The new NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has outlined his plan to put the force on the front foot in the battle against crime in the regions.
He promises a shake-up of local resources and said new Deputy Commissioner for Regional NSW Gary Worboys will be one of the leaders of his re-engineering of those resources set to start at the end of this month.
He says communities will see action by the middle of the year.
The two officers made their first regional visit last week to the Oxley Local Area Command in Tamworth.
“The key is we need to provide the same policing response to the country, so technology, resourcing that we do to the city, that's not necessarily about numbers, it's about having the capability to deal with all levels of crime and that's certainly a priority of mine,” Commissioner Fuller said.
He said proactive policing was the key to tackling the cycle of crime, especially the drug epidemic.
“We want to address that quickly and the reason is because people that use ice and other drugs are the people that are breaking into your homes breaking into your cars and essentially making the community feel unsafe,” he said.
“From our perspective, the re-engineering will provide the ability to move resources around the state of NSW.”
Asked about the regional enforcement squad model he helped to create, Commissioner Fuller said he would roll it out to this side of the Great Dividing Range as soon as possible.
“So not every town will have a regional enforcement squad but we will be pooling resources in regional NSW with the capability to investigate and tackle mid-level crime,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner Worboys, who will be based in Dubbo, said he was already aware of resource shortages in some areas.
“I think in the very near future you'll see some new structures and some additional police in and around country NSW but in the meantime we need to make sure we do the best with what we've got and already I've said police are doing a fantastic job,” he said.
Commissioner Fuller said the enforcement squad model will work out of hubs.
“The real challenge in policing is about not continually putting police in the back end of responding to crime, but you've got to tackle prevention and disruption,” he said.
“The enforcement squads are really around prevention and disruption which then will hopefully decrease the workload for the uniformed police and the other police.
“I think that is the important thing that if you keep putting resources into crime then you never win the battle and the regional enforcement squads are key, they're central to preventing and disrupting crime.”