Labour wants to increase safety in small communities by turning the 62 one-person police stations nationwide into two-person stations.

Labour will also restore police numbers in stations around the country that they claim had resources reduced to boost the 300 extra police in South Auckland.

That will mean funding an extra 145 constables in the first term of a Labour-led Government, including the doubling the staffing of one-person stations.

The policing policy, released this morning, centres on a community policing model to target crime hot spots such as youth crime, burglary and family violence.


"The focus is often on headline-grabbing crimes, but it is crime as the lower end of the criminal scale that makes far more people feel unsafe," said law and order spokesman Clayton Cosgrove said.

"That's what 'sweating the small stuff' is about. Labour is determined that so-called petty crime must be treated seriously.

"It may mean needing to rethink how police resources are deployed, with greater use of non-sworn staff at crime scenes to free up constables for investigative work. We need police to be able to focus better on crime prevention and resolution."

In 2010/2011 there were 59,361 recorded instances of unlawful entry with intent/burglary/breaking and entering, with only a 15.2 per cent resolution rate.

Theft and related offences only had a 23.8 per cent resolution rate.

The low resolution rate leads to the public feeling unsafe, Mr Cosgrove said, and policing petty crime will help prevent many offenders graduating to more serious offending.

Prevention of crime will also be a priority, and putting children at the centre of social policy will be central to this.

Labour's corrections policy continues its focus on reducing re-offending.

"We will also resource programmes that manage the integration of prisoners back into society.

"Investing in greater community safety makes sense financially as well as in human terms."

Labour remains opposed to privately-run prisons.

The policy documents released do not have any information on the costs of the policies.