A Majority Labor Government will employ an additional 70 specialist police officers to work across priority policing areas to keep Tasmanian communities safe.
Labor Leader Rebecca White said the urgently needed additional officers will fill gaps across areas including CIB, crash investigation, digital evidence forensics, surveillance, serious and organised crime, cybercrime, police prosecution and training and education.
Ms White said almost half of the additional officers will be based in Launceston where they are needed most because of an alarmingly high incidence of crime across 75 per cent of the crime categories that are measured in the Tasmania Police Corporate Performance Reports.
A Labor Government will additionally:
- Maintain the commitment to the full rollout of an extra 125 police officers
- Hire seven additional police officers to put an end to regional backfill issues to keep rural communities safe
- Provide three general duties police dogs – one each for the North, South and Western districts – delivering on a failed 2018 Liberal Government commitment
- Remove police from court duties and prisoner transport in the North West, delivering on another failed Liberal commitment
- Provide a permanent police presence for New Norfolk with an additional two police officers to the New Norfolk station and a further four to the Bridgewater station
- Fund police station upgrades, including $7.5 million for a new police station in St Helens and upgrades to the Bridgewater station
“The addition of these extra police will support the ongoing modernisation of our police force and increase Tasmania Police’s criminal investigation capability,” Ms White said.
“While violent crime continues to escalate in Launceston, police response times have increased by 70 per cent from 23 minutes to almost 40 minutes, making our communities less safe.
“That’s why Labor will significantly enhance front line police resourcing – Labor has listened our police service and will work to keep Tasmanian communities safe.
“Our package also prioritises the mental health and well-being of police officers with more staff, fatigue management and more proactive management of officer well-being.”
Shadow Police Minister Jen Butler said current court backlogs are limiting access to justice and to help deal with this Labor will employ more lawyers and more support staff.
“It’s also crucial we solve rural backfill issues – local police are embedded in their communities and they are often the first on the scene to any incidents,” Ms Butler said.
“But that unwavering commitment to the job also means local police are reluctant to take leave because they know their job will not be backfilled.
“Labor will address that with additional rural and regional officers.
“Tasmania is the only state that does not use general duties police dogs, even though they are crucial across a range of important policing areas.
“Despite a successful trial of general duties dogs from South Australia, the Liberals have failed to provide police dogs.”
Ms White said Labor was committed to no cuts in the police service budget or police numbers.
“A statewide Police Service for all Tasmanians should be just that – Labor is committed to a statewide organisation which has the resources it needs to combat crime.”
Rebecca White MP
Jen Butler MP
Shadow Police Minister