Police trial video phones for small communities

The use of video phone technology may soon help rural communities access extra police support.

A video phone is to be trialled at Waipukurau police station with residents able to talk to police staff in Hastings.

Senior Sergeant Bryan Smith said new technologies can improve the service police provide, especially in small communities like Waipukurau.

"We want everyone in New Zealand to be able to contact us anytime, anywhere so we’re trialling new technologies as part of wider work to improve our service delivery," he said.

He said the new service is not designed to replace the current face-to-face interactions.

"This is all about creating more options for the public so they can choose how, where and when they contact us," said Senior Sergeant Smith.

The information and feedback from the trial will be used to decide how video phones are used in the future in Waipukurau and other locations.

Police say the video phone is intended to be used in non-emergency situations, such as reporting lost property, seeking advice or applying for a firearms licence.