Police Staffing in Rosevears
Mr FINCH - This is just more back to my own electorate, and probably again, Minister, it may be the commissioner who will give me the answer on this. I have concern from a community leader who has observed the staffing of my electorate of Rosevears, which is the West Tamar. His observation is that staffing by police there has been less than adequate for quite some time. There are six officers there, five of whom are available generally for the roster but, because the area is very big and a large area to cover, there is generally only one officer on during the day in the area, and if something happens in the north of the electorate, the south of the electorate or out to the side, there are just not enough people to cover it. Are reviews done regularly of the manning levels, and could we expect a review of the West Tamar area?
Mr McCREADIE - If whoever is talking to you would like to put it in writing, of course we are always open to review. The issue is that it was not that long ago that we did what we termed the resource distribution methodology project which went right across the State, and I have to say that your desire for extra is consistent with most other places in the State.
Mr FINCH - Surely not.
Mr McCREADIE - It is a perennial problem, and Mr Dean would have dealt with it in his time there -
Mr DEAN - Yes, I did.
Mr McCREADIE - and Mr Edwards at the back dealt with it in his time there -
Mr FINCH - Badly, I would suggest.
Mr McCREADIE - Are you talking about Mr Dean or Mr Edwards? Look, it is very difficult, because I do not have a drawer full of policemen, but the issue is that we measure very accurately the amount of crime and what is happening and, if we find that there is a lack of response because there is a lack of capacity, that is a persuasive factor for change, but I have to tell you that the way we analyse crime and the reports and the number of complaints coming from the area, I do not think there is anything to suggest at the moment that you will get a top-up, but I am prepared to have a look at it. I would not be arrogant enough to say no, you miss out. So it is done on a range of factors, but crime, as you have seen, is spiralling downwards. You are going to say that it is not only crime, but of course, it is not that far from Launceston that we cannot provide additional support. Part of the thing the minister was alluding to about the courts, from time to time we draw on that as a resource as well. We have a demand-driven roster, we have a flexible roster, we are re-looking at one and two-person stations to see that we are getting the best value. We are looking at ways to ensure that they have the real interest of the community at heart. There is a bit of an attitude amongst young people that if they go to one or two-person stations, once they have done their eight hours they will disappear, and there is what we call wagon-wheeling where they are getting people to stand by, and we are trying to have a review of that to make sure the best possible service is provided all of the time. But the members, their wives and the association are intensely interested in not demeaning in any way the opportunities that currently exist, but if you put your case and if you make your case and if you identify that there are matters that are not to our attention that are worthy of reconsideration, I am happy to look at those.