Pleasing: Det. Inspector Cameron Lindsay.
Pleasing: Det. Inspector Cameron Lindsay.

Boost for region's police numbers

IT’S the early Christmas gift Coffs Coast residents so richly deserve.

The Coffs/Clarence local area command will get an additional eight detectives and another four general duties officers in a major boost to police numbers across the region.

The breakthrough follows a fierce campaign by the community and the Police Association for the arrival of more troops to back-up their overworked colleagues.

The union claimed that Coffs Harbour Police Station and others like it struggled to keep their doors open due to chronic staff shortages.

“These numbers will have a significant impact on crime within this local area command,” said the acting local area commander, Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay.

“Certainly to have those types of numbers allocated to this local area command is extremely pleasing. It’s fantastic news for this region. For the residents of the Coffs Coast this is extremely good news to have these additional resources allocated to the area, particularly the detectives, who will have increased capacity to target serious and major crime.”

Mr Lindsay said yesterday’s announcement was ‘completely unrelated’ to last month’s negotiations between the Police Association and the northern region police command on staffing levels.

“These numbers were promised in an election campaign I believe. They’ve been coming for a long time, much longer than the recent staffing dispute but these numbers will help with that situation,” he said.

Mr Lindsay said recruitment to fill the new positions would start soon but he was unable to say how many of the new positions would be created at Coffs Harbour.

The member for Clarence, Steve Cansdell, who along with Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser has vigorously lobbied for more police on our streets, said more police resources were a win for this community.

“The local media have also played an important part of securing this great result,” Mr Cansdell said.

“It has been their continued campaign of highlighting our need for more police that has paid dividends.”

The police northern region will get 28 more detectives and an additional 22 general duties officers from January 1.

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