The Richmond and Tweed-Byron local area commands will each get nine new police officers the state government announced yesterday.
And the numbers going into other LACs in the north of the state will be even higher: with the big winner being the Coffs Clarence command, which will receive 15.
Overall, the government claims there will be 90 officers assigned to the north coast.
But the opposition has slammed the number, saying the calculations included the Hunter and even as far south as the central coast.
Member for Tweed Geoff Provest acknowledged the community had been ‘crying out for more police along the north coast’, adding it was ‘terrific to see the NSW Government deliver on its commitment.’
‘Our police do a terrific job and this is a great investment for the local community,’ recently re-elected Lismore MP Thomas George said.
But shadow minister for the north coast Walt Secord has pooh-poohed the 90 officer announcement, saying, ‘No one can honestly believe that the central coast is the north coast.
‘This is absolutely ridiculous. Thomas George and Tweed MP Geoff Provest must start telling the truth on police,’ he added.
Dwindling police numbers in the region was a contentious issue during the recent election campaign, with Tweed ALP candidate Ron Goodman blasting the government over its record.
Mr Goodman said the latest November official figures showed the Tweed-Byron Local Area Command’s actual strength was 162 officers plus 17 highway patrol officers, making a total of 179 .
‘This is two further officers lost off the local police rosters in the past reporting month and shamefully 19 fewer than were present in February 2012,’ Mr Goodman said.
At the time Mr Provest argued that the numbers quoted more reflected the number of police on various forms of leave than the actual police cohort of the two LACs.