Our prevention approach pays off

Our prevention approach pays off

Commissioner Mike Bush

Ngā mihi, and a very Happy New Year to you all. I'd like to start the year by thanking staff who worked through the holidays for their efforts and I hope those who had a break have returned refreshed and looking forward to another great year at New Zealand Police.

Our new approach to policing New Year's Eve celebrations is proving to be a stand-out success, with a significant decline in the number of arrests, especially in holiday hot spots that traditionally see an upsurge in disorder over this period.

Historically, our focus has been on reacting to trouble as it occurs, but we're now putting our efforts much more into preventing it from happening in the first place by working with local councils and partner agencies to ensure events are well organised and run.

This is paying off and is a great example of how our Prevention First operating model is helping keep Kiwis safe.

Reassuring the public

While the New Year celebrations were mostly peaceful, our staff were never-the-less kept busy with a range of major incidents over the past couple of weeks, including homicides in Kaitaia and Remuera.

Staff working on the Kaitaia homicide of Lee Rata have charged a suspect with murder, and they're working hard to ensure that anyone else who may have been involved is identified. We wish them all the best in their endeavours.

Auckland Police made a quick arrest in the investigation into the death of Joanne Pert after a suspect handed himself in a few hours after the victim's body was found.

I was very impressed by the way this operation has been run by Detective Inspector Kevin Hooper, Acting District Commander Jill Rogers and all the staff involved.  Video footage on the New Zealand Herald website of staff at the scene working so professionally would have done much to build trust and confidence and reassure the public.

Well done to all involved.

Holiday road toll

Many of you will be as saddened as I was by the number of people killed on our roads during the official holiday period. The 12 deaths were four fewer than last year, but that still means 12 victims and a dozen grieving families too many.

The official holiday period ended last Tuesday, but many thousands of people are still away on leave, and I know our staff will continue working hard to keep people safe on our roads.

Looking forward to the year ahead

One of my priorities for 2016 is to spend more time visiting districts and individual stations. These visits are one of the most valuable and rewarding aspects of my role as Commissioner as they allow me to meet a large number of staff working in a wide variety of situations and to hear first hand about the things that matter to them.

Last week, I was in Christchurch, where staff and I discussed topics ranging from our mobility programme to Police Integrated Tactical Training and Policing Excellence: The Future.

It's always good to have these opportunities to speak to staff face-to-face and I look forward to meeting many more during the year ahead.

That's all for now. Until next time, stay safe.

Subscribe to the Commissioner's blog.