Tweed/Byron LAC (Local Area Command) is set to receive 20 additional officers.
The announcement also includes an additional 13 officers for Richmond LAC, and is a result of ‘long and diligent work’ by north coast MPs, says Don Page, minister for the north coast and member for Ballina.
‘After 16 long years, we now have a government and a police minister who are listening to the cold hard facts and acting on them,’ said Mr Page.
‘We have been anxiously awaiting the outcome of the Parsons Review and it has proven what we have been saying – that the north coast area commands are severely under-resourced,’ he said.
‘I especially commend the minister for police, Michael Gallacher, for immediately adopting the recommendation of the report that operational strength of local area commands be raised from a minimum of 80 per cent to a minimum of 90 per cent.
Mr Page said the north coast has a higher than normal rate of officers who are not available for operational duty.
‘The Northern Rivers had more than two million overnight visitors in 2010, which adds a substantial additional burden to policing resources.
‘The north coast has a rapid population growth, a high incidence of mental illness and drug-related crime, and high traffic volumes, including heavy vehicles travelling on the Pacific Highway.
‘I thank the police minister for acting so decisively and quickly on the findings of the review. It will make an enormous difference to the safety of people on the north coast and to our existing police officers, who have been battling for many years under the strain of insufficient police numbers.