Saffin’s commitment to 24-7 policing in Murwillumbah on track

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin says she's receiving a briefing that everything is on track to deliver her election commitment of 24/7 policing for Murwillumbah during the first term of a Minns Labor Government.

LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin confirms that her key election commitment of 24/7 policing at Murwillumbah Police Station is on track to be achieved during the Minns Labor Government’s first term.

Ms Saffin recently met with NSW Minister for Police and Counter Terrorism Yasmin Catley so they could be briefed on progress with the staged allocation of 15 extra police positions to increase service delivery from 20/7 to 24/7 by 2026-27.

“The first phase of this move to 24/7 policing was initiated in November 2023 with Murwillumbah Police Station receiving an additional three authorised police positions – one sergeant and two constables,” Ms Saffin said.

“Recruitment has been completed for two of these positions, with one position continuing to be advertised. Over the next three years, staffing capacity will increase to the full complement of officers.

“Locals have been asking me for an update on the roll out of this commitment and I’m pleased to report that everything is on track. The challenge for the police has been the low numbers of officers due to the lack of robust recruitment strategies in the past.”

Ms Saffin said the Minns Labor Government now had introduced a suite of measures to boost police recruitment to address the critical shortage of police officers and to enhance community safety across the state.

New South Wales currently is carrying more than 1,500 police officer vacancies – a legacy of no action taken over many years of police recruitment and retention, Ms Saffin noted.

But since a 31 October 2023 announcement that the Minns Labor Government would pay recruits to study at Goulburn Police Academy, more than 1,424 applications had been received, a more than 40 per cent increase on the same period last year.

In further proof that the Government’s strategy to bolster police recruitment is working, Class 364, set to graduate in December, is at maximum capacity, with more than 350 recruits.

Two new programs are specifically aimed at attracting more regional recruits and experienced officers to the NSW Police Force.

  • Regional Recruitment Scheme: The ‘You Should Be a Cop in Your Hometown’ program will ensure people from regional NSW serve in, or near their hometown after they graduate from the Academy. While new recruits currently nominate several areas where they would like to serve, the program will give appropriate officers from regional NSW the opportunity to request to return to their hometown or a nearby community. Preference will then be given to these recruits to fill any vacancies in their hometown or nearby.
  • Experienced Officer Recruitment Scheme: A Professional Mobility Program (PMP) will incentivise officers from other Australian states and territories and New Zealand to join the NSW Police Force while keeping their equivalent rank (up to senior constable level six). Previously, serving police officers who wanted to join the NSW Police Force needed to complete eight months’ study, including four months in-person at the Academy before graduating at the starting rank of probationary constable. Successful applicants will now undergo a three-month course at the Academy focussed on NSW policing policies and procedures. They will be paid in-line with the current payment for student police officers.

A file photo of Lismore MP Janelle Saffin with NSW Premier Chris Minns when he was NSW Opposition Leader outside the Murwillumbah Police Station.