The new police station at Tweed Heads is having an open day.
The new police station at Tweed Heads is having an open day. Contributed

Tweed police station now a 'metro command of the Gold Coast'

TWEED Heads police station is now considered a metro command of the Gold Coast after Tweed MP Geoff Provest held crisis talks with the NSW police commissioner over the region's ongoing crime wave.

Mr Provest told the Tweed Daily News a lengthy discussion with commissioner Mick Fuller over the Tweed's crime problem had seen the station classified as a "metro centre".

"The police commissioner himself recognises due to the high workload our police have that it's a metro station rather than a regional one, so we're in line for extra police numbers to coincide with that," Mr Provest said.

"Tweed Heads is now considered a metro command as really it's a southern suburb of the Gold Coast.

"I expect to make an announcement on more police numbers shortly."

 

Northern Region Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell and Tweed/Byron Police District Commander Acting Superintendent Brendon Cullen were joined by Nationals Parliamentary Secretary Ben Franklin, and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest to announce the establishment of the Northern Rivers Region Enforcement Squad.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest. Marc Stapelberg

The announcement comes on top of the ongoing Cops in Crisis campaign started by members of the Tweed Byron Police District, in conjunction with the Tweed Daily News, who have been calling for a minimum of at least 30 additional officers in the command.

Mr Provest said the crime wave was largely due to criminals using the border to escape Queensland Police, forcing NSW cops to "pick up the pieces".

"Unfortunately criminals don't recognise borders, these recent incidents have all been Queensland teenagers trying to escape over the border," he said.

"We have pursuit policies and have to pick up the mess when they come across into NSW."

Mr Provest said claims by State Labor candidate Craig Elliot that "we have less police here in the Tweed today than we did in 2012" were incorrect, and accused Mr Elliot of not being able to "read the publicly available crime statistics".

"Over recent times we've received six new extra general duty positions as well as two additional crime investigation positions, and before that received another five probationary constables and recently announced the Regional Enforcement Squad with five officers on that," Mr Provest said.

 

Tweed/Byron LAC Superintendent Wayne Starling (centre) with new recruits Brittany Griffiths, Cameron McDonald, Cori Pateman, Jared Grzelak and Leon Wood during their first day on the job at Tweed Heads Police Station on Tuesday, December 19.
Tweed Police Superintendent Wayne Starling (centre) with five new police recruits in December. Liana Turner

"As Labor has lied about matters relating to the Tweed Hospital, now they're lying about the crime rate in the Tweed, how can the community expect anything they say to be true?

"Back in 2012 all the police were under one banner, after 2012 we made the highway patrol a second division, so their numbers aren't included which is why (Mr Elliot) is playing with the figures.

"The reality is we have more police on the streets than ever before."

But Mr Elliot said, "you only have to look at what the NSW Police Association said after the most recent budget".

 "The president said the NSW Government failed to adequately invest in police resources," he said.  

"The police do great work but they're struggling and need the people with the budgets to put up."  

Mr Elliot said the State Government had stopped releasing police figures in 2017 and called on Mr Provest to "release that data in the public arena."  

The NSW government aren't backing our police with the resources they need," he said.  

"If Geoff wants to be serious he needs to put that data in the public arena so we can see what's going on."