A dilly Daley on staffing

THE NSW Minister for Police Michael Daley has weighed into the debate over resourcing of the Coffs Harbour Police Station but only to deflect attention and hurl political pot shots.

Mr Daley said while the government had provided the funding and resources for a record number of police officers, the allocation of resources is a matter for Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione.

Mr Daley also counter-attacked local MP Andrew Fraser who in Saturday’s Advocate said Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens had missed the opportunity during a visit to the city last Wednesday to address the staffing issue.

“For Mr Fraser to accuse a dedicated, highly respected officer such as Deputy Commissioner Owens of deliberately misleading the community is a disgraceful attack on one of this State’s most-senior police officers,” Mr Daley said.

That broadside is unlikely to quell the disquiet of local officers.

One officer who contacted the Advocate yesterday offered his own rebuke: “No matter how ‘smart’ Assistant Commissioner Dave Owens wants us to be, the fact is we cannot make it work with the numbers we have.” Another shone light on some of those figures.

“Bellinger Valley has only five officers available because four are off long-term sick. Two for Dorrigo, two in Bellingen and one in Urunga. Add the shifts rosters, days of short-term sickness and, some nights, there might be just one officer for the entire valley.”



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