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Concern from the Police Association that funding constraints may mean gang members trying to infiltrate the force go unnoticed, need to be taken seriously, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kris Faafoi.
The revelation that gang members may be evading police checks as officers are increasingly made to do more with less was raised at today’s Police Association Conference in Wellington.
"When the head of our Police Association raises the alarm about budget constraints adversely impacting the police recruitment process, we should listen,” Kris Faafoi said.
"There is evidence that gangs are becoming more organised and are using technology to aide their criminal activity. The fact that they may start infiltrating Police recruitment is something new to policing which needs to be addressed," Kris Faafoi said.
"Budget cuts and staff cuts are leaving our police more vulnerable and are loading pressure on the front-line.
“All the while we are told gangs are buffering their numbers and broadening their base.
"National's budget cuts are putting the integrity of the front-line itself at risk,” Kris Faafoi said.