Auckland City Police want to reassure the public that their burglaries are investigated by sworn Police officers and that all staff employed to deal with burglary complaints are very experienced.
A New Zealand Herald article has sparked some commentary, via the media, around the use of non-sworn staff to attend historical burglaries so as to document the complaint and carry out forensic examinations of the crime scene.
In January 2003, following a 2001 review of all components of the process of recording and investigating burglary in Auckland City District, a pilot scheme was set up in the eastern area of the district whereby six non-sworn staff were employed to record complaints of burglary.
Two of the staff are former Police officers â€“ one of whom worked for the London Metropolitan Police in their burglary squad, the other was a New Zealand officer with many years experience. Another two complaint takers are former ESR employees â€“ one of whom has a Bachelor of Forensic Science degree. The remaining two staff areformer NorthComms employees.
Chief Inspector John Palmer, Eastern Area Commander, says all the staff are highly valued by the district and their colleagues and all do an excellent job on behalf of the Police and the public.
"These very experienced non-sworn staff attend burglary scenes to record complaints, collect valuable evidence and make initial local area inquiries," Mr Palmer said. "They are well-versed and trained in Police practices and procedures.
"They create well-documented files which are handed on to sworn Police officers to investigate. I regret that some misinformation about the capabilities of some of my staff has been distributed and want to reassure the people of the eastern suburbs of Auckland City that they have the best of both worlds when it comes to Police service around burglary complaints and investigation."
Mr Palmer said they attend jobs within 15 minutes of a time agreed with the complainant.
"They are not assigned marked Police vehicles and in the 18 months since theyâ€™ve been operating as part of the Eastern Area Burglary Squad, I personally have received a number of messages of gratitude from victims of crime, thanking me for the professionalism of my non-sworn staff."
Issued by Noreen Hegarty
Auckland City Police Communications Manager
Ph 09 302 6947 or 0274-951-589