ACCORDING to the Deputy Commissioner Regional Field Operations, Gary Worboys, the new policing model for regional New South Wales will see resources deployed more efficiently in towns like Singleton.
The announcement made on Thursday will see the 20-year-old, outdated, one- size-fits-all Local Area Command (LAC) model scrapped in favour of a more flexible district structure which will see a focus “local policing”.
On the surface it will look similar to what is in place now with an officer-in-charge at the Singleton station, an officer-in-charge at Cessnock, and a new District Superintendent based in Muswellbrook.
However, how they operate is set to undergo a “cultural and administrative shift” as the deputy commissioner is passionate about ensuring officers are seen actively policing their local communities.
The new District Superintendents are to be announced within the next two weeks.
He says the restructure is about giving responsibility back to senior police in local areas.
It not a cost-cutting exercise; stations will not be closed and positions will not be lost.
In fact as the new districts are progressively established, he is set to review the staffing levels which could possibly see more resources allocated to a particular region if need be.
From staffing levels at our local station to the numerous incidents of break and enter into properties and vehicles as well as maintaining basic social order, the deputy commissioner says he is well aware of the issues in Singleton.
“Regional towns like Singleton deserve my attention and it is my job is to look at each of the new districts to see if increased resources are needed,” he explains.
“Residents want to see more police on the street and at local events; they want to know they are going to be safe when they are going about their business.”
He says they just want to know who is in charge and is going to take care of their problem.
The current 34 LAC’s in regional NSW will be replaced by 26 Police Districts:
- Orana Mid-Western Police District (a consolidation of Orana and Mudgee LACs and including the policing sectors of Coonamble from Castlereagh LAC and Warren from Darling River LAC);
- Hunter Valley Police District (a consolidation of Hunter Valley LAC with the southern sectors of Central Hunter LAC);
- Port Stephens/Hunter Police District (a consolidation of Port Stephens LAC and the northern sectors of Central Hunter LAC);
- South Coast Police District (a consolidation of Shoalhaven and Far South Coast LACs);
- Riverina Police District (a consolidation of Wagga Wagga LAC and the southern sectors of Cootamundra LAC);
- The Hume Police District (a consolidation of The Hume LAC and the northern sectors of Cootamundra LAC);
- Oxley Police District (a consolidation of Oxley LAC and the southern sectors of Barwon LAC);
- New England Police District (a consolidation of New England LAC and the northern sectors of Barwon LAC);
- Central West Police District (a consolidation of Lachlan and Canobolas LACs – the Cowra and Canowindra policing sectors will move to Chifley PD);
- Central North Police District (a consolidation of Darling River LAC and the northern sectors of Castlereagh LAC);
- Murrumbidgee Police District (a consolidation of Griffith LAC and the Hay sector of Deniliquin LAC);
- Murray River Police District (a consolidation of Albury LAC and the southern sectors of Deniliquin LAC – the Balranald and Euston policing sectors will move to Barrier PD).
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller says designing a unique policing model for regional NSW has been a priority of the re-engineering.
"A large aspect of re-engineering is putting more police back on the frontline and a flexible workforce is a good outcome for regional communities," he explains.
“The new Police District model has been designed to significantly improve our capability to service Regional NSW and will be supported by the new Region Enforcement Squads based at Wagga Wagga, Dubbo, Tamworth and Coffs-Clarence and the new Domestic Violence High Risk Offender Team in Western Region.”
“Policing in regional and rural communities differs greatly from the city and our approach recognises the unique needs and challenges of both models.”