Cansdell launches police petition

CLARENCE MP Steve Cansdell has launched a petition urging the Iemma Government to increase police numbers in the Clarence and Richmond valleys.

The petition coincides with the NSW Nationals' introduction of a bill into State Parliament to tighten the Young Offenders Act.

"This is part of a state-wide campaign by the NSW Nationals to have more police resources allocated to country communities and easing restrictions placed on police officers when dealing with young offenders," Mr Cansdell said.

The bill will allow only one warning and one caution to be given to a young offender and require parents to be notified when a young offender is warned.

"These measures are not extreme, they are sensible," Mr Cansdell said.

"We do have a serious law and order problem on the Northern Rivers which must be tackled on several fronts including more police, stronger police powers, greater protection for officers against assault, and a shift in responsibility for criminal behaviour back to offenders.

"We have had some wins in the Clarence with four new probationary constables and the appointment of a Duty Officer for Grafton, the excellent Chief Inspector Darren Spooner, but we need to do more."

Mr Cansdell said he had written to NSW Police Minister Carl Scully in March seeking an extra eight officers for the Clarence and a new police station for Yamba.

The Minister responded with a promise to rebuild Yamba Station by September this year, but he made no commitment to giving us extra police officers, Mr Cansdell said.

Concerned residents can sign the police petition at Mr Cansdell's office at 11 Prince Street, Grafton.

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