PO­LICE FORCE FALLS SHORT

OP­PO­SI­TION AT­TACKS FIG­URES

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Ali­son Bald­ing

THE State Govern­ment has de­fended its po­lice num­bers with al­most all sta­tions, in­clud­ing Mt Druitt, op­er­at­ing below ca­pac­ity.

Mt Druitt state La­bor MP Ed­mond Atalla joined Op­po­si­tion po­lice and jus­tice spokes­woman Jodi McKay in point­ing to a “con­cern­ing” trend across NSW.

Both crit­i­cised the fact that al­most half of the state’s LACs were op­er­at­ing at just 90 per cent of their op­er­a­tional ca­pac­ity.

THE State Govern­ment has de­fended its po­lice num­bers with al­most all sta­tions, in­clud­ing Mt Druitt, op­er­at­ing below ca­pac­ity.

Mt Druitt state La­bor MP Ed­mond Atalla joined Op­po­si­tion po­lice and jus­tice spokes­woman Jodi McKay and Lon­don­derry state La­bor MP Prue Carr in slam­ming the 15-of­fi­cer short­fall at Mt Druitt po­lice sta­tion, which is cur­rently at around 90 per cent ca­pac­ity with 156 of­fi­cers avail­able for polic­ing du­ties.

But a spokes­woman for Deputy Premier and Po­lice Min­is­ter Troy Grant said “po­lice num­bers are at record highs”.

“Mt Druitt’s op­er­a­tional ca­pac­ity is at 90 per cent, which is the Govern­ment’s tar­get,” the spokes­woman said.

Mr Atalla said the Govern­ment needed to do more for the safety of the com­mu­nity.

“The Govern­ment has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure there is a strong and con­sis­tent po­lice pres­ence to make sure the com­mu­nity feels safe, and would-be of­fend­ers think twice be­fore com­mit­ting a crime,” Mr Atalla said.

“Yet Mt Druitt sta­tion is op­er­at­ing at more than 15 staff below its full ca­pac­ity – this is just not good enough.”

Mr Grant’s spokes­woman said au­tho­rised strength was cur­rently 16,679 po­lice of­fi­cers across the state.

“This in­cludes 100 ad­di­tional po­si­tions which came on­line at the be­gin­ning of Au­gust 2015 and eight spe­cial­ist counter-ter­ror­ism and six do­mes­tic vi­o­lence po­si­tions which came on­line at the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber 2015,” she said.

“The Govern­ment’s com­mit­ment is to boost the au­tho­rised strength of the NSW Po­lice Force to 16,795 over this term of Govern­ment.

“Op­er­a­tional ca­pac­ity across the force was at 92 per cent as at Au­gust 21, 2015.”

The spokes­woman said Mt Druitt re­ceived three pro­ba­tion­ary con­sta­bles in De­cem­ber’s at­tes­ta­tion.

“The Com­mis­sioner, ap­pro­pri­ately, de­ter­mines the al­lo­ca­tion of of­fi­cers based on op­er­a­tional re­quire­ments,” she said.

Ms McKay said the Mt Druitt lo­cal area com­mand was fol­low­ing a “con­cern­ing” trend seen across NSW, with al­most half of the LACs op­er­at­ing at just 90 per cent of their op­er­a­tional ca­pac­ity.

“Res­i­dents in Mt Druitt de­serve to feel safe,” Ms McKay said

As­sis­tant Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Car­lene York said po­lice num­bers at Mt Druitt were con­sis­tent with the rest of the state.

“Po­lice num­bers change from month to month as the re­sult of the re­cruit­ment of new po­lice of­fi­cers as well as res­ig­na­tions and re­tire­ments,” Ms York said.

She said op­er­a­tional ca­pac­ity showed the num­ber of full­time equiv­a­lent po­lice of­fi­cers avail­able for polic­ing du­ties in com­mands across NSW Po­lice Force.

“Of­fi­cers un­avail­able for polic­ing du­ties due to longterm sick leave; ex­tended leave; ma­ter­nity leave; leave with­out pay; sus­pen­sion; or se­cond­ments to ex­ter­nal agen­cies are ex­cluded from op­er­a­tional ca­pac­ity cal­cu­la­tions,” Ms York said.

Mt Druitt sta­tion is op­er­at­ing at more than 15 staff below its full ca­pac­ity – EDMONDATALLA

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