Police wait times skyrocket under Labour

New figures showing Police response times have more than doubled since 2017 are a shameful reflection of this Government’s political grandstanding over staff numbers, says National’s Police Spokesperson, Mark Mitchell.

“Figures released to National under the Official Information Act show the length of time it is taking Police to get to an incident has absolutely skyrocketed,” Mark Mitchell says.

“The average response time across all policing districts has more than doubled. The worst area is Auckland City, where response times have gone up 321 per cent. In some cases Police are taking almost two hours to respond.

“Police numbers across the country have increased and the Government is quick to talk about how excellent that is, but the reality is Kiwis who need the help of Police are waiting much longer.

“Gang membership is growing faster than the Police muster. It’s all very well for there to be extra Police, but if the gangs are better resourced and growing faster, the country becomes less safe.

“This growth in gang numbers, combined with additional tasks like manning MIQ facilities and COVID checkpoints, has taken frontline staff away from their communities, stretching the thin blue line to the point that they are now struggling to respond quickly to calls for help from the public.

“To have the Police Minister tell the country last week that she rejects an increase in gang tensions, is exactly why both the public and the Police are now paying the price of a stretched Police service being unable to respond the way they want to.

“Police may have more colleagues, but that doesn’t necessarily mean better service. What the Police need is a Minister that will give them the leadership and tools that they need to get the job done.”

Note to editors: The figures are drawn from a release by Police on the 90th percentile for response times deemed priority 1 and priority 2, which Police define as the type of events expected to be attended at the time of acceptance. This is a measure of response times used by Police. 

You can see a summary of Police Response times here and a copy of the Official Information Act (OIA) request here.