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Karamea to keep its constable

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/05/2016

WELLINGTON May 25 NZN - Karamea has kept its sole officer in a rejig of policing on the West Coast, but at the cost of another detective's role in Westport.

The final make up of a restructured service on the Coast, which will start in September, was confirmed on Wednesday.

They had proposed cutting the role of community constable in the isolated northern settlement of Karamea, 67km north of the nearest police station at Granity.

However, in February about 300 people - more than half the town's population - turned out to protest that idea.

"Our decision now is to retain the Karamea position," said West Coast area commander Inspector Mel Aitken.

"The flow-on effect of this decision is that a second detective position cannot be established in Westport."

The rejig will also include setting up a tactical squad, which was strongly supported by both staff and the community, Insp Aitken said.

Another change is two prevention constable positions moving from Greymouth to Hokitika and Westport.

Insp Aitken said the commitment to consultation had been genuine and she hoped staff and the community would get behind the new structure.

Police's core goals were reducing family harm, victimisation, offending and road trauma.

"I trust we have the support and confidence of the West Coast as we work towards achieving those goals."

The proposals, released in January, did not involve any cuts in staff numbers.

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