11 June 2019
The Police Minister has faced questions from the Opposition today about police numbers and staffing.
Opposition Leader Gary Higgins said numbers to staff the Darwin Police Station and Watch House, the Palmerston Police Station and Watch House, Casuarina Police Station, and also the Nightcliff Police Station once it’s built, were unclear and needed to be clarified.
"How the Government plans to fully staff these four police stations once construction is completed is something we’re very worried about," Mr Higgins said.
"We hope it doesn’t stretch the already limited police resources. For example, responses to questions suggested the Darwin Police Station and Watch House may be short staffed or deprioritised in favour of Palmerston, reducing efficiencies from reduced travel time for Police.
"The Government is being disingenuous about the police resourcing. They are still believing their own rhetoric and have downplayed the crime crisis."
The Territory’s Police Minister also denied there would be cuts to front line staff, despite the more than $20 million in savings Police have already made, and the Government’s own Root and Branch Review suggesting there should be $1.4 to $4 million in additional savings.
Mr Higgins said during a crime crisis, cuts to front line staff would seriously impact the safety of Territorians.
"Property crime is at a five-year high, and this out of control Gunner Labor Government, through their own reckless and wasteful spending is having to find savings measures elsewhere," he said.
"Police, Fire, and Emergency Services do an incredible job in our community, and as I’ve said before, their jobs are demand driven and the Gunner Labor Government needs to do everything they can to ensure they are properly staffed and have the necessary resources to do their jobs."