Top cop’s policing predictions as we head into 2021
In the five months since Richmond Police District Superintendent Scott Tanner came into the top job, he's seen the effects of the pandemic, bushfires and floods on the community.
But Supt Tanner, who took up the reins in August, believes the people of the Northern River have been outstanding in the face of ongoing adversity.
And he's determined to do all he can to support his officers do their job to care and protect the community.
Supt Tanner said while he believes COVID-19 will still be a significant factor, ensuring those impacted by domestic violence and continuing to ensure the number of crimes committed in the region continue to fall are also on his officer's radar.
"For policing in 2021, I feel this will be the year of consolidation," Supt Tanner said.
"The NSW Police Commissioner said we have made so many gains and achieved so much goodwill this year, that it is all about consolidating our standing and reputation in the community and ensure we maintain our reductions in crime."
Supt Tanner although he understands people have gone through a tough year, it is vital everyone keep fighting the good fight against the pandemic.
"I really do believe we need to maintain a strong focus of social distancing, good hygiene and limiting our travel, we have given up so much in 2020 we don't want to be going backwards now," he said.
"I know everyone is COVID-19 fatigued and wondering when it will end, but the first of January 2021 will not be any different to December 31, 2020.
"Everyone is holding out for the vaccine and it's coming but we cannot rely on it as the only silver bullet."
He said when the pandemic saw the closure of hotels, pubs and restaurants, this meant he was able to divert resources from covering core duties such as alcohol-fuelled violence towards apprehended violence order, bail and COVID-19 checks.
And the fact he's the senior cop does not preclude him from doing the hard yards.
"Yesterday I did two COVID-19 checks on people from Sydney's Northern Beaches who had exemptions and were self-isolating," he said.
"And domestic violence is a strong focus.
"I will never stop having my police tasked to this and know its importance.
"We understand that perhaps with everything else going on at the moment perhaps it does not have the community awareness it should, so we ask everyone to be a good neighbour, a good friend and if you see something speak up to us."