Phil Goff says just one extra police officer has been deployed a year across all of Auckland's three districts for the past five years, while Auckland's population has risen by 40,000 a year.
"If you're a criminal and you're a burglar, you've got a 92 percent chance of getting away with it," he said.
"If you ring up the police and say my iPhone has been stolen but I've tracked it down to where it is, they'll say 'sorry, we can't help'."
Goff says it's not the police's fault - it's just that they're not being staffed to do their job.
"Police are always saying, 'Look we'd like to be more help to the public, but our numbers aren't keeping up with population and our budget is being cut almost every year'," he explained.
The Police Association says there's understaffing everywhere, but in Auckland, response police - those who attend callouts - are frustrated they're not giving the public the service they need.
"Police badly need an injection of numbers - particularly in Auckland - to make up for the increased population there," he said.
"After all, everything else has increased up there. Police numbers haven't - it's time."
Greg O'Connor says Manukau got a boost in police numbers in 2008 with immediate benefits for the public, and it's time for a repeat nationwide.
Police Minister Judith Collins is overseas but the police have released a statement.
Police say a population increase doesn't necessarily result in a corresponding increase in crime. They say police in Auckland are using more technology and working smarter - as well as becoming more prevention and victim focused.