Bob Axford, Karen Halliday, Ena Scriven and Tweed Shire councillor Reece Byrnes have called for a better police presence in Murwillumbah.
Bob Axford, Karen Halliday, Ena Scriven and Tweed Shire councillor Reece Byrnes have called for a better police presence in Murwillumbah. Scott Powick

Calls for more police reaffirmed

MURWILLUMBAH resident Bob Axford is continuing his push for 24-hour police presence in his town.

While the request is nothing new for Murwillumbah, calls for a stronger police presence were escalated after the stabbing death of Charlie Larter in Knox Park last June.

Mr Axford said while progress with their petition had been "really, really slow", he was still passionate about seeing a change in police presence in Murwillumbah.

"I still think there's a need for it," Mr Axford said.

"I know there are other people who still feel strongly about it. It's just a matter of finding enough people to help."

He encouraged fellow residents to write to Lismore MP Thomas George, whose electorate covers Murwillumbah, to voice their concerns.

The Police Association of NSW has meanwhile been running an online petition for more officers across the Tweed Byron Police District.

The petition can be found on change.org and is titled Increased Police numbers for the Tweed/Byron Community.

A report by the Productivity Commission recently found NSW Police had the lowest spend on policing and the lowest number of officers per person compared to other states and territories.

Shadow Police Minister Guy Zangari accused Police Minister Troy Grant this week of being "unaware or didn't care that money was being stripped away from the NSW Police Force".

"Minister Grant (is) responsible for ensuring the NSW Police Force has the best possible budget," Mr Zangari said.

"In the midst of gun crime plaguing our streets and chronic police officer shortages across the state, half a billion dollars in funding was lost since 2015-16."

A total of $388 per NSW citizen was spent on policing last financial year, a drop from $458 the year before.

But Mr Grant told News Corp the funding reduction came from a drop in compensation claims and said the NSW Police was the "envy of the Western World".



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