Meth, family violence, and gang crime: What south Auckland's new cops face on frontline

An extra 1800 cops will hit the beat or the back office over the next few years, bolstering the thin blue line in some of our crime hot spots.

Around 1280 will be deployed to districts around the country, with 200 focusing on preventing gang-related and drug-related crime. These cops will come over and above the normal recruiting numbers.

Of the total number, 137 are heading to south Auckland. But how will they actually make a difference, and when will police get them?

Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers told The AM Show on Tuesday these new officers will make an "enormous difference".

"We're all set to get the first 23 in the next 12 months, and they're going directly onto the frontline here in Counties Manukau," she says.

"Across Tamaki Makaurau there's approximately 350 staff that will come in that five-year allocation... this is the most significant investment New Zealand Police have had for quite some time."

Appearing on The AM Show on Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told host Duncan Garner she'd like to roll out the extra cops faster but has to make sure they have quality recruits.

"Stuart Nash will be putting in a budget bid for 2019 to fasten up the pace of that, though we already said that last budget, but also we've got the recruitment challenge," she says.

"We've always said we're going to strive to do it in three years, but we won't sacrifice quality along the way."

The new cops will face numerous social problems during their time on the beat.

"Family harm is a big contributor to what we're required to respond to," Supt Rogers says.

"We have a very high youth population here so we work closely in both of those areas. But it's a really dynamic area."

Supt Rogers will establish a new precision targeting team that will focus on priority and prolific offenders to reduce crime such as burglary and robbery. 

A serious and organised crime taskforce will be set up to combat gang-related crime including methamphetamine supply, violence and intimidation, and other serious offending.

Supt Rogers encourages people to apply and make a difference to their communities - although not everyone will make it through.

"We have a significant number of people that sign up. The rate that they actually convert and come back as graduated constables is about 17 percent," she says.


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