Don’t grumble if the police station is closed – the officers will be out on the streets lifting their productivity

As a follow-up to our post about police station office hours for the public and in the cause of balance, we bring positive news – or rather, we are passing on the positive news which the police delivered in a press statement,

It’s all about the productivity gains achieved – it seems – by officers getting out of the police station and on to the streets, aided and abetted by new phone technologies and the apps that optimise their effectiveness.

New Zealand Police has won a prestigious World Class Policing Award for its ‘more street than station approach’ Mobility programme, which has saved millions of hours of officers’ time.

Use of smartphones, other devices and Police-specific apps has resulted in productivity gains of more than 500,000 hours per year.

New Zealand was one of five jurisdictions to win from 54 finalists, drawn from more than 100 outstanding entries from across the globe, at the inaugural World Class Policing Awards final in London today.

‘Mobility uses smartphones and apps to help frontline officers access and share the latest information and react quickly to developing events and incidents.

This time-saving enables our people to redirect their time into prevention focused activities.

And so next time you turn up at the Kapiti police station in Paraparaumu and find it closed ….

Well, you would be wrong to assume the cops are working to the opening hours shown on the Police website:

Kapiti Police Station

Open hours: 

8.00am – 5.00pm Mon – Fri

Police stations close by

Otaki Police Station … 9.00am – 3.00pm Mon – Fri .  Call first to confirm

Waitangirua Police Station ….   By appointment only

Porirua Central Police Station … 8.00am – 4.00pm Mon – Fri

Naenae Community Policing Centre …  No set hours

Lower Hutt Police Station … 8.00am – 7.00pm Mon – Fri ;  8.00am – 4.00pm Sat – Sun, public holidays

Actually, a mate of our writing team had already advised us that a closed police station does not mean the boys and girls in blue have gone home to put their feet up:

At 6pm Thursday night no fewer than 12 of them were stopping every car on Kapiti Road at the Ocean Road intersection for alcohol checks.  People were going home from work and it could have been Paraparumu’s biggest traffic holdup for years – i didn’t know they had that many cops on the Kapiti coast.  

I have suggested the Kapiti News investigate the reason for this apparent overkill

The question every driver was asked to answer into a handheld breathalyser:   “Say your name and your favourite animal.” 

I don’t know if you were arrested or applauded if you said “pig” 

Commissioner of Police Mike Bush may not have been aware of the crackdown on boozed motorists but he is certainly aware of – and is keen to let us know about –  the award won by his force:

“Our Mobility programme is world–leading, making life easier for our officers on the street, and it’s seen a huge reduction in the time our staff used to spend processing information at stations. We are focussed on continuously improving and making it easier for our staff to do their jobs and spend more time working with people in their communities.

“It also means our staff can make decisions in real-time with the latest information, policies and procedures at their fingertips,” he says.

Mobility has brought productivity gains of at least 30 minutes per officer per shift – totalling over half a million hours per year.

These hours are redirected into prevention-focused activities.

One part of the programme, the CheckPoint app, was introduced in the hours following the terrorist attack in Christchurch in March 2019.

Mind you, we wonder, at Point of Order, how useful this might be when a gunman is running amok and the situation critically demands urgent action, the appropriateness of which can be discussed afterwards.

As Bush explained:

It provided officers with quick access to content on policy, procedure and religious protocols to support them making reassurance visits to places such as educational facilities and places of worship.

Another application has replaced a 13-page paper form.

We suggest something simple similarly should be devised for members of the public who (as happened in the case of the writer of this item) went online and encountered a warning about the form that had to be filled in – this would take 10 minutes.

Oh, and just one thing about those smart phones. 

Can the cops get through to the police station any faster than the system provided for members of the public who simply want to ask a question about opening hours without dialling 111?  

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