THE police parliamentary secretary has already knocked back a drug dog request, but a local MP has an action plan he hopes will secure extra police resources for Tamworth.
It comes after a local businessman, Barry Bourne, whose takeaway store was targeted in an armed robbery this week, got the ball rolling on a petition calling for extra resources like a drug squad in Tamworth.
Kevin Anderson has backed Mr Bourne’s push and said every effort helped.
He took the fight to the NSW police parliamentary secretary Geoff Provest at a meeting in Sydney yesterday.
“Given that police believe a fair percentage of the crime happening in our region at the moment is drug-related, we believe that a drug dog would be best suited to bolster the police resources,” he said.
“We need to establish the demand and build a numbers case which will exhaust all avenues on why we shouldn’t receive such a resource.”
Oxley Local Area Command is behind the push for a drug dog which could aid officers and help to speed up investigations.
Mr Anderson said as a result of yesterday’s meeting he had an action plan.
“We will be arranging a meeting with the head of the NSW Dog Squad to look at his requirements on what would be needed in Tamworth for a dog to be based here,” he said.
“We need to find out from the parliamentary secretary what allocation of state funds are available for a dog unit.
“And I will be talking to the Western Region commander Geoff McKechnie to arrange a meeting to look at the facts and figures basically to build the case.”
The latest push comes in the wake of Sunday night’s armed robbery at the Highway Superette in Tamworth where two female staff were terrorised by a man armed with a knife.
Mr Bourne’s North Tamworth store was also the target of an armed robbery only a few months ago.
“No doubt there is a great deal of emotion wrapped around this,” Mr Anderson said.
“We want to build the best case so the top can’t ignore what we’re trying to do.
“I’ve also asked the parliamentary secretary for an update on the status of the detection dog in Armidale.
“We hear it’s there, we hear it’s not, we hear the handler is there, then we hear the handler is on leave.”
Mr Provest rejected a proposal for a drug unit, dog squad and drug court last month but Mr Anderson said the fellow Nationals MP was willing to work on the issue but had made no guarantees.