Twenty jobs lost to Bay police file centre

By Amy McGillivray

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A new file management centre created by Bay of Plenty police resulted in more than 20 redundancies.

Documents released to the Bay of Plenty Times, under the Official Information Act, reveal eight non-sworn Western Bay police staff lost their jobs to make way for the new Rotorua-based centre with a total of 22 positions disestablished throughout the wider Bay of Plenty.

One former Western Bay staff member took up a position within the new centre.

The 2011/12 police National Business Plan required all police districts to establish file management centres.

The centre became operational in September 2012.

A Mount Maunganui police support clerk, a Te Puke typist, a Tauranga watchhouse assistant, a burglary clerk, a Tauranga area support officer, an intelligence support officer and a records officer were made redundant.

A Tauranga traffic camera position that was already vacant was also cut.

The Western Bay redundancies came from the equivalent of 27 full-time positions held by non-sworn staff.

The redundancies were required to fund the 19 posts needed to run the file management centre. A further three staff were needed for centralised telephony positions.

The file management centre is responsible for preparing all police files for alleged offenders' first appearances in court.

Western Bay of Plenty police Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair said much of the work previously performed by the eight Western Bay support staff was now done by the file management centre staff.

"The total number of police employees has not changed in the Bay of Plenty district, there has simply been a redistribution to enable efficiencies," Mr Wright-St Clair said.

"The file management system has provided an excellent service for our area and together with the addition of other technical advances has meant that our staff are spending less time behind computers preparing files and more time in the community, enhancing service to the public. Overall this equates to more time preventing crime rather than simply reacting to it."

Meanwhile, a Bay of Plenty District-wide police restructure is under way.

Police say the restructure will not lead to staff cuts and is aimed at enhancing the service being provided to the public.

A consultation on the proposed new structure is under way with staff, staff associations and other key stakeholders.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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