A SENIOR police figure believes much more needs to be done to strengthen the area’s police numbers.
The claim comes from the Northern Rivers executive member of the Police Association, Tony King, in response to Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams’ report stating 15 new officers have been appointed to the Mid-North Coast.
Mr King said it was far from good enough and went on to say “people of the Hastings rightfully deserved better policing services”.
“The reality is Port Macquarie and surrounds have grown exponentially in the last 10 years and police numbers have only been drip fed,” he said. “The Hastings needs a significant increase in staff to bring it up to parity with the rest of the state. It’s annual growth easily means Port Macquarie needs more police.”
He said the 15 additional officers Mrs Williams said had been appointed recently would have filled existing vacancies and has only boosted the actual total by two.
“The authorised strength of a command is the number of staff that is authorised at a command and I would almost guarantee that has not been increased at Port Macquarie for some time,” Mr King said.
“The authorised number of police for the whole of the Mid-North Coast area is 154, that is simply not enough.”
In response to Mr King’s claims Mrs Williams said: “Of course we wanted more police officers which is why we made a commitment to appointing 550 new police officers over four years to bring the total to 16,356 by June 2014,” she said.