Two townships may face police cuts

Police chiefs have not ruled out cutting numbers at some stations to bolster a 24-hour, seven days a week, service at Rolleston.

The district’s policing is currently being reviewed with the major emphasis on planning for a better resourced station at Rolleston.

The district’s acting police chief, Inspector Natasha Rodley, has confirmed a review is under way into how police are dispersed across the district.

The Selwyn Times has learned the Darfield and Lincoln stations are at the forefront of considerations for cuts.

She said as part of the review, it is proposed that staff will operate from the Rolleston station 24/7.

The station is currently open from 8am-5pm Monday to Friday.

Inspector Rodley said officers being redeployed from the Darfield and Lincoln stations to Rolleston is an option being considered.

But she said police coverage and level of service will remain the same for all areas.

“The proposal brings more staff into the wider Selwyn area and that is a good thing for everyone,” she said.

Based on Stats NZ figures from the 2018 census, Selwyn’s population is 60,561.

The population of Rolleston is 16,250, Lincoln, 6100, and Darfield, is 2230.

The police officers’ union, The New Zealand Police Association, is aware of potential changes.

Police Association president Chris Cahill said: “The association is aware of potential changes in the Selwyn District and we work every day with issues our members raise.

“At this stage there is no formal process and no formal proposal, and the association would only become involved if and/or when it receives a formal proposal.’’

Springs Ward councillor Debra Hasson said she was aware of a potential police restructure.

“I’d like to see the police remain in the areas but I understand that due to the close proximity of all the stations in the district that if it was centralised through Rolleston, those communities would still have access to the police,” she said.

However, cutting back in Darfield could be more of an issue, she said.

“I would be more concerned about not having enough police in that area, if that is the call that is made under this restructure.

“I think we are very fortunate in these areas that the police have come on board and strongly supported community watch schemes which hugely benefit the community.”