Labor promises $80m to 'beef up' security at police stations

Labor promises $80m to 'beef up' security at police stations

By Lisa Visentin, Canberra Times
6 February 2019 — 2:00pm

The NSW opposition will spend $80 million over the next four years upgrading security at police stations across the state and have promised an extra $12 million funding for a rehabilitation program to assist injured officers if it wins government next month.

Labor leader Michael Daley said the $80 million would be used to "beef up" security to protect police against lone-wolf style attacks and other violent offenders through measures such as extra CCTV cameras, reinforced doors and security glass.

“If police can’t feel safe [and] if citizens can’t feel safe in a police station, where can you feel safe?” Mr Daley said.

There were 1540 incidents of attacks on law enforcement premises in the 12 months to September 2018, an annual increase of more than 20 per cent according to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

Mr Daley, a police minister during the Rees and Keneally governments, made the election commitments at a NSW Police Association forum on Wednesday. He also matched the government’s commitment to expand the state’s police ranks by an extra 1500 officers.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced in Novemberthe government would spend $583 million over four years to hire an extra 1500 police, saying it represented the single biggest increase for the force in more than 30 years.

Mr Daley said he agreed to allocate an extra $12 million to the Workforce Improvement Program after the police association called for more funding for the service as part of its election pitch to the major parties.

“Police officers with psychological injuries shouldn’t have to suffer in silence,” Mr Daley said.

Mr Daley said the $12 million represented a doubling of the program's allocated funding and would enable it to "assist more officers, and provide long term assistance to those officers who need the support”.

According to the association's figures, up to 250 NSW Police will suffer physical injuries every month, while up to 50 officers will suffer a psychological injury each month.

The association had called for Labor and the Coalition to commit $40 million to the program over the next four years.

"The NSW Police Force, through the Workforce Improvement Program, has implemented a large number of successful programs right across the health and wellbeing spectrum," the association stated in its Back the Blue election policy submission to the parties.

"These programs have yielded fantastic results, improving the health of officers, shortening their recovery times, getting them back to work sooner, and reducing injury claim costs."

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