Govt 'all ears' on policing issue

THE Casino community has been given a reassurance from the State Government that their calls for extra police are being heard after a meeting between the local mayor and Police Minister.

After six months of letter writing and requests for a face to face meeting with NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher, Richmond Valley Mayor Col Sullivan and acting general manager Wayne Halcrow finally got the invitation to Parliament House in Sydney last Tuesday.

The meeting comes after a long-running spate of crime in Casino, including violent home invasions, break and enters and assaults.

Cr Sullivan said Mr Gallacher acknowledged that Casino needed more police. The Minister also told the Richmond Valley Mayor that he could see an improvement in six to eight months.

Cr Sullivan was extremely impressed with the Minister's knowledge of the area west of the range.

"We got a very positive response and he certainly explained the position and what he wanted to achieve," he said.

"I was impressed with his knowledge of the area and his knowledge of what is happening up here. I was impressed with his honesty and I think we will see some benefits."

Richmond Valley Council sent a petition of more than 2000 signatures in support of a 24-hour police presence in Casino to the Police Minister last year.

Cr Sullivan said it was mentioned at the meeting that the Casino Police Station may have to be extended before it could accommodate a 24-hour service.

"I came out confident that the future is better than the past," Cr Sullivan said.

Casino police station received three probationary constables late last year.



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