NSW Police boosting numbers by 550

The New South Wales police force is undergoing it’s “biggest increase” in staff in over 30 years, however data indicates the number of officers is “in decline”.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole today announced an additional 550 police positions across the entire force including general duty officers domestic violence specialists, police prosecutors, counter terrorism police and organised crime squad.

The hires fulfil a promise made by the government in 2018, with Labor claiming not enough has been done to bolster the police force.

NSW Dep Premier and Police Minister Paul Toole and NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb announce increased numbers of police in specialist branches including DV and Anti Terrorism. (9News)

“We have fewer police officers in NSW today than we did in April,” said Shadow Police Minister Walt Secord.

According to NSW Labor, the last budget estimates heard there were 17,673 sworn officers as at April 21.

But at June 27, the Police Minister said there were 17,677 – a six person decrease.

NSW has the lowest number of operational staff per capita of any state in the nation: 244 police per 100,000 residents; compared to Victoria, which has 312 per 100,000 residents.

NSW Labor Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for the Arts Walt Secord.
NSW Labor Shadow Police Minister, Walt Secord. (Getty)

Toole has argued additional officers will mean more proactive policing across the state.

“An effective police force requires the support and resources to stay ahead of the game and disrupt crimes before they occur.”

However, Secord described the move as “smoke and mirrors”.

“Just because the Police Minister says he is going to set up new positions does not mean that there will be physical officers in those positions,” Secord said.

“In reality, the Police Minister has been forced to admit that there are fewer police officers in NSW than there were two months earlier.

“After 11 years in power, the Perrottet Government is playing catch-up on its own commitments.

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