Police Minister 'insults' Yamba
PLEAS from the community for extra police strength in the Lower Clarence appear to have fallen on deaf ears, according to MP for Clarence Steve Cansdell.
After writing to the Minister of Police, Michael Daley in mid-February, outlining the immediate need for extra police in the Coffs-Clarence Local Area Command, along with an additional vehicle, the MP has finally seen a response.
Less than satisfied with the response on behalf of the Minister, Mr Cansdell said he was disgusted that not only had the matter been delegated to Mr Daley’s parliamentary secretary but that the serious circumstances surrounding Yamba’s riot and the Valley’s latest two serious assaults had been played down.
“I am extremely disappointed that an issue as important as this has been delegated to his parliamentary secretary who has no understanding of the issue,” he said.
The letter of response written by Parliamentary Secretary for Police Angela D’Amore stated that the Minister was aware of the ‘alleged stoning of police officers’, the ‘attempted break and enter offence at the Yamba Golf Club’ and the incident involving the ‘destruction of a police car by fire’.
The letter went on to state that since January 31 this year police presence in the Coffs-Clarence Local Area Command was actually over strengthened by five officers.
After collecting more than 5000 signatures petitioning for the extra police numbers, Mr Cansdell said the response was an insult to the community.
“It is a pathetic response,” he said.
“The response is an insult to the whole community and the police.”
In a letter of response to the Minister, Mr Cansdell wrote:
“Minister, your policing figures are total political dribble as you say the Coffs-Clarence Local Area Command is actually five over strength at 186, when in fact 34 police officers are on long-term leave, leaving an actual strength figure of 152.
“...In conclusion, Minister, while your parliamentary secretary may be a nice lady, she is totally out of her depth and extremely ignorant of the serious issues at hand in the Clarence Valley.
“I ask you Minister to personally step in and resolve this unacceptable situation by allocating more real police numbers.”
Mr Cansdell intends to speak with the Minister this week.