Police emergency response times not meeting targets

The AM Show 26/10/2018

New Zealanders may sleep better at night knowing that the police are just a phone call away.

But what happens if they don’t show up in time?

New statistics show that NZ Police are not meeting their target emergency response times, Newshub reports.

The target response time for Priority One incidents (typically serious, life-threatening events) is 10 minutes. But statistics show police are only meeting this 62 percent of the time in urban areas - and just 41 percent of the time for rural events.

One-tenth of the time, it took over 47 minutes to respond in rural areas. In comparison, only 10 percent of urban responses took over 27 minutes.

Police communication centre manager Superintendent Dave Trappitt told The AM Show a number of the late arrivals could be put down to traffic.

"We're all aware of the challenges in Auckland, but in other locations as well, particularly at peak drive time, traffic can be a factor," he said.

Supt Trappitt could not say how many calls were delayed, but said it was a significant problem in Auckland.

Response times have a serious effect on people living in rural areas. Federated Farmers rural security spokesperson Miles Anderson told Newshub they deal with a "full range" of different crimes, including everything from robbery and burglary to poaching and drug crimes.

"Police don't have a timely response in rural areas," he told Newshub. "People are aware that farms are isolated and they can target them."

Mr Anderson urges the Government to invest more in police resources in rural areas to avoid "bad outcomes".

"It's something that Federated Farmers is pushing for, and police themselves would be keen to be better resourced in rural areas," he told Newshub.

The Government has announced a massive boost in police officers, including 455 more in frontline emergency response.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said he is particularly pleased to see police numbers boosted in the regions and provinces.

"This investment in frontline policing is an investment in our provinces, our communities and our neighbourhoods," he said at the time.

Watch the full interview with Dave Trappit above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.

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