The Police Association of NSW is advocating for 85 more officers in the Nepean Police Area Command to tackle the growing ‘ice’ epidemic.
The call for dedicated ice officers is part of the ‘Back the Blue’ campaign for 2500 extra police across the state.
Police Association of NSW Executive Member, Detective Sergeant Aaron Rynehart, said the increase in workload this drug has caused is phenomenal.
“Local police are so stretched that they’re drowning, just dealing with the symptoms of ice and users rather than focusing their efforts on the supply chain,” he said.
“Every police officer knows how all-pervasive ice has become. It dominates our work, it has links to domestic violence, mental health incidents, road fatalities, youth crime, house and business break-ins, organised crime and just about every other crime category; to put it simply ice is destroying lives.”
The latest quarterly report from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research revealed that people in possession of or using amphetamines in Penrith has gone up 14.5 per cent over the past five years.
Minister for Police, Troy Grant, said the Government has done nothing but ensure crime rates have fallen or remained stable.
“While there have been spikes in some crimes and localities, the overall crime rates in NSW are extremely positive and show that the current approach to policing under the Liberals and Nationals Government is working,” he said.
“Coupled with new elite squads targeting mid-level drug and gun crime and the high-risk domestic offenders, the people of NSW can have confidence that the State Government will maintain its tough stance on crime.”
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller is currently undertaking a plan, in consultation with the Police Association, to determine the number of officers that NSW needs for the future.
This includes the duty types required and where they should be based moving forward.
Mr Grant said the Commissioner’s proposal will enable the State Government to make an informed decision on police numbers in the future.
The Police Association of NSW is asking the local community to support the call for more police in Penrith by signing the petition at www.pansw.org.au.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.