Police organise women's recruitment drive

The police force is undergoing a facelift, looking to boost its numbers of female recruits.

Only one in five officers is currently a woman, but those numbers look set to change.

Young Mere Arihi Gardiner is set on becoming a cop. She wants to be "a police that would put all the bad guys to jail".

She was at the Women's Recruitment Day at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua on Saturday.

New Zealand Police has set the ambitious target of having 50 percent female recruits by 2021.

Only one-third of current recruits are women, but Police Minister Stuart Nash is confident that will change.

"Policing is different from the old days. In the old days it was - if we're honest - it was a bit of a man's club. Now it is completely different; it really is."

Detective Sergeant Sonya Douglas organised Saturday's first-ever recruitment drive aimed at women, which saw hundreds flock to the college.

"It's changed dramatically," she says.

"One of things that was here when I was here in 1987, there was only two women in the wing. I was in a wing of 100 and I think there was about 25, so not even half, and it's changed so much.

"When I joined we had skirts. We had grey tights we had to wear. We had different hats. Now everything's equal, everything's the same."

Saturday's push comes off the back of the force's latest campaign to get more officers on the beat, in a video that has gone viral.

Police have received more than 500 applications since the drive began in November, and 36 percent of those have been from women.

Police are hoping that with events like this, that will go far higher.