Clash on our cop numbers
CALLS to beef up the number of police in the Bundaberg region have attracted a stinging response from Police Minister Neil Roberts, who has accused the opposition of using the murder of Trinity Bates for political purposes.
In a question on notice in parliament this week, Member for Burnett Rob Messenger asked Mr Roberts to spell out plans he had to increase the number of police on the front line in the region.
“When you compare the Burnett/Bundaberg’s police per population ratio to the state average, we are being neglected and ignored … we desperately need the extra police resources,” Mr Messenger said.
“Bundaberg’s police per population ratio is approximately 1:614 whereas the state average is around 1:427.
“All government predictions show Burnett Coast and Bundaberg is a high growth area and we must now start planning for the future.”
Mr Roberts said the people of Bundaberg had experienced a terrible tragedy recently, and it was disappointing Mr Messenger was using that for political purposes.
“However, residents can be reassured Bundaberg remains a safe place to live and work with a strong and proactive police presence,” he said.
“The allocation of police resources to specific regions and districts is determined by the police commissioner and his senior executive, based on operational requirements including population growth and crime rates.”
A spokeswoman for Mr Roberts said police to population ratios were not the best way to look at how a region was serviced.
She said special police units, such as a homicide team, could be moved into an area when needed, rather than have them sitting in a particular police station.