I have full confidence in our police.

They do an amazing job - often at significant personal cost - to help keep you and I safe from criminals and lowlifes. They work to keep us safe from those who don't give a stuff about our values and the respectful communities we strive to create.

Police do all they can to stop another woman being beaten by her loser partner. They do all they can to prevent drug use, and the harm it inevitably does to young lives, by going after the organised groups that sell the stuff. They knock on doors to deliver tragic news to families following accidents or violent crimes. They console victims and try to prevent more victims.

Simply, police put themselves between the criminals and the rest of us. Luckily, most of us will never have to see what most officers experience almost daily. They deserve our absolute support and confidence.


It's unbelievable that the Labour police spokesman states he has no confidence in police. This is the man who one day wants to be Minister of Police! What kind of message is this sending to the criminals!?

Napier and Hastings are combined into one policing area, as part of the Eastern Districts. This means resources are shared and police provide coverage where it's needed, most based on crime activity, community needs and coverage for staff leave or illness.

Police structures have and will continue to evolve to meet the needs of the communities they so bravely and loyally serve. The changes made here in the Bay are not about funding or staffing levels or any directives from politicians. They're about ensuring, as best as they possibly can, that the right resources are in the right place at the right time.

Times have changed. What worked once won't necessarily be effective or efficient in 2016. To suggest that Hawke's Bay Police, whether it be the top brass or the constable on the street, have anything less than the best of intentions is not only misguided, it's downright offensive.

Our police are focused on prevention, particularly when it comes to serious or violent crime and family violence. These remain the areas of biggest risk for our communities and that's why, over the past 12 months, 15 new positions have been created in these areas - to be clear, that's 15 positions over and above the district's previous staffing allocation.

These are separate to frontline response and investigative staff, which includes public safety teams, road policing and CIB. There has been no reduction of staff.

I back our police to make the right calls about where and when they deploy staff. Police, not politicians, make the best operational decisions for their communities. Under the National-led Government, our police are better resourced than ever before and no amount of scaremongering is going to change that fact.

It's also worth noting there are currently two new stations being built in Napier and Hastings, and the overall police budget has increased. Police tell me that preventing and resolving burglary remains a priority, as does maintaining visible patrols.

No one is saying the system is perfect. We all want to be safe, to keep our families safe but, as much as we would all like, not every crime can be prevented.

Everyone here in the Bay has a role to play in keeping our communities safe, the very least we can do is support the people who work so tirelessly on a daily basis to make that happen.

Craig Foss is the National MP for Tukituki.