A specially trained unit tasked with ‘disrupting and preventing drug supply’ will be rolled out across the North Coast, NSW Police announced today.
Deputy commissioner in charge of regional field operations, Gary Worboys, joined Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser (Nationals) to announce the establishment of the Region Enforcement Squad at Coffs Harbour police station this morning.
Commissioner Mick Fuller said the Region Enforcement Squad (RES) ‘will have an impact on mid-level crime such as ice dealers, in regional areas’.
‘It’s long overdue [that] the country has the same resources as its city neighbours,’ Commissioner Fuller said.
‘As the commissioner I’ve spoken since day one about the need to have a flexible workforce. This is re-engineering in action and a major boost for regional NSW.
‘Region enforcement squads are about targeting the criminals that are driving crime in rural areas. The officers will be equipped with cover assets worth tens of thousands of dollars and trained to work on targets across towns and borders.’
According to police the highly trained unit will target, investigate, disrupt and prevent mid-level crimes such as drug dealing, property crime and firearm offences.
Deputy Commissioner Worboys said, ‘this is another resource available to tackle the scourge of the drug ice in regional communities.’
‘Officers work diligently across the state to put the communities they serve first and this additional resource will help them prevent and disrupt those crimes that are having an impact on the everyday lives of residents and businesses,’ Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.
‘RES units can be deployed across NSW to tackle crimes like mid-level drug supply such as the drug ice which is having devastating impacts on communities across the state.
‘This added resource will take the pressure off frontline officers and allow them to focus on other areas of crime.’
Police Minister Troy Grant said Commissioner Fuller is ‘driving the first significant reforms to the NSW Police Force’s structure in two decades.’
‘Today’s announcement is another example of what regional communities can expect to see as the re-engineering process continues,’ Mr Grant said.
The Northern RES will be based at the Coffs-Clarence Command, with the capacity to work throughout major hubs and smaller towns across Northern NSW.
It’s expected the unit will be operational by the end of the year.