More police officers on the beat for Maclean, Yamba
EXTRA police officers for Yamba and Maclean are part of the 2015 allocation of police numbers in the Coffs Clarence Area Command.
Local area commander Superintendant Mark Holohan said although his command received just two of last week's intake of 131 probationary constables, an extra 10 police allocated in May, was a significant increase for the area. Supt Holohan said it had taken time for the new police to filter into the system, but the new faces should be visible on the beat now.
"The two new probationers start (today), one in Coffs and the other in Grafton," he said.
"Of the 10 officers we gained in May six have come to Coffs, two are in Grafton and there is one each at Yamba and Maclean."
Supt Holohan said police numbers in the region had been heading in the right direction for the past two years.
"The numbers have gone from 178 in 2013 to 193 at the moment," he said.
He said figures that showed Coffs Clarence numbers were down by 18 compared to 2009 was most likely due to the transfer of around 20-25 highway patrol officers to a specialised command in 2011.
The NSW Police Association agreed with this analysis.
Local representative Brett Henderson-Smith said police numbers were on the right track, although the association said there was still a disparity between resourcing for metropolitan commands and regional commands.
"The command numbers dropped when the 21 highway patrol officers came under their own command. But since then the numbers of general duty police have been increasing."
The two new probationary constables in the local command are part of just six for the Northern Command between Newcastle and the Queensland border.
But Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said overall numbers have surged.
"We had 90 extra police come to the command in March around the time of the election," he said.
"I think the operating percentage of the Northern Command is around 90% which is the best it's been for years."