NSW govt releases review for police
POLICE who are away on extended stress leave or sick leave will no longer be counted in a police station's "official" numbers, NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher has announced.
The announcement came with the release by the government today of 22 recommendations from former Assistant Commissioner Peter Parsons, who has been reviewing issues such as police working conditions and resources for several months.
The review has become a touchstone of government MPs responding to calls for increased police resources, including on the Northern Rivers where there have been loud calls for more police from across the region, particularly Casino where residents want a 24-hour police presence.
It has been anticipated the report from the review would spell out the need for more police on the Northern Rivers, although the recommendations released today stop short of recommending particular resource requirements for particular local area commands.
The recommendations focus on issues such as the gap between a command's authorized strength and its operational strength; the need to repair run-down stations and other facilities, such as Ballina Police Station; improvements in training for senior officers; and pulling back resources from areas such as prisoner transport and juvenile escorts.
The former, Mr Parsons recommends be handed to Corrective Services or privatised and the latter be handed to the Juvenile Justice Department, which had agreed to take over escort duties back in 2008.
The full list of recommendations is below:
Recommendation One- That the New South Wales Police Force in consultation with industry experts, formulates a workforce allocation model which addresses all areas of the organisation
Recommendation Two- That any workforce allocation model developed by the New South Wales Police Force takes into account authorised strength, equivalent full time and operational availability as a percentage of authorised strength (minimum of 90% operational) and ensures greater flexibility in deployment options.
Recommendation Three- To ensure a transparent measurement of the Operational readiness of the NSW Police Force, comprehensive monthly Human Resource returns from each command unit be mandatory. These returns be similarly as detailed and comprehensive as the model recently discontinued.
Recommendation Four- That training of Commanders and other relevant officers be significantly increased as a matter of urgency in respect of understanding the Award; Other Industrial Agreements; the Police Act; Industrial Relations; and, Dispute Resolution.
Recommendation Five- That an urgent review be conducted of the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 Police Properties Divestment Plans in light of the reform/restructure being proposed in this Audit report.
Recommendation Six- That the New South Wales Police Force suspend the proposed 'Regional Services Delivery' model in light of any recommendations of this report as to any reform or restructure.
Recommendation Seven- That the New South Wales Police Force develop a program to review and, if appropriate, implement the recommendations of the 'Specialist Operations Command Delivery Review 2009'.
Recommendation Eight- That the ADPP Class attesting from the New South Wales Police Force College in November 2011 be allocated to each Local Area Command throughout the State on the basis of bringing them up to a minimum operational level of 90% of its authorised strength.
Recommendation Nine- Any action proposed for the introduction of the 'Frontline Enhancement Strategy - Local Area Command Amalgamations (McKechnie Report)' be suspended pending the decision to implement the 'District and Patrol' and 'State Commander' models.
Recommendation Ten- That the Local Area Command structural model be replaced by the 'District and Patrol' model as devised by Superintendent Stuart Smith and comprehensively detailed in the Parsons Report.
Recommendation Eleven- That the 'State Commander' model as detailed comprehensively in the Parsons Report be implemented in its entirety.
Recommendation Twelve- On approval given for the implementation of the 'District and Patrol' and 'State Commander' models, that the attached Gantt milestone chart be immediately implemented to drive the reform process.
Recommendation Thirteen- The State Commander position be filled in the first instance, followed by the appointment of a senior serving New South Wales police officer to perform the role of 'change agent' in the reform process.
Recommendation Fourteen- An oversight committee consisting of the Commissioner of Police, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services (or his representative); two respected members of the community (one regional, one metropolitan) and the author of this report appointed by the Minister for Police and Emergency Services.
Recommendation Fifteen- That a strategic team from within the New South Wales Police Force representative of officers drawn from across the organisation, review the property issues and make recommendations to the Principal.
Recommendation Sixteen- That Minor and Urgent works be delegated to police at the local level (LAC or equivalent) to engage local qualified contractors to complete this work, and that funding be made available at that local level for this to occur.
Recommendation Seventeen- That Police premises be bought up to an acceptable standard as a matter of urgency and that funding be made available for this to occur.
Recommendation Eighteen- That the New South Wales Police Force establishes a Police Housing Authority similar in operation to the Teacher's Housing Authority.
Recommendation Nineteen- That the Department of Juvenile Justice immediately take responsibility for all juvenile escorts as is their primary role and, agreed to by the Memorandum of Understanding struck in 2008.
Recommendation Twenty- That adult prisoner escort duties to and from Court be removed as a duty of the New South Wales Police Force and be taken over completely either by the Department of Corrective Services, or be subject to privatisation.
Recommendation Twenty One- That the New South Wales Police Force consider expanding the numbers and roles of Recognised Law Enforcement Officers (RLEO's) to better assist frontline officers.
Recommendation Twenty Two- That the New South Wales Police Force work to develop one proposal for the further use of web based technology to improve customer consultation and victim service.