Thursday, 26 October 2017
NSW Government must fund more police - NSW Police needs 2,500 Officers
The Police Association of NSW (PANSW) today called on the Government to stop gambling with the safety of the people of NSW. For years, the police officers of NSW have strived to do more to service and protect the community without the necessary resources.
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.
Police Association President, Scott Weber, said, "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.
"In Victoria, there is an epidemic of violence and robbery. The community feels unsafe going about their day to day lives. Victoria waited until crime spiralled out of control, until they had no choice but to announce an increase to police numbers by 3,100.
"NSW 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.
"Mr Weber said, "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 way below comparable police forces internationally."
The NSWPF has been very successful responding to serious crime trends by creating specific units such as Strike Force Raptor, the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad and the Police Transport Command. Enormous resources have been required to protect the State from terrorism. But the Government never increased police numbers to staff these units - they were formed by taking police officers away from local communities.
Police at Camden, St Marys, Mt Druitt, Penrith, Hunter Valley, Dubbo, Tamworth, Central Coast, Tweed and others can no longer provide the service and protection the community needs. More police are required to address child protection, domestic violence and high visibility anti-terrorism teams.
"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. The Government can no longer gamble with the safety of the people of NSW."
PRESS CONFERENCE: 1.00pm TODAY
Parkroyal Parramatta, 30 Phillip Street
Media contact Alison McLaughlin: 0414 918 470