Enforcement Squad to up ante on drug and gun-related crime
A NEW specially-trained police unit, tasked with disrupting drug supply and targeting gun crime, will soon be on its way to the Northern Rivers after the State Government announced the addition of four new regional crime squads.
The Tweed/Byron Police District will be home to the unit, dubbed the Northern Rivers Region Enforcement Squad (RES).
Northern Region Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell said the Northern Rivers RES was an "additional resource that will allow officers to focus on proactive policing rather than reactive policing”.
"These positions will boost the ability of frontline police in targeting and disrupting crimes that affect the community,” said Assistant Commissioner Mitchell.
Tweed/Byron Police District Commander and Acting Superintendent Brendon Cullen said the Northern Rivers RES was an extremely welcome resource for the local community.
"This unit will not only increase our police presence in the region, but also increase the ability of police to focus on crime which most affects the everyday lives of residents and businesses,” Acting Supt Cullen said.
But according to Tweed State Labor candidate Craig Elliot, the State Government is now attempting to retroactively band-aid cuts it has inflicted on the local force.
"This is an alarming admission that the cuts to local police numbers under Geoff Provest and the Nationals have resulted in rising rates of serious crime across our region,” said Mr Elliot.
"The latest official data confirms there were 198 police in the Tweed Byron Police District in February 2012, but by September 2017 there were only 165. That is a cut of 33 frontline officers.”