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The increase of staffing in Te Kuiti to guarantee a 24/7 patrolling police presence is welcome news for the King Country, says local MP Barbara Kuriger.

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.

“Te Kuiti 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 the King Country,” said Barbara Kuriger.

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 thrilled to see 101 new staff allocated to the wider Waikato Police District over the next four years,” said Kuriger.

“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 the King Country to support the upgraded 24 hour police presence.

“In addition to Te Kuiti, the King Country is also benefiting from this announcement with Taumarunui included in the towns for a 24/7 police presence to reduce crime and keep our local communities safe.

“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 Te Kuiti and Taumarunui in today’s announcement.

“When visiting police stations in the electorate late last year with former Police Minister Hon Judith Collins, including Te Kuiti Police Station, the topic of rural policing was extensively discussed, so I am pleased the Government is actively listening to concerns.

“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.

“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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