Police Minister David Elliott (back) and Police Commissioner Mick Fuller (front) announce another 250 police will join the force over the coming weeks. Picture: Toby Zerna
Police Minister David Elliott (back) and Police Commissioner Mick Fuller (front) announce another 250 police will join the force over the coming weeks. Picture: Toby Zerna

Extra police ’couldn’t have come at a better time’

THE Northern Rivers is set to become safer with the announcement of an additional eight police officers.

The new positionings come as part of 250 additional police to be assigned to local stations and specialist commands in NSW over the next 12 months to protect communities and fight crime at a time when many officers are on the frontline in the war against COVID-19.

Both Richmond and Tweed/Byron Districts will recieve four officers each.

Richmond Police District Superintendent Toby Lindsay said the four new officers would be an “extremely fortunate” addition to his team.

“I welcome the addition of the police positions for our district and the community,” supt Lindsay said.

“I’m looking forward to these offices starting during the next financial year.

“They’ll provide more coverage, more ability to respond to community needs and policing our district.”

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the Government’s $583 million investment will see the NSW Police Force’s strength increase by an extra 1500 permanent police positions over four years.

“These extra officers are needed now more than ever, as we see police take on an even bigger role to not only fight crime, but also other threats to community safety such as bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Elliott said.

“Be it facing criminals, natural disasters or a pandemic, our frontline police officers put their lives on the line every day to protect the community.

“They deserve the finest resources NSW has to offer and the NSW Government will stop at nothing to ensure they have whatever they need to get the job done.”

NSW Police Force Commissioner Mick Fuller said the positions had been allocated after extensive consultation with region commanders, commanders and the Police Association of NSW.

“These officers couldn’t have come at a better time,” Mr Fuller said.

“These fully funded positions are being placed in the areas most in need – in police area commands and police districts as well as in specialist commands, such as the Regional Enforcement Squads, the Child internet Exploitation Unit and Cybercrime Squad.

“This increased capacity within our specialist commands, and in areas such as aged crime prevention and child protection, will dramatically improve our ability to respond to emerging crime threats and protect our most vulnerable community members.”

Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis said: “Police on the beat are now performing a critical role in enforcing social distancing and gathering rules which are preventing countless deaths from the coronavirus.”

Coffs/Clarence Police District will see five new officers which includes an aged crime prevention officer and a child protection register officer. Of the four in the Richmond, one is a child protection register officer.

Other highlights include 10 additional police for Child Abuse Squad, 8 additional police for Cybercrime Squad, 8 additional police for the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit and 2 additional police for the Child Exploitation internet Unit.