A report supports claims there are not enough police to combat crime in regional areas.
A report supports claims there are not enough police to combat crime in regional areas. Coffs Coast Advocate

NSW police force undermanned

POLITICIANS and police are on the same page when it comes to the Parsons Review into policing in NSW.

Executive member of the Police Association Detective Senior Constable Tony King said the report supports claims of local police and the community there are not enough police to combat crime in regional areas.

Det King said he was happy with the direction it had taken.

"It's pleasing to see that it's recommending delivering more police resources to regional areas," he said.

"But the report is 219 pages long and I've not read it all yet and until we've been able to dissect it, I don't want to be making any final judgements on it."

State Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said anything to put more police on the beat deserved support.

Mr Gulaptis said his electorate had already benefited from an "unprecedented" influx of new constables and anticipated other restructures recommended in the review would free up more police.

He was cautious about commenting on operational changes the review called for.

"The operation changes will be given due consideration by the Police Commissioner and Minister for Police," Mr Gulaptis said.

Mr Gulaptis said the review was also aimed at reducing the level of stress for serving police.

"More police on the beat means police can go to work knowing they have someone they know 'watching their back'," he said.

"Knowing they can go to work, finish their shift and be back at work the next day will remove a significant amount of stress from police officers."

The review is strongly focused on policing in regional areas.

"The organisation in many respects has lost its concept of community service delivery," Mr Parsons stated in the review.

The use of 'eagle phones', like those at Yamba, Iluka and Maclean police stations to contact distant police stations, had led to public disenchantment with local police, the review stated.

It was recommended the role of policing be broken down to a patrol level.

And the model the officer in charge of a police station would "be a resident in the town and be expected to provide a 24 hour service as required. He/she will have ownership responsibility".

A "focus on local police stations to patrol local areas and solve local problems" is the overall objective of the review.



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