Extra police officers a good start
YES, it’s welcome, but it’s not good enough.
That’s the reaction from key players to news that Coffs/Clarence police numbers will soon be boosted by an extra 12 officers – eight detectives and four general duties officers.
“We’re certainly pleased with the increase to Coffs/Clarence. However other areas of great need were overlooked such as Manning/Great Lakes, Richmond and Tweed/Byron,” Police Association northern region executive member Detective Senior Constable Tony King said.
“We certainly applaud the Government for handing out these police to this area but more needs to be done.
“We need to improve staffing levels in Coffs/Clarence and in other areas. It’s a good start and we applaud the NSW Government and the Police Service in recognising our need but more police are needed.”
Det. King said the announcement was indicative of just how bad the staffing situation in Coffs/Clarence had become.
The union would also keep a close eye on the new rostering system being introduced locally to maintain minimum staffing levels at Coffs and Grafton.
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” he said.
The member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, said the increased police allocation was ‘fantastic news’ but it was ‘no- where near enough’.
“To only have an extra four general duties officers spread between the top end of the Clarence and here flies in the face of what has been asked for. We are still going to be short of officers,” Mr Fraser said.
“When you have a situation where they had to close Sawtell Police Station and officers have had to at some stages close a station to attend incidents out of hours, an extra 12 police spread between Urunga, Bellingen and Grafton really is not providing a huge amount of extra manpower.”
Mr Fraser said he had invited the Police Minister, Michael Daley, to visit Coffs/Clarence and see for himself the workloads and stresses placed on local police.
Mr Daley announced on Thursday that the authorised strength of the NSW Police Force would increase by 250 positions as of January 1.
“The 250 positions include NSW Government funding for an additional 70 detective positions and an additional 77 general duties positions,” he said.
The police northern region has been allocated an additional 28 detectives and 22 general duties officers.