Much of the debate about policing in NSW focuses on increased police numbers. But any government announcement in this area is simply a response to rapid population growth, especially in Sydney. It doesn’t necessarily increase the police/population ratio or make the community safer.
The real challenge is to make better use of police time and resources. Unfortunately in this era of political correctness, General Duties (GD) police do not have time to investigate crime properly, as there are too many distractions and superfluous duties in the job. Returning the focus to actual crime is the best thing ministers can do in making the State safe.
NSW One Nation wants to return to commonsense policing through 5 important policy changes:
Freeing up police resources from so-called ‘quota policing’ to concentrate on frontline responses to actual crime and the arrest of criminals. Quota policing is resented by officers as a waste of resources, forcing them to notch up ‘appearance’ numbers that have nothing to do with crime responsiveness and the arrest of criminals (such as ‘pub walk-throughs’, vehicle searches and highway monitoring). The quota system lowers morale, with many officers saying it’s not the reason they got into policing.
Ending the ‘corporate management’ approach to NSW policing. One Nation believes GD officers should be encouraged to police what’s in front of them. They shouldn’t be captive to statistical collection processes as part of corporate managerial theory. Policing is not a business suited to an ethos of ‘KPIs’ and rigid ‘customer service’. In the first instance, it’s the role of police to investigate ‘customers’ to see if they have committed a crime.
Ending the absurdity of police stations having to deal with ‘Mystery Shoppers’ – that is, people who are paid by government to ring up or appear in person (like professional actors) with fictitious matters to assess the level of ‘customer service’ at the station. This practice should be scrapped. The police are not Coles or Woolies selling groceries. It’s an outrageous waste of their time and resources.
Ending the use of police resources to enforce unnecessary Nanny State regulations. For instance, the police should not be used to monitor the activities of rock-fishermen (checking on vests etc). The NSW Police must concentrate their limited resources on crime arrests and responsiveness, not climbing around coastal headlands pursuing local fishermen who know what they are doing in enjoying their sport.
NSW One Nation will also toughen parole laws so that anyone breaching parole automatically goes back into custody (removing discretion from the Parole Board). This is a commonsense way of making the community safer. Police are likely to report more parole breaches (unlike the current system where it can be seen as a waste of time, given the Parole Board’s softness).
Freeing Up Frontline Police For Fighting Crime
Currently in NSW there is a huge expectation on officers to rack up policing statistics, while also responding to reactive incidents (call-outs following reports of crime). Examples of quota policing statistics include ‘pub walk-throughs’, person and vehicle searches, business inspections and move-on directions.
While police, no matter the area they work in, are always on the look out for crime, there should not be an expectation on them to obtain large numbers of policing statistics per shift simply to meet arbitrary targets. This approach results in police ‘fudging the numbers’ or exercising their powers in a questionable manner, for example, searching people without legal justification to do so.
GD police do this to satisfy command management. If they return to the station without having met their mandated quota, they get punished. Every command has a Proactive Crime Team. If the NSW Government wants more proactive policing and statistical collections, it should build up Proactive Crime Team resources. But frontline police should be able to concentrate on responding to crime and investigating it thoroughly.