Police foot patrols fell by 6% across Auckland city between October and April data shows

Official police data shows foot patrols in Auckland are down, not up.

Police minister Mark Mitchell, on Wednesday’s Morning Report, lauded a 60 percent increase in foot patrols in the Auckland CBD in the six months since the government was elected to power.

But the raw figures give more context to his claims.

Police provided RNZ with the figures the minister was basing his claims on, and they show a 58 percent increase in foot patrols in March in the Auckland CBD, compared with October last year.

The figures show foot patrols in three parts of the CBD – Auckland Harbourside, Auckland Central West, and Auckland Central East.

Auckland Central West’s numbers more than doubled, from 300 patrols in October to 684 patrols in March, but in Auckland Central East the number of patrols actually dropped, from 192 to 178.

The March figures given to the minister were about a third higher than any other month, and appear to be an outlier.

According to official police data published online, across the entire Auckland City police district foot patrols dropped by 6 percent between October and April, from just over 1213 patrols in October to 1135 in April.

Since election day, police foot patrols were lower in four of the next six months.

Mitchell first claimed a 58 percent increase in foot patrols at a public meeting on Tuesday night, in which residents told him they did not feel safe.

When he told the crowd there had been a 58 percent increase in foot patrols, one resident stood up and claimed that was “bollocks”.

“I can count on one hand the number of police I’ve seen on the beat in the last three years in the central city,” the man said, met with a round of applause from the crowd.

“It’s not safe and I want to see cops rotating up and down the streets all day.”

Across the wider Auckland region, the Counties Manukau and Waitemata police districts had a 38 percent increase in patrols.

They also increased nationwide.

Wellington and Northland went the other way, with foot patrols dropping by more than a third in both regions.

Auckland CBD security not just a police problem – Heart of the City

Heart of the City is not considering dropping its own security patrols in Auckland CBD saying there are still not enough police foot patrols, although they have been more visible in the last six months.

Last year business association Heart of the City spent $1.3 million on security patrols throughout the CBD because there were not enough police.

Its chief executive Viv Beck said they wanted to ensure that businesses in central Auckland had someone to call if they needed to.

Heart of the City still believes there are not enough police foot patrols, she said.

“But they have definitely made an effort with the resources they’ve got to have more visibility and we’ve found them very responsive in terms of issues we raise with them, but there’s still a way to go and I think the minister made that clear, that they’re not saying ‘this is it’.”

People need to feel safe again in the central city and it has only been post-Covid that they have been paying for security patrols, she said.

Auckland city security was a massive issue which need to be coordinated by multiple agencies, she said.

“We’ve asked, really since the beginning of holiday, for this to be a very coordinated approach with central government, local government, business associations and other parties to deal with what was such a massive issue, not just police it is actually multi-agency.”

Beck said she was pleased that coordination would now take place with other ministers in areas such as health and housing.

“I think there’s a strong acknowledgement that we haven’t got enough police and we’ll keep lobbying for that.”

They are also discussing the possibilities of police having a presence in Auckland CBD which the minister is open to, she said.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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