Up to two years to get extra police
IT COULD be as long as two years before Murwillumbah residents see more police allocated to their town, Lismore MP Thomas George said yesterday. Mr George said it was up to the local community to start reporting crime again so that he could collect fresh statistics that would back up the push for more police manpower, including 24-hour policing of the Murwillumbah station. “It might take me 12 months or 18 months to two years,” Mr George said. “It’s not going to happen overnight.” Mr George said the statistics had to first convince Tweed/Byron Area Commander Superintendent Michael Kenny that more police were needed before it could go to Northern Region Commander Lee Shearer and then to the NSW police minister David Campbell. A spokesman for the police minister yesterday confirmed that the state’s senior police would determine where more officers were needed. “Senior NSW police are in the best position to determine how their officers are distributed throughout the various local area commands in the state,” Mr Campbell said. “Senior police have the best understanding of the allocation of police resources.” The minister’s spokesman%also said figures for crime on the Tweed area suggested it had either remained stable or fallen in the past two years. “Murwillumbah falls within the Tweed Local Area Command, where all crime has been either stable or falling over the past two years,” he said. “According to the latest Bureau of Crime data for the Tweed, 11 of the 13 crime categories are stable, while assaults and the crime of stealing from a person have both fallen.” Mr George said the comments from the minister’s office reinforced what he said at Tuesday’s law-and-order meeting. “That’s why my plea is now please start reporting these crimes to police and get an incident number,” he said. At the meeting, Mr George and Supt Kenny encouraged%locals to utilise either the Police Assistance Line on 13 14 44 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.