MORE cops on the frontline – that’s the big difference for the community as a new era begins for local police.
This week heralded the start of the Oxley and New England Police Districts, after the Barwon command was abolished in a major shake-up of country policing.
While the name changes, and so too the boundaries, police say more troops on the beat and a local face in charge of each town will be the biggest changes.
Both police districts boast 22 police stations each, with Tamworth in Oxley and New England’s Armidale, Moree and Inverell operating 24-hours.
Superintendent Scott Tanner is at the helm of New England, policing an area from Uralla in the south, north to the Queensland border, east to the Ebor area, and west to Mungindi and Moree.
A country cop for more than two decades, he will steer the New England ship with an emphasis on community policing.
I’ve done 12,000km in the last eight weeks, I’ll continue to do that, as I get around to all of the areas.- Superintendent Scott Tanner
“I’ve done 12,000km in the last eight weeks, I’ll continue to do that, as I get around to all of the areas,” he told The Leader.
“People want to see their police out on the streets, working with the community, interacting with our crooks and that is what they will notice.
“We’re putting more resources into those frontline services.
“Each police station has a clearly identifiable person for the communities’ needs and wants, so that is their first point of call.”
Oxley Superintendent Fred Trench has taken charge of an area stretching from Willow Tree in the south, west to Pilliga and Wee Waa, north to Bellata and east to Walcha and Nowendoc.
A region enforcement squad, as well as the dog unit, will be shared, while Oxley boasts one target action group (TAG), and New England two teams.
Both commanders say fighting the drug supply scourge, which is fuelling property crime, is one of the top priorities.
“We will also see more police officers moving to frontline positions over time providing a more flexible service to the community as we flatten the management structure,” Superintendent Trench said.
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