Command cops out

Just one new police recruit from the latest bunch of NSW Police graduates has been allocated to the Coffs/Clarence police command.
Just one new police recruit from the latest bunch of NSW Police graduates has been allocated to the Coffs/Clarence police command. Bruce Thomas

JUST one new police recruit from the latest bunch of NSW Police graduates has been allocated to the Coffs/Clarence police command - and there's no guarantee that officer will come to the Valley.

Police Association representative Tony King said the Clarence Valley needed more staff to provide effective policing.

"We got a large allocation last December - which was basically a country allocation - but this is now an allocation for the city," he said.

"What we really need is a proper allocation model implemented by the NSW Police Force so that constables go to areas of greatest need."

Mr King said there was uncertainty over how police allocations were made.

"I don't particularly know (how it's worked out) and I don't know whether NSW Police can tell you how it works," he said.

"We are in a better position, staffing wise, than we were 12 months ago, but what has occurred in recent times is that the number of police allocated to these areas has not grown in line with the boom in the population."

Mr King was asked whether he thought last year's change of government had been a positive in relation to police numbers for the Valley.

"The only thing that has changed is that we got a large increase in probationary constables last December which brought us up to 90% of operational capacity," he said.

"But what really needs to be done is an allocation model based on population workload and other factors so that police go to areas needed.

"I'm sure that should such a formula be adopted, areas such as the Clarence Valley would need a marked increase in police numbers."

Mr King said he was keen to see some of the recommendations from the Parson's Report implemented as soon as possible.

"The State Government commissioned the Parson's Report; there were 22 recommendations from that report," he said.

"One of those recommendations was that we develop an allocation model; one where police in the sectors be allowed to police their sectors. We need action - not more reports."

Mr King said the report was sent to the police commissioner who is expected to release his findings on the report later this month.

In a statement to The Examiner, Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said the eight police allocated to the Clarence Valley in December was the highest the area had ever received.

"This ensured the operational strength of the LAC (local area command) was at 90% or better as was recommended in the Parson's Review," Mr Gulaptis said.

"Of the 500 recruits that graduated in December 2011, some 300 probationary constables were allocated to LAC's outside the Sydney region.

"The allocation in December had a strong focus on delivering more police to regional LACs because they had long been neglected by the previous Sydney-centric Labor Government."

Topics:  coffs clarence local area command police

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