Where are the police?15 per cent of NSW police are off work.
Where are the police?15 per cent of NSW police are off work.

High rate of Coffs police off sick

COFFS HARBOUR is said to have the second worst rate of police officers on sick leave or limited duties in NSW.

Figures obtained under freedom of information show more than 15 per cent of NSW police are off work or confined in their duties, with 230,000 police hours lost each month.

The report shows Coffs Harbour has 22 officers on stress and sick leave or limited duties – the second worst count in New South Wales behind Newcastle with 35 officers.

The Auditor-General has found 401 officers, almost 20 per cent, in the Northern region, which takes in towns such as Coffs Harbour, were off sick or on restricted duties.

Partial and permanent incapacitation claims have ballooned – from $25 million four years ago to almost $120 million this year.

The police association says officers are stressed, injured or being pushed too hard because so many colleagues are on long-term sick leave.

The equivalent of 20,000 police shifts are said to be lost every month because 735 officers are on long-term sick leave across the State.

In the Tweed, almost half the highway patrol officers who monitor the Pacific Highway are on sick leave ahead of the Christmas holiday season.

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