Deputy Premier responds to police staffing crisis
DEPUTY Premier Andrew Stoner has responded to claims North Coast police commands are dangerously understaffed.
Mr Stoner, the Member for Oxley, said the O'Farrell Government was committed to bolstering frontline services on the beat in the bush.
He said the NSW Police Association's threats of industrial action and claims that community members were at risk as a result were not constructive.
"Police numbers are at record highs, with authorised strength sitting at 16,226," Mr Stoner said.
"The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government has delivered record numbers of police and given our police greater powers, as well as the latest equipment and technology.
Since 2011 the Government had added 420 new officers to the NSW Police Force, many of whom are stationed in regional areas, Mr Stoner said.
"Out of the 297 new police officers allocated to Northern Region LACs since May 2011, 114 have been allocated to commands on the North Coast.
"In contrast to the Government's strong support for police, the Association's claims via the press are not constructive.
"The NSW Police Commissioner determines the allocation of officers based on operational requirements and Assistant Commissioner Jeff Loy is currently reviewing staffing levels in the region to determine the resources required to serve it well into the future."
Mr Stoner said the Northern Region's operational capacity, as of August 23, was 98% and that individual North Coast commands, including the Mid North Coast and Coffs Clarence, were above the 90% target, ranging from 93 to 100% operational strength.