Wanted: more police for the North Coast

THIS week the NSW Police Association will meet in Newcastle to discuss officer numbers on the North Coast.

Hundreds of police between Port Macquarie and the Queensland border have passed a motion that calls on the State Government to immediately address officer numbers at the Coffs/Clarence, Richmond and Tweed/Byron commands.

Since the O'Farrell Government came into power two years ago, more than 500 new police have been sent to the frontline. Not enough of these have reached the North Coast according to the union, where a growing population and an increase in crime is crippling regional stations.

Union officials are staying tight-lipped ahead of this week's meeting that could lead to officers taking historic industrial action. Last week North Coast MPs Chris Gulaptis and Andrew Fraser threw their support behind the call to bolster forces in the state's north.

The Daily Examiner today launches a campaign in support of that call.

We ask how many hours our local police are racking up in overtime to the potential detriment of their performance.

We ask how many Valley stations are not staffed 24 hours a day.

We praise our local member Chris Gulaptis for raising the issue in parliament, but we implore our North Coast National Party MPs to steer clear of political point scoring against former governments and focus on putting some serious pressure on their party leader.

It's time for Andrew Stoner to reunify his party, do the right thing by the North Coast and use what clout he has to influence the allocation of funds and numbers of police.



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