Thursday, 10 December 2009 - 10:06am |
National News

Commissioner clarifies Road Policing comments

2 min read

Police Commissioner Howard Broad has this morning moved to clarify remarks he made in the course of an exchange with Act MP David Garrett at the Law and Order Select Committee yesterday.

Mr Broad said he was responding to a point that Mr Garrett made, where Mr Garrett suggested having a sworn constable deployed as a mobile speed camera operator is not a good use of resources. The Commissioner was also invited to comment on how best to deploy road policing resources more efficiently.

Mr Broad said that he agreed having a fully qualified police officer performing a speed camera role was not necessarily a good use of resources.

"Road policing is an important and integral part of policing and our commitment to community safety, however there are parts of the road policing role we could handle more efficiently.

"For example the use of police officers with radar detection devices for speed enforcement is a function which could be more easily be performed by speed camera operations.

"The work of these officers could then be redeployed to other policing duties," Mr Broad said.

At no stage did the Commissioner advocate a separation of the road policing function from police, as has been reported. Nor did he suggest any reduction in NZ Police's road policing effort.

"What I did do was advise the committee that there were other options to deploy officers with limited powers in road policing enforcement,"

Mr Broad says he pointed to the continuing existence of the roles that can still be authorised under the Land Transport Act, and limited authority officer roles, known as the authorised officers introduced in Policing Act 2008.

"There are a range of functions performed by Police such as the Motorways Support Officers on Auckland motorways and Vehicle Safety Officers (who work with our commercial vehicle investigating units) for which these limited authority roles are quite suited.

"We currently use authorised officers for some roles, such as Crime Scene Attenders who attend and take details of burglaries. I believe there is potential for us to make greater use of the officers with limited powers in other areas," Mr Broad said.