State Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell and general
State Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell and general

Petition for more police in Yamba

YAMBA residents are being asked to support a petition calling for a stronger police presence in Yamba, weeks after a brutal armed hold-up left one man seriously injured.

Copies of the petition were hand-delivered to each business in the Yamba shopping area and in Treelands Drive yesterday by the State Member for Clarence, Steve Cansdell.

The petition, which will be presented to Parliament at the end of the month, calls for 24-hour policing at Yamba as a priority.

“I will keep presenting more signed petitions to Parliament for as long as it takes,” Mr Cansdell said.

The Yamba community is being urged to attend the official launch of the campaign this morning at the Yamba Golf Club, the scene of one of the town’s most brutal armed attacks earlier this month.

The assistant manager of the club remains in hospital with broken bones after four men stormed the club in an armed hold-up attempt on January 4.

The violent incident renewed fears that police presence in the town is not enough to cope with the growing population, especially at peak holiday times.

“I hope that this campaign is the beginning of a larger one to increase police numbers right across the command,” Mr Cansdell said

“The allocation of police numbers is flawed and we are seeing a 20-25 per cent under-allocation to the whole Coffs-Clarence region.

“The whole command is stressed,” he said

Branch official and regional executive member of the Police Association, Tony King, said that a fair and equitable allocation model did not exist in NSW and needed to be formulated to enable flexible policing.

He agreed that all police within the command are stressed.

“I am supporting the branch’s call for an increase both in Yamba and in the whole Coffs-Clarence region,” Mr King said.

Whether or not a petition was likely to be effective in getting that increase, Mr King said that it would soon be impossible for a commissioner to ignore a need for 24-hour policing in the Lower River as it continued to grow.

“If we do nothing, what is the option?” he said.

Chief Inspector Darren Spooner, while unable to comment on police numbers in the command, said there would not be a police commander anywhere that wouldn’t be in favour of increasing police numbers and that he ‘might sign the petition as a private citizen’.

A minimum of six extra police would be needed in the Lower Clarence to enable 24-hour ‘roving’ policing and an extra 12 to keep the Yamba station open 24 hours.

Mr Cansdell said that the response from businesses yesterday was all positive, with not one business refusing to display the petition.

“People that would not usually be interested in petitions were saying yes very readily,” Mr Cansdell said.

“Local people power is needed to deliver a 24-hour police presence in Yamba.”

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