President's Message December 2017

NSW GOVERNMENT MUST FUND MORE POLICE

For years, the police officers of NSW have striven to protect the community without the necessary resources, it’s been a continual case of doing more and more with less.

Your Association has called on the government to step up and solve the problem and not only do the right thing by police, but to stop gambling with the safety of the people of NSW.

If police numbers are not significantly increased, it will become impossible to prevent crime and protect the people of NSW from threats of terrorism, domestic violence, child abuse, Ice, and organised crime.

Over the next five years, 2,500 additional officers will be required to prevent us falling into the same shameful crime scourge as Victoria and to remain the premier state. Five hundred of these police must be delivered directly to communities by the end of 2018.

As we have seen in Victoria, there is an epidemic of violence and robbery. Victoria waited until crime spiralled out of control, until they had no choice but to announce an increase to police numbers by 3,100.

The NSW Government must act now to prevent this happening here. The re-engineering of the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) has highlighted a massive shortfall of sworn frontline officers.

Changing management structures alone won’t deliver enough troops to the front line. The NSWPF has over 500 vacant positions in metropolitan police stations alone.

Adding to this mess is years of neglect of country policing. Every rural community deserves adequate policing resources, but this can’t be at the expense of other communities.

If this under-resourcing continues, the people of NSW will be put at risk with even extended response times not being met. This state has the worst police to population ratio in the country, and it is way below comparable police forces internationally.

The NSW economy and budget is the strongest it has been in years, and a failure to invest in safe and secure communities jeopardises all this. The building of mega stadiums, rail lines, roads and emerging suburbs requires more police to keep people and places safe.

It’s time for this government to get police numbers back on track and we will exert maximum pressure on them to secure the necessary budget commitment to ensure this happens.

WE CAN’T RISK A RETURN TO THE VIOLENCE

As the holiday and festive season approaches, police prepare for one of the most difficult times of the year, confronting the impact and result of alcohol-related violence.

The carnage spikes on public holidays as police are left to deal with the consequences of assault not only on victims but often upon themselves.

Alcohol is the common denominator in almost all incidents of domestic violence related assaults and of course, needless road deaths.

There is a concerted push for a further roll back of life saving alcohol laws on top of the government’s decision to   relax the 1.30am lockout and 3am last drinks rules by half an hour for venues with live entertainment; extend bottle shop trading hours; and allow small bars to serve neat spirits after midnight.

The significant reduction we’ve seen in alcohol-related violence and serious injury has been directly attributable to the strong alcohol measures and the effectiveness of the lock out laws.

The findings of the Callinan Review confirmed that the reduction in trading hours has saved lives and reduced assaults on emergency service workers.

Last year Kings Cross saw a 59.2 per cent decrease in assaults between 6pm and 1.30am and a staggering 93.9 per cent decrease between 3am and 6am.

Your Association and our partners in the Last Drink Coalition, representing nurses, paramedics and doctors, will closely monitor developments; especially if there is any escalation in alcohol-related violence or assaults on police because of softening the measures that are proven to work.

It’s essential Sydney’s lock out laws remain and they must be rolled out state-wide to other communities affected by alcohol-fuelled violence.

FESTIVE SEASON

During the festive season, the Association office hours will be as follows:

Monday 25 December Office closed

Tuesday 26 December Office closed

Wednesday 27 December 9am to 4pm

Thursday 28 December 9am to 4pm

Friday 29 December 9am to 4pm

Monday 1 January 2018 Office closed

Friday 26 January 2018 Office closed

The Association will resume normal business hours of 8am to 5pm from Tuesday 2 January 2018.

I wish you and your family a happy and safe Christmas holiday season.

Scott Weber

President

 

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