Labor calls out Nationals on reduced local police numbers
THE latest official data from NSW Police shows a marked decrease in police numbers in the Tweed-Byron Local Area Command (LAC) where they have slipped below 2009 levels.
The local area command also has not received any new police from the last two graduations of the 236 new probationary constables at the NSW Police Force Academy in Goulburn in the August or December graduations.
Labor blame Nationals
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley said the failure lay squarely with the NSW National Party and Tweed MP Geoff Provest.
In a visit to the North Coast Mr Foley met with Federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot and Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord to discuss police numbers in the region.
Fastest growing region
"It is disappointing and it simply does not make sense," Mr Foley said.
"The North Coast is one of the State's fastest growing regions and the number of police officers is not keeping pace.
"In fact, the number has slipped and the new ones are going to Sydney, western NSW and the southern region, but none for the North Coast."
Broken electoral promise
Labor said while Mr Provest was in Opposition he declared the Tweed-Byron police region were 59 police officers short of their fair share and pledged to boost police numbers when he formed government.
Under Mr Provest's own formula the Tweed police area should have more than 240 police officers, but in fact police numbers were lower now than when Mr Provest made his 2009 police pledge.
Labor said Mr Provest must come clean and admit that he has failed the residents of Tweed because he has not increased the number of police officers in the Tweed Byron Local Area Command.
Numbers don't lie
In September 2015 there were 181 officesr in the LAC whereas in May 2009 there were 185, a drop over six years of four police.
"This is a clear broken election promise," Federal MP Justine Elliott said.
"Nationals MP Geoff Provest was elected on a clear platform to increase police numbers; they have only gone down under his watch.
"As a former police officer I understand the importance of having appropriate numbers of police on the beat in our communities to ensure locals remain safe."