Police station trials video phone
Police are trialling new audiovisual technology at Waipukurau Police Station, with a video phone that allows people in Waipukurau to talk to police staff in Hastings.
“We want everyone in New Zealand to be able to contact us anytime, anywhere so we’re trialling new technologies as part of wider work to improve our service delivery,” says Senior Sergeant Bryan Smith.
“New technologies can improve the service we can provide, especially in small communities like Waipukurau. Because we haven’t used it before, we decided to trial the video phone in a station with staff available on site to assist if needed.
“Ultimately, we’d like to use this sort of technology to extend the hours in small stations so the public can talk to police using the video phone outside of the station opening hours.”
Mr Smith stressed this technology is being considered as a way to provide the public with new and improved ways to access and receive policing services, not to replace the current face-toface interactions.
“This is all about creating more options for the public so they can choose how, where and when they contact us.
“We know that across the country people still want to engage face-to-face with police in their community, and police will always do this.
“The feedback we get from the trial in Waipukurau will be used to inform how we use video phones in the future — in Waipukurau and other locations.”
The feedback from members of the community who have used the video phone is valuable and police want to know what the community thinks, whether or not you have used the video phone.
Waipukurau Police Station’s new officer in charge, Senior Sergeant Mel Humphries, along with her station support officer and the Hastings face of the video phone, will be doing a community walk to introduce themselves and get feedback.
The video phone is intended to be used in nonemergency situations, such as reporting lost property, seeking advice or applying for a firearms licence.
In an emergency people should always call 111 or if they are at the Waipukurau station they can use the video phone and the operator in Hastings can assist. As well as trialling these new technologies, police are also introducing a single nonemergency number and improved online reporting.