Labor pledges more police on North Coast
POLICE numbers on the NSW north coast will rise by 124 if Labor wins next month's state election.
Shadow Police Minister Guy Zangari was in Tweed Heads on Friday morning to announce Labor's pledge for 1500 more officers across the state, including 31 in the Tweed-Byron district.
The police districts of Richmond and Coffs Harbour-Clarence will be bolstered by 57 and 36 new officers respectively.
Mr Zangari said the north coast is in need of more officers as the population in the region continues to swell.
"It is a growing area, there are people coming in at a rapid rate,” Mr Zangari said.
"It's a great area to visit as well but what we do know if that there are challenges north of the border when the undesirable lot come here and try to craft their evil ways in our state.
"We need to make sure that the police who are here are protecting the community and are working hard to eliminate that rough element.”
Extra funding for mental health and police station security are also part of Labor's election promise.
An extra $12million will be added on to the funding of the Workforce Improvement Program which targets police mental health while an $80million commitment will be made for the upgrading the security are stations.
Mr Zangari said this funding would provide the necessary support that is needed for NSW police officers to be able to do their work.
"Despite the tremendous benefits of the Workforce Improvement Program which provides terrific support to injured police officers, the need for more funding has been identified and ignored for several years,” he said.
"A Daley Labor Government will double the funding to the Workforce Improvement Program to ensure injured police officers receive the support they need.”
Labor candidate for Tweed, Craig Elliot, said he believed this was the most signifcant police announcement in many years.
"As a former police officer, I have seen first-hand the pressure our police in Tweed are under,” he said.
"Our police do great work but it is a fact that under Geoff Provest and the Nationals, Tweed has less police today than we had in 2012.
"The local police association has publicly identified that they are 31 officers short and I'm pleased that Labor will deliver the police numbers needed to keep Tweed streets and suburbs safe.”
Country candidate for Lismore, Janelle Saffin, said Friday's announcement would be a benefit to the wider community.
"The Lismore community is crying out for more police on the beat - it's no secret the north coast has a major ice problem,” she said
"This welcome boost will help our exemplary local police force deal with crime and keep our community safe.”