The Herald reports:
Two of four police trainees facing misconduct allegations are the subject of criminal investigations, police have confirmed.
Police Minister Stuart Nash has admitted it’s not a great look but is adamant that standards for recruitment have not dropped as the Government looks to fulfil its promise to recruit 1800 extra police.
The four recruits from the 100-strong Wing 318, which trained at the Police College near Porirua from June to September, have not yet graduated while their behaviour is investigated.
“We do not graduate anyone who does not meet our standards,” Police general manager of training Superintendent Scott Fraser said today.
Fraser confirmed that two of the recruits were the subject of criminal investigations but would not go into detail of the allegations.
“There’s two criminal investigations under way but I can’t talk about the details. What I can say is that if matters are upheld that are criminal or outside our values or standards, people do not get graduated,” Fraser told Radio New Zealand.
Among the allegations against the four recruits are indecent assault, careless driving and intimidation.
Another six recruits involved in a drinking incident at the Royal New Zealand Police College were told off and still graduated earlier this month.
Fraser said today it was a “very, very minor matter”.
“They were noisy in the barracks and were up late at night doing some very silly things.”
The 100 recruits in Wing 318 was the largest intake by the Police College in 12 years.
So 10 out of 100 recruits of 10% are involved in misconduct. Guyon Espiner made the point that a 10% offending rate would be unacceptably high for a journalism course, let alone a Police cadet intake.
National’s police spokesman Chris Bishop said the Government’s plans to introduce 1800 new police officers within three years was to blame for the lower standard of officers.
Recruits were being pushed through even if they were unsuitable and it had resulted in declining behaviour and ethical standards among new recruits, he said.
Other police officers had also raised concerns about the declining standards with him.
“These officers have to serve with the people coming through,” Bishop said. “They are worried that the force’s overall service to the public will decline.”
The old quality vs quantity.