Formula backs call for more police

THE Clarence Valley needs at least 20 more police on the beat, according to a formula supported by local Police Association organiser Tony King.

However, the formula has been rejected by NSW Police headquarters.

The document, circulated widely in the media, purports to establish a formula for staffing allocations in a number of regional commands, but it is not an official document.

“This document, its methodology and conclusions, has no standing within the NSW Police Force,” said a spokeswoman for NSW Police.

The document argues that under its police numbers formula, many regional areas are understaffed, while several inner-Sydney area commands are overstaffed.

In the document, the Coffs Harbour and Clarence Valley areas need a police presence of 230 officers, 49 above its current authorised strength of 181.

“It is pretty obvious we need more police here, 20 in the Valley at least, to make a difference,” Mr King said. “Something needs to be done.”

According to the NSW Police spokeswoman, the Police Minister announced 250 additional police positions in December, taking the overall strength of the NSW Police Force to 15,806. Of the 149 field operations positions, 52 additional officers were authorised for the North Region. This represents 34.8 per cent of the field operations allocations, which took effect from January 1. Coffs Clarence Local Area Command received 12 additional officers, clearly indicating the priority that was placed on ensuring appropriate policing resources were deployed to this area, the NSW Police spokeswoman said.

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