Cansdell wants more police on duty

THE SLOW police response to Sunday's siege where a woman was stabbed at Yamba has seen parliamentary secretary for police and Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell fire a verbal bullet at the NSW policing situation.

Mr Cansdell said Sunday's situation where lives were at risk from a man armed with a knife illustrates critical policing problems in the Clarence Valley.

“This is just another bullet to put in the gun to call for more police here,” he said.

“It is just not good enough.”

After The Daily Examiner was informed yesterday there was one officer rostered on in the Lower Clarence on Sunday, Mr Cansdell said rostering must be addressed.

“Rostering has to take into consideration the needs of the Lower Clarence and the Clarence Valley,” he said.

“But if we are at the point where we only have one police officer for the Lower Clarence, and if he is called out, which is often the case, then there is no police.

“Police then have to come from Grafton, which is a dead set ridiculous situation.”

Mr Cansdell said with one officer on in the Lower Clarence, this left a ratio of one police officer to 17,000 people.

“The whole situation is unacceptable,” he said.

“This is the reason in my submission to the police audit I made, that one police officer and in some cases no police officers puts many people's lives at risk.”

“It put this lady's life at risk and it put the paramedics' lives at risk.”

He said he would also inform the man conducting the audit, Peter Parsons, about the staffing situation in the Valley.

“I will be very surprised if this review doesn't show a total lack of police in rural areas like the Lower Clarence and Casino.

“The more things that happen like this now, like the headline The Daily Examiner have given this, builds the case.”

Mr Cansdell spoke to Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas yesterday about the staffing situation, who said he was aware of officer shortages on the North Coast.

“I invited Mr Kaldas to come to the Clarence and that will happen before the end of the year.”

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