Labour to announce 'major' police policy

Labour leader Andrew Little (Newshub. / file)
Labour leader Andrew Little (Newshub. / file)

It's by-election time - and that means the election promises are coming early.

Labour leader Andrew Little is promising a "major" policy announcement on Thursday around law and order.

Upping police numbers is likely to be key feature. Yesterday Police Minister Judith Collins let slip that a boost in the number of police was imminent, but she couldn't say when.

"I think you'll have to talk to the Prime Minister about that," she said. "I would never let anything slip without the Prime Minister."

When asked about it on Wednesday, John Key said a boost in numbers could be on the cards.

"Potentially, but not [on Thursday]," he said. "The Government's always looking at those issues as the population rises."

That's a different position to the police 2016-2020 plan, which effectively froze police numbers over the next four years.

Labour has been calling for more funding for police and a "significant increase" to the amount of front line police staff, however hasn't put a solid figure on it.

Crime will be a key policy area in the upcoming Mt Roskill by-election, according to Mr Little.

"There are some pretty clear cut issues, I think crime is one of them," he told Newshub.

"You talk to some of the small business owners in the little shopping centres there and they'll tell you how nervous they're feeling, because they just don't see a police presence."

Mr Little will be announcing the policy on Thursday afternoon at the Police Association's 81st annual conference.