,000 the
The largest laundry bill went to Central district police with
$115,647, followed by Waitemata ($111,960) and Canterbury