CONFIRMATION has been sought from the State Government over the promised commitment of extra police to the North Coast.
Under questioning at Senate Estimates, New South Wales Police Minister Stuart Ayres was unable to confirm whether 30 extra officers would be posted to North Coast commands in December.
Labor MLC Steve Whan said there had been rumblings in the hallways of understaffed police stations that the promised allocation had been pushed back by the government.
Mr Ayres did confirm however that an additional 60 officers would be sent to North Coast stations by May next year.
The State Government in November 2013 committed to increasing police numbers in the state's north by up to 90 officers by 2015.
Twenty additional officers were posted to under-strength stations in December 2013 and a further 10 officers commenced duties in May, but there is now uncertainty whether a commitment to post 30 extra officers this December will eventuate.
"You still have 60 to deliver - 30 by December 2014 and 30 by May 2015. Are you still committed to delivering those 60 officers in that time frame?" Mr Whan asked of the minister.
"Five hundred and ninety additional positions have been brought online across the New South Wales Police Force since 2011," Mr Ayres responded.
"Of those, 67 positions have been added to the northern region.
"This includes 30 of the 90 positions committed to that region by the government and another 60 are on the way in 2015.
"We are confident that the next 60 will be in place by May 2015."
Mr Ayres said 308 new police officers have been allocated to the Northern Region Local Area Command, including 117 officers to commands on the North Coast, since May 2011.
The police association's North Coast executive committee member Brett Henderson-Smith called on the government to clarify its stance.
"The government made a previous commitment, we haven't been made aware of any changes to that and we expect that commitment will continue," Mr Henderson-Smith said.
POLICE NUMBERS NORTH COAST
- Former Police Minister Mike Gallcher committed 90 officers to the North Coast in December, 2013
- 20 officers delivered in December, 2013
- 10 officers delivered in May, 2014
- 30 officers promised in December 2014 in doubt
- 60 officers promised by May, 2015
- Government committment 90 extra officers in 18 months