Government must come clean on police numbers

06 October 2017

The Liberal National Government is being called upon to come clean about plans to amalgamate Local Area Commands with fears specialised officers will be lost.

The Government’s scheme to "re-engineer" the NSW Police Force is nothing more than an attempt to downgrade, relocate and merge LACs.

It was today announced that the 42 current metropolitan Local Area Commands will be cut to 32 – with hundreds of jobs affected.

There are concerns the scheme would result in the loss of trained officers who specialise in domestic violence response and victim support, youth and community liaisons, licensing and compliance and intelligence.

The Liberals must end the uncertainty so that the police can go back to doing what they do best – protecting our community.

The merger announcement comes as Campbelltown LAC and Macquarie Fields LAC already struggle to operate with an understrength force.

Campbelltown LAC has six fewer staff than it should with an authorised police officer number of 153 but an actual police number 147 (as of 31 July 2017) – not including officers on sick, annual or family leave.

Macquarie Fields LAC also has an understrength force with an authorised police officer number of 142 despite only having 130 actual police officers at the LAC. This also fails to include officers on sick, annual or family leave.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Police Guy Zangari

"Minister Grant needs to provide certainty for frontline officers and their local communities who deserve to know they will be kept safe.

"You’d think the Government would have learned from their failures following the forced Council amalgamation debacle. But here we go again. Minister Grant has been unable to provide any details on which LACs will be shut down as part of this process.

Quotes attributable to Member for Campbelltown Greg Warren

"We need a guarantee that our local police stations have a future in both Campbelltown and Macquarie Fields.

"Our LAC has done an amazing job working with the local community. As our population continues to grow we need to ensure we have more police on the street, not less."

Quotes attributable to Member for Macquarie Fields Anoulack Chanthivong:

"The DNA of this Government is to slash and burn but our residents need to be confident the local police have all the resources they need to do their jobs well.

"New houses are going up on a weekly basis in my electorate, with tens of thousands of people moving into the area in the coming years. The Berejiklian Liberal Government must guarantee police numbers will increase to match this population growth.

"When it comes to basic services, you just can’t trust this Government so I’ll be fighting to make sure we don’t suffer because the Premier and Minister have chosen to prioritise the bottom line over community safety."