Napier MP and Labour police spokesman Stuart Nash says police's own statistics show a correlation between the increase in crime and decrease in police presence year-on-year in the community from May 2105 to May 2016.
Eastern District commander Superintendent Sandra Venables refutes the MP's claims, saying her district was well-resourced to respond to needs and continues to strive to deliver a world class policing service.
Mr Nash said foot patrols in the region had dropped by 48 per cent and 40 per cent across the Eastern District.
"This is by far the highest decline in police presence in our communities compared to any other district," Mr Nash said.
He claimed burglaries had increased by 26 per cent, serious assaults resulting in injury had gone up by 20 per cent, public place assaults had jumped by 100 per cent and drugs supply had spiked by about 200 per cent.
Attacks on police had also increased, which he said showed officers were not safe either.
Ms Venables said while she accepted criticism as "a natural part of the job", it did not reflect a lessening in commitment by her or her staff.
She said there had been an increase in victimisation throughout New Zealand in the past year.
"Police in Eastern are working hard to address this increase in demand and bring offenders to account, and we've seen some pleasing recent results."