Greens candidate Andrea Vickers and Labor’s Reece Byrnes sign Unions NSW’s declaration of support.
Greens candidate Andrea Vickers and Labor’s Reece Byrnes sign Unions NSW’s declaration of support. Blainey Woodham

United front for extra police

MORE officers, extra resources and a new police station are needed to keep Tweed’s streets safe.

And Tweed’s candidates for the March 26 state election say they will fight for just that.

Police Association Tweed Heads Branch official Troy Hamilton said the union had been fighting for more than two years for an increase in police numbers in the Tweed and Byron shires.

“As well as more officers we desperately need a general duties dog – we’re constantly having to ask Queensland to borrow theirs,” Mr Hamilton said.

“We are in drastic need of a correctional services branch in Tweed Heads because police are being tied up in transferring prisoners to Grafton.”

Mr Hamilton said they also needed a new police station and an upgrade to the existing facilities.

“It was a government promise that the new station would be built before the next election and it hasn’t been done.”

Sitting National Party MP Geoff Provest said he had campaigned for an increase in police numbers and resources for four years and would continue to do so if re-elected.

“We’ve had modest increases, but I still think we’re short,” Mr Provest said.

He named a boat for offshore work, another mobile police van and a second police dog as necessary resources.

“We eventually got a drug dog, but I want a general duties dog as well.

“We also need to establish a suitable site for the new police station.”

Greens candidate Andrea Vickers said she would also campaign for more police to combat the area’s crime problems.

“We need more police and we need more visibility,” Ms Vickers said.

“There is definitely a youth crime and misbehaviour problem, however we need to look beyond simply talking about policing and explore some of the deeper societal issues.”

Labor candidate Reece Byrnes said he was aware of the crime in the area.

“Tweed does have a youth gang problem,” Mr Byrnes said.

“People have raised with me that they want to see more police, which I’m in total agreement with.

“I think the issues extend to more than numbers and we need to support the police on sick leave.

“If we get more police we’re going to need more police stations ... and maintain the ones we’ve already got.”

Ms Vickers and Mr Byrnes met in Tweed Heads yesterday to show their support for the

Unions NSW’s Better State 5 Point Plan.

Mr Provest said he did not sign the Union NSW’s plan because “the Coalition’s five-point plan is far better,” he said.

Christian Democrat candidate Corinne Pennay could not be contacted yesterday.

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