Tuesday, July 16, 2024

New Minister calls for back-to-basics policing

New Police Minister, Mark Mitchell, has met with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to set out the Coalition Government’s expectations of the force.

The Public Service Commissioner, who provided support with the drafting of a letter of expectation, has released the letter, with the agreement of the Minister and Police Commissioner, on its website.

“I have been open about the fact I do not agree with the direction policing has taken under the previous Government and I expect the Police Commissioner to focus on core policing with a back-to-basics approach. I want people to feel safe on their streets, in their homes, and in their workplaces,” said Minister Mitchell.

“Gangs have become more violent and more present in our communities, intimidating the public and taking over public roads and spaces. This needs to stop. 

“I expect Police will use the powers provided to them in legislation to ensure gangs will not take over towns, public roads, or spaces. Law abiding members of the public are entitled to have their rights to safety and freedoms protected.”

Mr Mitchell, himself a former New Zealand Police Dog Handler (pictured), says Police will be supported by the Government through new legislation to disrupt and stop harmful gang activity.

“Our New Zealand Police organisation and frontline staff are working in a far more complex, demanding and dangerous environment that requires focused, strong and supportive leadership. My expectation is for that leadership to be evident,” he said.

Under section 16(1) of the Policing Act 2008, the Minister can expect the Police Commissioner to deliver on the Government’s direction and priorities, as now outlined in the expectation document. 

The letter of expectations can be found here.

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