Where are our police recruits?

LISMORE Nationals MP Thomas George said it was unbelievable the Richmond and Tweed-Byron Local Area Commands had received none of the 336 new police graduates who were sworn in at Goulburn yesterday.

NSW Police announced the allocation of new officers and of the 17 sent to the Northern Region, all have been deployed to the Newcastle commands.

The metropolitan regions received the lions share, getting 267 of the graduates.

A further 24 went to the South Coast and 28 went to the New England and the Far West.

The police union’s north region executive officer, Tony King, was not happy either and asked, “Since when had NSW become just Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong?”

“Probationary constables are a good quick fix to the lack of ‘authorised strength’ in police commands on the North Coast,” he said.

“The Police Association put the much-needed allocation of resources on the Government’s agenda before the election.

“Then they turn around and don’t actually consult us on this allocation of probationary constables.

“Based on the projections of population and services, and by the number of police per head of population, we simply don’t have enough cops here.

“The Government might say the crime rates are down, but that just shows what an amazing job police are doing with the limited resources available in a high-growth area.

“How much better would policing be in the community if we had enough cops?”

Mr George agreed.

“Both commands are part of my electorate and for the Government not to acknowledge two of the fastest-growing regions is incredible,” he said.

“The population growth is well and truly documented.

“We also have a serious problem with long-term sick and stress leave that in not being addressed.”

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