Tuesday, 25 September 2018 - 2:05pm |
National News

Unprecedented drive to combat serious and organised crime

2 min read

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today outlined how a further 500 police will prevent and combat organised criminal networks and serious offending to reduce crime and harm in communities.

The 500 are part of the 1800 additional officers to be recruited by Police, following a $298.8 million increase for Police in Budget 2018. They will be supported by a further 200 district-based officers focused on preventing serious and organised crime, that were recently announced.

“Police currently does a great job in a tough environment but gangs are getting more sophisticated, growing their links with international syndicates, and continuing to be financed through the supply of methamphetamine and other drugs,” says Mr Bush.

“The injection of 500 national-level staff to combat serious and organised crime is unprecedented in this country. It will enable Police, alongside our partners, to disrupt, deter and dismantle organised criminal networks.

“Police will be targeting the most serious criminals, but will also work closely with our partner agencies to help others to walk away from a life of crime. For many this will mean breaking a cycle of intergenerational crime, addiction and social dysfunction."

The 500 positions include a mix of constabulary investigators and specialist authorised officers with specific constabulary powers relevant to their particular area, including in cybercrime, financial forensic investigations and asset recovery.

“Increasing our specialist capability is key as we continue to adapt to the challenges of 21st century policing. These new positions represent a significant boost to Police’s digital frontline.

"These 500 new police are a serious boost that, deployed the right way, will make a real difference and help strengthen communities that have suffered under the shadow of gangs and addiction. 

“It will also help free up the additional frontline police officers who are coming on board to keep people safe,” says Mr Bush.

The 500 roles will be located across the country and work alongside district staff but will be nationally managed to ensure a coordinated approach to combatting organised crime.


Appendix: Breakdown of additional staff to focus on serious and organised crime

Nationally focused positions:

Extra Police




National Organised Crime Group

Detectives and technical specialists working to target New Zealand’s most serious criminals and dismantle organised crime networks.


Financial crime

Specialists targeting illicit money flows leading to the restraint and forfeiture of criminal assets. There is a specific focus on targeting organised crime through new Anti-Money Laundering legislation.



Boosting Police’s capability around high tech crime. Includes a major focus policing the dark net and combatting the trade of illicit commodities (including child exploitation). 


Covert (technical)

Providing crime monitoring and technical support for field staff for priority and large-scale operations.


Covert (operational)

Increasing our surveillance, undercover, witness protection and intelligence gathering capability.


International and National Security

Focusing on transnational crime and counterterrorism in a global criminal environment.


Special Tactics Group

Expanding Police’s highest trained, fully-armed, full-time unit to combat our most dangerous criminals and manage high risk tactical situations.

District positions (previously announced as part of district allocations):

Extra Police




Serious and Organised Crime Taskforces

These taskforces support districts to pursue drug suppliers and those fuelling crime to prevent harm across communities.


Crime and Drug Prevention Officers

These officers work in communities with whanau and young people on the periphery of gang life and drug abuse to find a better path and improve their lives.