Riot squad police on patrol at night cut by more than two-thirds

Mark Morri

NSW Police has slashed the number of specially trained elite cops who have access to long-arm rifles patrolling the city at night.

Until two weeks ago there were between 21 and 28 Public Order and Riot Squad officers rostered on between 6pm and 1am from Sunday through to Thursday, but that number has been reduced to just seven.

Even on weekends the numbers have not been bolstered, with the shift hours for the seven officers extended to 4am.

Sources within the squad said the roster change would result in a dramatic saving in penalty rates being paid to members, but would expose the community and other police.

“We have only just received complaints about the changes, which we feel compromise the safety of the general public and our numbers, and are investigating them and will ask the police executive for an explanation,’’ Police Association of NSW president Tony King said.

NSW Police confirmed there had been changes to shifts, saying they were implemented for operational reasons.

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