New police to hit Clarence Valley
THE Clarence Valley is set to get a Christmas present in the form of 10 new police officers.
Sergeant Greg Peronchick made the announcement in front of members of the Lower Clarence liquor accord.
After Maclean Cellars owner Peter Cox expressed his concerns at the response time of police, Sgt Peronchick said he had been told Grafton would be getting 10 probationary constables before Christmas.
If these officers are allocated it could help address the shortage of officers in the Lower Clarence.
Before he resigned from State Parliament, former parliamentary secretary to the police minister Steve Cansdell said only six of the 14 officers assigned to the Lower Clarence were on active duty.
The other eight are on leave.
Police association Northern Region executive member detective sergeant Tony King confirmed Sgt Peronchick's announcement, saying he found out the police academy graduates would be assigned to Grafton station in mid-September.
He said the association welcomed the allocation of the 10 probationary constables but it was not the cure to police resourcing issues in the Clarence Valley.
"It has to be remembered that these probationary constables will fill existing vacancies over time," he said.
"They are not additional numbers, they are not an additional allocation of strength."
"The cure to the problem is we need an increase to our authorised strength."
Det Sgt King said the increase in authorised strength could come from the Government or the Police Minister.
He said before the probationary constables can go out on the beat they required additional training in the command which takes up to two months.
A police spokesperson said he could not confirm Sgt Peronchick's announcement.
The spokesperson said it was too early to comment on where new recruits would be stationed across the State.