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Police Minister Won't Say When His Efforts Will Show Results

Police Minister Mark Mitchell/Photo: Ravi Bajpai

About six months into his role as police minister, Mark Mitchell is continuing to fend off public complaints of poor law and order by blaming his predecessors–we asked him when he expects his work to show results.

Mitchell has been on the move the last few weeks attending public meetings where small business owners have often asked him why law and order hasn’t improved under his watch.

The police minister’s response has been consistent–the crime peak fuelled by the previous Labour government wouldn’t abate overnight. 


“We’re not going to fix it in a few weeks. We are putting in place stronger legislative measures that we hope will eventually reduce crime,” he said on June 11, 2024, while meeting retail shop owners in the southern Auckland suburb of Manurewa. 

That’s been Mitchell’s go-to response so far, and one wonders how long could he potentially continue to pin the blame on a government that has not been in charge for nearly half a year. We asked him if he had a timeline in mind for when his work will begin to show results. 

“Well, I would have loved to fix [it] six months ago. The reality is, we are not going to turn it around overnight. It has taken six years to bake it in,” he told The Indian Weekender. 

“We have had a government that has prioritised reducing prison population by 30 per cent…and alternative actions where…there were no consequences.” 

Mitchell didn’t offer any commitments on the timeline but pointed out he has been trying to make sure the police are out on the streets and are more visible.

“[We are ensuring] they get back to basics…getting them out of some of the work they currently do so that they can work on their core role…so that when members of the public who put up their hand when they genuinely need it, they get the help they want.”

Mitchell said “there’s a lot of work to do” but he has started to see some greenshoots. “We are starting to see the [crime] stats heading back down,” he pointed out.

“In Auckland CBD, you know, crime is starting to come down. Stats around violent crime are starting to trend down.”

Government data released earlier this week shows ram raids were down more than 80 per cent for the month of April compared to last year.

Police identified 12 ram raids in April 2024, compared to 64 in April 2023. Provisional police data from April 2017 to April 2024 shows a downwards trend since the peak in August 2022, when there were 86.

There were a total of 433 ram raids in 2022, 288 in 2023, and 67 in the first four months of this year.


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