At least 20 more police officers are needed to fully protect the Camden and Wollondilly region.
That’s what Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell believes.
He is calling on Minister for Police Troy Grant and police commissioner Andrew Scipione to consider the staffing needs at Camden Local Area Command.
“Our command has about 20 fewer police than comparable commands,” Mr Rowell said in Parliament last week.
“They have to cover a large geographical area which means they have to do much more with less. Crime rates in Wollondilly are low but if we do not do something now then with the population growth, this will change.”
Mr Rowell said he recently met with staff from the police minister’s office to discuss the plight of Camden LAC and Wollondilly and the need for extra police.
Geographically, the Camden LAC is the largest in the Sydney metropolitan area with 2600 square kilometres under the command and it is the largest growing region.
Mr Rowell said the state government announced the NSW Police Force would be restructured.
“I am extremely pleased that there is a plan to review police numbers and their allocation across the state,” he said. “I am confident that our numbers will increase to where they need to be in coming years.”
Spokeswoman for the minister said the allocation of officers was at the discretion of the NSW Police Commissioner.
“The state government is on track to deliver its election commitment to boost the authorised strength of the NSW Police Force to a record 16,795 over this term of government,” she said.
A recent report by the Camden branch of the Police Association of New South Wales noted its police officers had put in more hour-by-hour work than those in Green Valley, Cabramatta and Macquarie Fields.
The Camden LAC had 15,788 non-urgent calls for assistance to 97 staff while in Cabramatta there were 8773 non-urgent calls for assistance to 117 staff. Calls for assistance in Cabramatta and Macquarie Fields increased by about 300 calls and 750 calls respectfully from 2014-15 and 2015-16, whereas Camden LAC increased by roughly 1500 calls.