Fears regional communities will lose local police jobs

The Public Service Association (PSA) holds grave fears many regional areas will be stripped of local police staff under a restructure of NSW Police.

Earlier this week the State government announced sweeping changes to NSW Police.

As part of the changes, the Manning Great Lakes Local Area Command will become a Police District.

But, the government has not been forthcoming with a lot of the detail, according to Newcastle-based Public Service Association (PSA) regional organiser, Paul James.

“We have asked the police and government to provide us with information, but they have not,’ Mr James said.

“We don’t know how this is going to work.

“Locally, we don’t have any information on how it will impact on staff, but we are looking at job losses.”

Mr James said the PSA was concerned about the loss of critical civilian support staff who ensure police are equipped to undertake the full range of duties on behalf of their communities.

He said the loss of support staff would take general duties polices offices away from their work on the beat and back indoors.

Roles along the Mid North Coast which could be impacted included forensics officers, intelligence analysts who track crime patterns and community liaison officers.

NSW PSA general secretary, Stewart Little said as a former uniformed officer, Police Minister Troy Grant was well aware of the vital role played by civilian support staff in day-to day policing in NSW. 

“Job cuts in regional areas mean less money going into the local community, families being forced to move elsewhere, taking their spending money with them and removing their kids from local schools.

“Every job in the bush feeds into six others from the local supermarket to car dealers”.

“Regional NSW has already been hit for six by the NSW Coalition Government with cuts in TAFE and National Parks, the privatisation of disability services and a number of other critical public services.” 

“We call on the National Party in regional NSW to give an undertaking that local police will continue to have the vital administrative support that allows them to fully serve their communities and that no police officer will be forced into an administrative role and taken off front line duties.”

However, local member Stephen Bromhead believed the restructure was positive.

“I am pleased to see the Manning Great Lakes Command will remain as a command structure without the loss of any staff,” Mr Bromhead said.

“I look forward to welcoming more constables with more boots on the ground,” he said.