Not good enough

By CRAIG McTEAR

WHEN a retail customer receives poor service, he usually takes his business elsewhere ? and this is exactly what Nambucca Shire Council has planned for its police service.

Unhappy with the level of police attendance it's currently receiving from the Port Macquarie-based Mid North Coast Local Area Command, the Nambucca Shire Council wants to become part of the Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command.

Nambucca mayor, Cr George Hicks, has written to NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney asking him to transfer the shire from the Port Macquarie command to the Coffs/Clarence command.

A council meeting last month decided on this course of action, saying the shire 'enjoyed a far better standard of policing' when it was serviced from Coffs Harbour.

"The council and the community is completely frustrated at the lack of progress in terms of securing a 24-hour police station to service the shire," Cr Hicks' letter says.

There is also frustration with the 'lack of policing numbers and resources locally, at the lack of support for our local police officers, and at the failure of the after hours or Eaglefone system despite many approaches and requests over a considerable period of time in regard to these issues'.

Cr Hicks said a former officer

living in the shire had pointed out that plans were in place for a 24-hour police station at Nambucca Heads, but this proposal had since been shelved.

"It is, of course, of concern to learn that the Nambucca has been without the services of detectives for a period of almost five months now.

"Add these numbers to the numbers that are on sick leave or holidays or relief duties elsewhere and one must seriously question the strength of the policing numbers locally."

Cr Hicks also said in his letter policing numbers in the shire had been 'decimated'.

"One of your former officers has stated that some time ago, local police managed to effect around 30 search warrants per year in order to check out the growing of marijuana crops.

"Now, the community is lucky if there are two search warrants per year. This is not good enough."

Cr Hicks told The Coffs Coast Advocate the council would not be satisfied until the shire, with it's population of close to 19,000, had a 24-hour station.

"The population swells to 30,000 during the busy periods," Cr Hicks said.

The shire is serviced by police stations at Nambucca Heads, Macksville and Bowraville, none of which are open around-the-clock.

The Coffs Coast Advocate was unable to obtain a response from Mr Moroney's office yesterday.



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