Williams hits back on policing numbers

CLAIMS by Rob Oakeshott that State MP, Leslie Williams, is not doing enough to address crime in our area have been refuted by the State MP.

"Firstly since the Liberals and Nationals came into Government, 15 new police officers have been appointed to our area which equates to around one new officer every six weeks. The Minister for Police, Mike Gallacher has also visited the electorate and met with police in Port Macquarie and Laurieton," she said.

"Secondly, I share the Member for Lyne's concerns about local crime rates, but rather than issuing a media release attacking other parliamentarians on the matter, I actually went on patrol last Friday night for six hours with local police officers in Port Macquarie to see the issues first hand.

"I can tell you that our police are working extremely hard solving crime and I am pleased to say they are getting good results.

"In the past three months they have arrested 31 people who have committed around 50 offences involving break and enter, break enter and steal, as well as being charged with being armed with intent. While we have seen an increase in offences, to the credit of our local police we have seen an increase in arrests.

"Even on Friday night while I was with them, officers went to a house at Flynn's Beach to issue another arrest warrant.

"Local police are committed to catching these criminals and have established two strike forces, one dealing with aggravated break and enters and another working on robbery offences.

"There are also additional officers from Sydney working on these cases. So to say that not enough is being done is simply not true. As this is a state matter, I encourage Mr Oakeshott to pick up the phone and call me as the State Member if he has genuine concerns, or if he can't bring himself to do that give the Local Area Commander a call who I have always found to be very efficient and effective in providing current information on policing issues for my local area.

"Either course of action would at least ensure the local Federal Member gets his facts right," Mrs Williams said.

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