NR misses out on police recruits

THE NORTHERN Rivers has again missed out on new police recruits following the graduation of 131 probationary constables from Goulburn yesterday.

Only three recruits were allocated to the Northern Zone, and they will be stationed at Port Stephens and Tuggerah Lakes.

Meanwhile Richmond and Tweed-Byron Local Area Commands, two of the fastest-growing regions in the state, continue to miss out.

While the NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told The Northern Star during his visit to the region last month that both commands were above authorised strength, the NSW Police Association’s north region executive officer Tony King disagrees.

“When you account for sick leave and other leave, both commands are actually at 80 per cent of operational capacity or less,” he said.

“This is a rapid growth area with demonstrated public order and crime issues across the region which puts a huge strain on police officers.

“You’ve got to ask the State Government; what’s their strategic plan to service these predicted populations?

“Policing is a unique profession – you can’t just call a temp agency when you need to bolster numbers.”

New State Government figures predict phenomenal growth during the next 30 years with Ballina’s population exploding by 39pc, Byron Bay by 44pc and Tweed Heads by 59pc.

“It will be interesting to see how many recruits we get in the next allocation before the state election,” Mr King said.



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