Tweed region facing police 'staffing crisis'
TWEED police say the current staffing levels are at a crisis point and they can't wait four years for the promised 1500 new recruits to hit the beat across the state.
The NSW Government announced on Wednesday it would spend $583 million adding 1500 officers into the police force over the next four years, the biggest injection in three decades.
But Tweed Byron Police Association representative Darren McCaughey said the district needed staff now.
"The announcement of the additional 1500 police comes after a lot of hard work by the Police Association of NSW,” Mr McCaughey said.
"We wait to see how these additional police are allocated throughout the state. Just as importantly, we wait for information on the timeframes for the additional staff to hit the coal face of our commands.
"There are places across the state that are in a staffing crisis, such as our Tweed Byron Police District.
"We need a significant number of additional police and we need them now.”
A spokesman for the NSW Police Force said current resource levels were being assessed to allocate the officers over the next four years.
"Further breakdowns of police numbers will be provided in the future,” the spokesman said.
Tweed MP Geoff Provest said Tweed and Byron Local Area Command would get more officers but it wasn't a political decision.
"The Police Commissioner is in discussion with the regional commanders and we will know in the coming weeks,” he said.
"It is a decision the commissioner and regional commanders make in line with needs.
"What is concerning is the downgrading of the police force across the border in Queensland.
"In the past we have had to clean up some of their mess.”
Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said Mr Provest's comments were "laughable”.
"There are 170 police in the Tweed and Byron police district,” he said.
"There are more than 1000 police on the Gold Coast.”
"There are fewer police in the Tweed area than there were five years ago.”