Waikato police dump ticket measuring system and tell officers to 'use their initiative' in shake up

Waikato police are shaking up the way tickets are issued by asking police to "use your initative" as there are better options "than just ticking the box".

The police have changed the way in which officers are judged and questioned on how much work they do, including how many tickets they issue in one shift. 

It comes after a top inspector revealed that a quarter of all traffic fines don't improve safety on roads.

Police Association president Chris Cahill told TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme this morning there isn't a ticket "quota system" and there is no expectation of how many tickets an officer should issue.

"If you are not issuing any tickets then you clearly might not be doing any work so it's been a measure but its not a quota per say," Mr Cahill said.

"You could have an accident that you're at for most of the day but if you were there and stopped 30 vehicles all day and hadn't issued any tickets, someone will probably be saying, well what have you been doing? So it's pretty open and certainly no one is telling you have to have 10 tickets a day."

Rather than being quick to tick a box and issue a ticket, police are now being encouraged to "look a bit deeper".

"Cops want to make a change, we want to get out there and do different things and see if we can have a different outcome," Mr Cahill explained. 

"So what they're saying is lets look at things a bit wider and this is something that we are looking at right across the police...You stop a young guy, 18, he hasn't got his driving licence you could simply give him a $200 fine. He'll never pay it, he'll end up in the court system or you could say 'why haven't you got a drivers licence' and he might say he's got difficulty reading. Put him onto an agency that can help him get that drivers licence. He might end up with a drivers licence and get a job."

Police Association President Chris Cahill says there are better options than just ticking a box on a ticket. Source: Breakfast


Traffic heavy, buses full as Auckland commuters deal with train strike

Auckland commuters are bracing for a rough day of traffic after being told to make alternative travel arrangements due to the rail workers strike beginning today.

The strike takes place from 2am for 24 hours and due to the short notice, Auckland Transport has not been able to put on extra buses in place of train services.

Traffic is heavy on major roads and there are reports of buses not stopping for passengers as they are full.

However there does not appear to be widespread problems. 

AT's chief transport services officer, Mark Lambert says: "We are sorry but with no trains operating, the roads will be busy and there will be delays. People should consider options such as travelling outside peak times, sharing rides, cycling or walking.

"They should also talk to their employer about their work situation."

More than 30,000 people travel by train around Auckland on an average weekday.

The workers' employer, French-owned company Transdev, is determined to reduce crew numbers and introduce driver-only trains, says Rail and Maritime Transport Union advocate John Kerr.

"This plan puts passengers and drivers at risk, and the only reason we can see for it is cutting costs and increasing profit," he said.

Transdev's proposal would make train drivers have responsibility for monitoring door operation and passengers, dividing their attention and significantly increasing the risk of accident, Mr Kerr said.

"Our members don't want to inconvenience the public especially this close to Christmas, but they will not compromise on the safety of passengers or the rail network," he said.

Ferry and bus services will be operating as normal today.

Wellington rail workers went on strike for 24 hours on November 16, protesting Transdev's desire to cut working conditions and penalty rates for working weekends.

Commuters across Auckland are advised to allow extra time for travel tomorrow or work from home if possible. Source: 1 NEWS


Missing 13-year-old Dunedin boy found safe and well

A 13-year-old boy missing overnight has been found safe and well.

Matthew Gershom was last seen around 5pm yesterday on Wakari Road, Glenleith, prompting a large search operation. 

Matthew Gershom. Source: New Zealand Police

He has just been found in the Ross Creek area.

Matthew Gershom hasn't been seen since 5pm yesterday. Source: 1 NEWS