18 February 2009

New Zealand Community police to deploy to East Timor

Community police to deploy to East Timor Updated at 2:34pm on 17 February 2009 - A contingent of community police officers from New Zealand is heading to East Timor.

Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta met the first group at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Wellington on Tuesday. Officers in the group will introduce a new style of policing to the country.

The 25 officers will leave in April to be part of a 2500-strong contingent of foreign troops and police helping to maintain stability in East Timor.

They will act as coaches and mentors to Timorese police, giving ideas and guidance on community policing.

Their training has included learning the local dialect. They will be armed with their normal weaponry, including baton, firearm and pepper spray.

The deployment will be for six months.

Police say New Zealand is viewed as a leader in the area of community policing. A pilot community policing scheme has already been run in East Timor.

Copyright © 2009 Radio New Zealand

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