Tweed short 32 police officers
A LEAKED NSW Police report reveals regional commands are operating with almost 70 less police officers than they need.
The intelligence report suggests the Richmond and Tweed-Byron Local Area Commands (LAC) are in dire need of more police officers to help ease the heavy and stressful workload on officers.
The report, compiled by an in-house intelligence officer, suggests the Richmond LAC should have an additional 36 officers and Tweed-Byron should have another 32.
The report suggests Northern Rivers officers were dealing with almost twice the number of incidents as their metropolitan counterparts.
Incidents per officer in the Tweed-Byron Command stands at 1128 and 1120 for Richmond LAC.
That compares to Manly LAC, in Sydney, which has 588 incidents per officer. The report suggests that region could do with 42 less officers.
The situation in the Northern Rivers was worsened by the absence of police officers because of sick or stress leave and restricted duties.
A spokesman for NSW Police Director of Corporate Services, acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Jenkins, said the Richmond LAC was two above authorised strength and Tweed-Byron was four above authorised strength.
“The police force's allocation of officers is based on internal data, taking into account a range of factors, including current and projected crime rates, crime trends, future growth areas, issues specific to each local area command and advice from the NSW Police Association,” the spokesman said.
“Where injury or illness issues are impacting on local area commands, the police force has the option of drawing resources from within or outside of that region to boost operational requirements.”
But NSW Police Association Tweed Heads Branch chairman Andrew Eppelstun believes the Tweed-Byron authorised strength was grossly out of date and needed to be revisited.
“There has to be a functional allocation model in place to work out what the commands should have.”
He said the heavy workloads impacted on the morale of police and posed risk to health and safety.