Coffs-Clarence Police Commander Mark Holahan, Senior Constables Greg Hembrow, Adam Robinson, Jane Morgan, Matt Hinton, Matthew Gosper, Sergeant Darren Williams and Acting Sergeant Sid Hill with the NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens at the Yamba Police Station.
Coffs-Clarence Police Commander Mark Holahan, Senior Constables Greg Hembrow, Adam Robinson, Jane Morgan, Matt Hinton, Matthew Gosper, Sergeant Darren Williams and Acting Sergeant Sid Hill with the NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens at the Yamba Police Station.

Yamba is far from under siege

THE perception that Yamba is a town that needs to be heavily policed is not meeting the reality, according to NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens.

He believes police resources in NSW are equitably distributed and the Clarence Valley is adequately staffed.

The Deputy Commissioner was at Yamba Police Station yesterday as part of his three-day tour of the Northern region, meeting with officers and commanders to ‘recognise achievements and identify issues across the region’.

“I don’t think Yamba needs to be heavily policed,” he said.

“There are small groups of people making others feel unsafe,” Deputy Commissioner Owens said, referring to the Yamba riot of February 14.

“I fully commend the command for their actions; they did a tactical withdrawal as they’re trained to do,” he said.

He said the allocation of police resources should be intelligence-based to prevent crimes happening and that more staff was not necessarily the answer.

“Different times need different responses and that doesn’t necessarily equate to 24-hour policing,” he said.

He conceded that it may be applicable at certain times that Yamba needs 24-hour policing.

He said that an influx of people (in holiday periods) meant that there was an influx of police staff in tourist areas.

“The northern strip (from Tweed) is starting to boom,” he said

“But so are areas in south-east Sydney and we have to work out where the growth areas are.

“At the moment I’m happy with the staffing in the Clarence Valley but I’m always happy to review,” he said.

In response to Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell’s promise that a Coalition win at next year’s election would bring more police on duty in the Lower Clarence, Deputy Commissioner Owens said he would never say no to more police on duty.



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