Tolley disputes survey

A Police Association survey highlighting concern over frontline resources and cuts to non-sworn staff has been dismissed by Police Minister Anne Tolley.

Nearly 4000 Police Association members were surveyed in the two-yearly survey and 31% indicated staff numbers as the most important issues facing police, while 20% indicated resourcing was a problem.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (64%) had been involved in restructuring over the past two years and 44% believed restructuring was having a negative effect, as opposed to 6% who said it had improved efficiency.

Labour police spokesman Kris Faafoi said the survey showed frontline police were ''struggling to effectively do their job of keeping our communities safe, in the face of Mrs Tolley's relentless belt-tightening''.

Asked to respond to the survey and the comments from Mr Faafoi, Mrs Tolley told the Otago Daily Times there had been no cuts to the police budget.

''Crime rates are at record lows and public confidence in the police is at an all-time high.

''Police carry out their own staff engagement survey and results remain well above the public sector average.''

Police Association vice-president Luke Shadbolt said restructuring of non-sworn staff had affected frontline officers.

''Policing is about communication and person-to-person communication, and people expect to be able to come into a police station and talk to someone.''

The survey showed staff who had undergone restructuring were stressed and that ''the services probably aren't as good as previously provided''.

- hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

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