New Zealand Police opens new evidence centre in Wellington

New Zealand Police Minister Stuart Nash has opened a new Evidence Based Policing Centre in Wellington, which will focus on crime and science research projects to improve operational policing capabilities.

Police, the University of Waikato, and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) are joint partners in the centre alongside strategic partner, Vodafone New Zealand.

Staff from the three agencies will work collaboratively in an open environment on research and other initiatives to enhance New Zealand police’s frontline capabilities and help to create safer communities.

Nash said: “The centre is designed to better inform Police in their work to prevent crime and protect the public. It uses information, crime-science and problem-solving methods to lead to better, smarter, and more efficient ways of working.

“I am a firm believer in the need for agencies and sectors to work together to solve problems. The mix of skills and experience at this new centre will produce research and potential innovations drawn from a rich source of data, information and expertise.

“This evidence base will inform Police strategy and tactical decision-making at the frontline to help ensure Police do an even better job at preventing and responding to crime and victimisation.”

According to Nash, this evidence-based policing approach agrees with New Zealand Police’s ‘Prevention First’ model.

In addition, Nash noted that the organisation will gain greater understanding of what works well and where enhancements can be made by the time the first of the intended 1,800 new officers join the service.