Via the Herald Sun:
SOME of the state’s most senior police officers are warning of a looming crime crisis as NSW now has the lowest number of police officers compared to population of any major state in Australia.
It can today be revealed there are just 215 cops for every 100,000 people across the state. In Victoria, there are 222 cops and in South Australia there are 275.
Frontline policing across all six NSW regions has fallen by more than 1000 officers since 2011-12. And the Police Association says the state needs at least extra 247 cops every year just to keep up with population growth.
“We have the lowest number of cops, relatively, in the country and are constantly being asked to do more with less,” association president Scott Weber said. “We need more cops so we can go forward — not backward.”
Senior police told The Daily Telegraph more than 600 officers had simply “vanished’’ from “walking the beat” in recent years.
“Where they have gone I honestly have no idea, but they are not on the streets,’’ one senior cop said.
Senior police also told The Daily Telegraph that resources are taken up “babysitting’’ juveniles because of a lack of Family and Community Services department workers. FACS doesn’t have case workers who can be called out after 5pm unless it’s considered an emergency.
“We are picking up the slack of a lot of other government agencies,” a top cop said.
The Victorian Police Association warned NSW is heading down the same path its state did — leading to a spike in street crime. The increase in crime prompted the Victorian government to boost police numbers by 2022 and give it the biggest force in the country.
“We’ve seen what happens in Victoria when police numbers stagnate. It provides fertile soil for crime to flourish,” Police Association of Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt said.
Just import more police!