Police shortfall: Parsons
IT HAS never been a secret that the Northern Rivers suffers from a shortage of police resources and an abnormally high rate of stress leave.
But now the State Government has officially recognised the problem with the full release of the statewide audit into police resources, conducted by former assistant commissioner Peter Parsons.
The long-awaited audit shows that in the Northern Region - from Newcastle to the Queensland border - the Tweed-Byron Local Area Command (LAC) and Richmond LAC occupy the second and third spots for stress leave vacancies, with 15 and 14 empty spots respectively.
Richmond LAC was operating with 32 police officers under strength as of July 31 last year, while Tweed-Byron LAC was 40 officers below its authorised strength.
Tweed-Byron received 20 new police officers in December while Richmond received 13, an unprecedented allocation.
Police Association of NSW Lismore branch vice-chair Dave Eldridge said "It is about time it is acknowledged that the authorised strength does not mean operational strength.
"We are waiting to see what the Department does (with the 12 recommendations."