More Cops On Beat

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster is today announcing the establishment of new Community Beat Teams in major cities across New Zealand, and the launch of Operation Safer Streets in Auckland to target anti-social behaviour and crime in the Central Business District (CBD).

Auckland will be the first to benefit from the additional investment in these teams, which will provide a more visible, reassuring and responsive policing presence on main streets, in shopping malls and at transport hubs.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster says Community Beat Teams will be staffed from additional constabulary officers confirmed in Budget ’24.

“This is the start of a staged two-year roll out, which will see 63 additional staff deployed in new Community Beat Teams across Auckland’s three policing districts (21 in each), 17 in Wellington and 10 in Christchurch.

“We know communities want to see more Police out and about, particularly in those areas experiencing challenges with anti-social behaviour and retail crime.”

The additional 21 staff to be based in Auckland CBD will provide further support in the busiest spaces, from Karangahape Road, to downtown and along the Viaduct.

Ultimately, this will grow the existing Beat Team to more than 50 staff in the CBD.

“Our intent is to move to a 24/7 beat model in the CBD, working on a rostered basis with five teams, each led by a Sergeant, to increase Police visibility around the clock,” Commissioner Coster says.

“Increased visibility deters crime and encourages a sense of safety through positive engagement with the public and business owners.

“Community Beat Teams, alongside our existing response, prevention and investigation staff, will continue to deploy to areas of high demand.

“Crime trends have changed in recent years with more anti-social behaviour and public place crime and we’re responding by changing our deployment patterns to increase visibility and community reassurance.

“It’s heartening to see crime in the Auckland central city now starting to trend in the right direction, but recent incidents have rightly caused concern.

“That’s why today we are also announcing Operation Safer Streets – an intensive deployment operation to target anti-social behaviour and crime in the CBD.”

This operation will continue until the new Community Beat Team is fully established and embedded.

Police regularly meet groups such as the K Road Business Association, Heart of the City, Auckland Council, as well as elected representatives and residents’ groups.

“Most of the issues we’re facing in Auckland CBD are complex and can’t be solved by Police alone,” Commissioner Coster says.

“It’s vital we continue to work with partner agencies and other groups invested in Auckland’s success.”

Future decisions about the allocation of the 500 will be made in due course.

/NZ Police Public Release. View in full here.