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4 October 2016
Waipa Mayor Jim Mylchreest has urged the Minister of Police to review police staffing levels in Cambridge.
In a letter to Minister Judith Collins, Mayor Mylchreest said the Cambridge community and surrounding areas have “real and genuine fears for their personal safety”.
He said local victims of crime have, in some instances, given up reporting it because of “cumbersome procedures”.
“There is now a strong suspicion locally that reported crime statistics are not accurate and in fact are substantially under-reported,” he wrote.
Mylchreest noted that Cambridge has a rapidly growing population, but that was not reflected in the number of police dedicated to the community. He told Minister Collins his councillors were disappointed at the lack of information provided to them about crime, despite having invited senior police staff to address the Council personally.
Councillors were “incredulous” they were told to make an Official Information Act request to find out if crime had increased, decreased or remained static.
Mylchreest said he rejected assurances from senior police staff that a better level of service was being provided to the community.
“A suggestion that the community should be investing in extensive CCTV networks and community patrols would also indicate that the provision of law and order services in the community is seriously under-resourced by the New Zealand Police. This is of serious concern to my Council,” he wrote.
Mylchreest said he accepts the Minister cannot interfere with day-to-day operational policing matters but felt the letter was important.
“A number of the concerns my council has raised have national significance and we need to be speaking up on behalf of our communities,” he said.
In his letter Mylchreest said his Council supported the recent petition organised by Cambridge residents concerned about policing levels. He said Waipa District Council was prepared to work with the New Zealand Police to assist “in any way possible”.
Media enquiries, contact Jeanette Tyrrell (on behalf of Council) 027 5077 599