Farmers fear for safety after Government drops plan for 24/7 rural police

  • 07/12/2018

Farmers fear a lack of 24/7 police stations will put them in harm's way.

The Government has quietly scrapped plans for seven regional stations to be manned around the clock.

Federated Farmers rural security spokesperson Miles Anderson says it's disappointing.

"Out in the provinces people are isolated and probably far more vulnerable than they are in urban settings.

"It would be appreciated if we could have a little bit more resourcing pushed in our direction."

The affected stations are Wellsford, Helensville, rural Tasman, rural Southland, Balclutha, Wanaka and Alexandra.

The previous National-led Government promised 20 stations would receive extra funding for 24/7 policing.

Mr Anderson said it's a bad call that will leave rural communities vulnerable.

"The hours that the police stations aren't manned, which are generally during the night, will be when demand is and of course any help will be much further away."

National says the country will be less safe as a result, but a police spokesperson said it's looking at implementing a more demand-based approach.

"This revised approach means police districts have more flexibility to deploy staff in a way that ensures officers are working when and where they are needed most, based on demand as determined by the local district commander," the spokesperson said.

"NZ Police is committed to increasing police numbers, expanding our presence and visibility, and improving policing services to our regional communities. Many of these regional areas are already beginning to see more police in their communities."