Restructure but police numbers same
THE NSW Police Association has refuted claims by Member for Richmond Justine Elliot that the number of officers in the Tweed-Byron Local Area Command had dropped by 34 in 12 months.
Police Association northern region executive member Detective Sergeant Tony King said a restructure by the NSW police force had created the impression the number of operational officers had dropped.
"They created the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.
"Highway patrol officers are still stationed in their Local Area Command but the staff come under that different command," he said. "It's just a play on figures and we still see the same highway patrol officers at the station."
But Det Sgt King said a boost in police numbers in the Northern Rivers was still needed.
"It has been identified right across this region that a significant increase in numbers is required, with Byron Bay being a classic example," he said.
A spokeswoman for Police Minister Mike Gallacher confirmed his statement.
"The reduction in authorised strength from 171 in February last year to 154 this year in the Tweed-Byron Command is due to the reallocation of 17 officers to the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command," she said.
"As of December 2012, the operational strength at Tweed-Byron was 98%, well above the government's target of 90%."
"This government is committed to increasing police numbers right across NSW."