Police renew call for staff



THE Lower River area needs a minimum of four new constables if police are to meet the needs of an ever-growing population base, according to the Police Association (PA).

Last month the PA, the peak union body for New South Wales police officers, initiated its own review of police numbers in the Lower River after its campaign to have a review done by the NSW Police Ministry stalled.

The review found that at least four new roles in the Lower River needed to be created over and above the present level of staff if police were to meet the needs of the public.

A PA spokeswoman said a copy of the review had been sent to the offices of the newlyinstalled NSW Deputy Commissioner Andrew Scipione, but a reply was yet to come.

Tony King, spokesman for the Grafton branch of the PA, said the review's results echoed what police in the Clarence Valley had been saying since the beginning of their campaign.

Det. King said the PA was hopeful of receiving a response from Mr Scipione by early October.

If no reply was forthcoming, then the next course of action would be decided and left in the hands of members of the local branch of the PA.

Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell backed this new call for numbers.

"I fully support our frontline troops," he said.

"They are the blokes in the field and they know exactly what they need.

"If we don't support them, they're going to be stressed out just trying to do a job they can't do without the numbers."

Police in the Clarence Valley have been calling for new positions to be created in the CoffsClarence Local Area Command since January.

Industrial action had previously been slated by the PA as a possibility.

Although 15 new positions were announced for the CoffsClarence Local Area Command in July this year, these were essentially to fill vacancies left by officers away on long-term sick leave.



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