Police have defended a decision to cut Port Chalmers policing
numbers in half.
This week, Southern District commander Superintendent Andrew
Coster confirmed the station would now be manned by a single
The station had previously been manned by two officers, but
over the past six months had been staffed by a sole-charge
Supt Coster said given any urgent response would be provided
by Dunedin-based officers around the clock, coupled with
declining crime rates, a two-officer station could no longer
''There is absolutely strong justification for having a
strong community policing presence there, which I am
confident we can maintain through the member who is out
there,'' he said.
That came as little comfort to Dunedin North MP David Clark,
who said the cut was forced on police because of budget cuts
by Police Minister Anne Tolley who had turned a ''blind eye
to the consequences''.
''One of the consequences is fewer staff in communities;
others include reduced training, fewer cars and on it goes.''
Mrs Tolley hit back, saying: ''There have been no police
budget cuts, but there has been a significant drop in
''In fact, the crime rate is at its lowest in 33 years.''
She said local police made their own decisions on where to
place staff, ''in the right places at the right times to
prevent crime, and I trust them to get it right''.
Dr Clark said he planned to seek a meeting with Supt Coster
to discuss the change.