Dubbo MP Troy Grant’s call for more police to do specialist work is a sensible and educated statement from a man who should know what he is talking about.
Mr Grant dedicated more than 20 years of his life to the NSW Police Force before he entered politics.
He was awarded two Commissioner’s Commendations for Courage in the line of duty and is currently the Minister for Police and Minister for Emergency Services.
So when he echoed the calls of the NSW Police Association this week for more police on the ground, he was speaking with some authority.
He specified that sheer numbers are not what’s needed, that some thought needs to be put into what roles extra police would fill to get bang for buck, and that makes sense.
“I agree with the Police Association that police numbers need to be bolstered, they have my full support,” Mr Grant said.
“That is why the premier and the commissioner and I are working on what that figure is.
“It is not as important to know what the gross number will be, but what they would do with what job types and where they would be placed.
“That’s the body of work that needs to be done, if we have issues with a certain crime type then we have more police available to do that specialist work, so it is not just that more police are needed but more importantly its about where they are going to go and what they need to be doing.”
What Mr Grant is hopefully lobbying the premier for is “specialist police”, police that can fill critical roles that will have a significant benefit for communities like Dubbo. We don’t need more traffic cops, but we do need police who can help in specific areas of crime that are rife in our city. The most recent Bureau of Crime and Research Statistics show break and enters are widespread in Dubbo. Domestic violence-related assault is twice as high as the NSW average with 380 incidents reported to police in the 12 months. Mr Grant’s call for police to do work with crime types that are prevalent should be acted on without delay.
Why not use Dubbo as an example of how this would work? Give us more police who can work to solve break and enter crime or that can assist victims of domestic violence. These extra police could be vital in getting crucial evidence to get prosecutions. After all, isn’t getting criminals off our streets one of the most important functions of police?