Police funding held at $1.46b

Core funding for the New Zealand Police flat-lined in the Budget with Police and Corrections Minister Anne Tolley maintaining spending at $1.4 billion a year.

Previous Budgets had usually seen an increase in money spent on both the police and Corrections to counter rising crime.

However, Mrs Tolley said police and Corrections had delivered fantastic results and she was confident gains would continue to be made as a result of the smarter approach.

The next phase of ''Policing Excellence'' would focus on further improvements in the way the service operated - to provide more effective frontline policing and crime protection.

Funding for the Serious Fraud Office reverted to the baseline of $7.6 million in operational funding in the next financial year, following the temporary boost to investigate and prosecute finance companies, she said.

Increased foot patrols and frontline staff with the latest technology had allowed police to be more visible and deliver more than half a million additional frontline hours each year - the equivalent of 354 extra officers.

The Budget also supported the Government's targets to reduce the reoffending rate by 25% by 2017, with Corrections continuing to increase drug and alcohol rehabilitation programme places for prisoners, alongside greater access to education and skills training.

Addressing the drivers of crime had resulted in Corrections being halfway to meeting its ''better public services'' target of a 25% reduction in reoffending, she said.

''This means there are 9300 fewer victims of crime each year and our sensible approach to rehabilitation means we are on course to reach the goal of 18,500 fewer victims each year by 2017,'' Mrs Tolley said.


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