Election 2023: National matches Labour's promise of 300 new police officers

The National Party is matching Labour's promise of introducing 300 additional police officers over the coming four years.

Mark Mitchell, National's police spokesperson, said decisions about where these officers would be stationed would be determined by police, but National would set out a clear expectation that the added resource would be directed towards central city locations where "much of this increased crime is concentrated".

The 300 extra frontline constables would come with a cost of $124 million over four years. That's the exact same number of additional officers and the same cost as Labour laid out in early September

Mitchell also said that National would scrap the "policing by consent philosophy", which he deemed a "failure", and encourage a "back-to-basics policing model".

This would see a focus on "highly visible beat and patrol officers building relationships with local shop owners and retailers, increasing contact and interaction with the public, deterring anti-social behaviour and street violence, and reassuring urban communities.

"We have seen far too many scenes of youths ram-raiding businesses, violent aggravated robberies, assaults occurring in broad daylight, and gangs discharging firearms near innocent bystanders," Mitchell said. 

"New Zealand Police are world class but have been increasingly stretched as they are left to mop up the mess of Labour’s soft-on-crime approach. The bravery that the men and women of the New Zealand Police have shown over the past six years needs to be rewarded with a government that backs them."

When Labour announced the 300 extra police, leader Chris Hipkins said it would ensure the best ratio of police to people in modern history. He said the Government had already delivered 1800 new police officers.

The additional police would mean a ratio of at least one officer for every 470 Kiwis.

"This will be a huge improvement on the one in 541 ratio in 2017," Hipkins said.

"With 300 more cops we would increase the frontline by 2,100 officers since we came into office. This is three times the amount National delivered over the same timeframe, when they were last in office."