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The increase of staffing in Stratford to guarantee a 24/7 patrolling police presence is welcome news for Taranaki, say local MPs Barbara Kuriger and Chester Borrows.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush today announced further details of the Government’s $500 million Safer Communities package which included a target of having 95 per cent of New Zealanders within 25 kilometres of patrolling police 24 hours a day.

“Stratford will be one of 20 towns around New Zealand to be resourced to ensure a police officer will be on patrol and on call at all hours of the day. This will give our community more confidence that help is on hand, and will ensure fewer victims of crime in Taranaki,” said Borrows.

"As a former Police Officer, I am really pleased to see this announcement today. We know that when police are visible in and around town, crime levels will come down. Rural crime and rural security have been of concern, so this announcement is good news for Stratford," said Borrows.

Commissioner Bush also revealed how many new staff would be allocated to each District.

“All twelve Police Districts are receiving more officers as a result of the Government’s investment in policing and I am pleased to see 67 new staff allocated to the wider Central Police District over the next four years,” said Borrows.

“While it is up to the District Commanders to work through which towns will receive the additional staff, it is pleasing to see some of those new officers allocated right here in Taranaki to support the upgraded 24 hour police presence,” said Borrows.

“As an MP for a large rural electorate, I am extremely pleased that policing in rural and provincial New Zealand is being recognised, with an emphasis on policing in provincial towns such as Stratford in today’s announcement,” said Kuriger.

“It’s not just about the numbers. This investment in policing also means a new 24/7 non-emergency police number as well as new resources targeted at disrupting and dismantling organised crime,” said Kuriger.

“Twelve new mobile police stations will be set up around New Zealand and we’ll be setting new challenging targets for police including 98 per cent of home burglaries attended within 48 hours and one minute faster emergency response times,” said Kuriger.

The first intake of new recruits will begin in July, with the first recruits on the beat by November.

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