THE Tamworth branch of the NSW Police Association has welcomed the boost to the specialist police target unit but wants to see it remain a long-term policing tool in Tamworth.
A spokesman for the police union yesterday said he hoped it was a permanent unit but questioned whether the new Target Action Group (TAG) would be able to remain that permanent proactive arm.
TAG officially began its operations with its newly allocated officers yesterday after it was announced by acting Superintendent Inspector Chris Taylor alongside Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson and mayor Col Murray on Monday.
They confirmed the unit, which had been operating with three men, would be made up of six officers, to tackle offenders on warrants and on bail, repeat offenders and those involved in crimes such as break-ins and stolen cars.
The leaders said the mobilisation of the “full-strength” Target Action Group should bring results for the community, which is concerned about these types of crime.
Tamworth Police Association branch secretary Martin Burke said while they were supportive of TAG, there were concerns it might not be a full-time operation.
Mr Burke said there were also concerns it could impact on general duties, as the three extra positions in TAG came from within the Tamworth station’s ranks and not additional allocated officers.
He said the findings from the Parsons Report were still being considered, which could determine other permanent allocated positions in the Oxley command.
Oxley Local Area Command crime manager Inspector Phil O’Reilly, who was present at Monday’s TAG announcement, said the latest allocation of probationary constables allowed the diversion of staff into TAG.
Inspector O’Reilly said TAG had always been operational but now it had double the number of officers.
He said they would try and maintain sufficient numbers to operate the group for as long as they could.