The State Liberals will move to establish a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Weatherill Government’s plans to cut the number of sworn police officers, close police stations and slash operating hours at others.
“An integrated network of properly staffed police stations is an essential element in protecting the public and building community spirit,” said Shadow Police Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
“Labor’s plans to reduce operating hours at the Henley Beach Police Station immediately after spending $5 million upgrading it highlights how poorly thought through these budget cuts are.
“Why would you impose bank operating hours on an upgraded police station in a prime entertainment precinct that attracts people until late at night?
“The South Australian Liberals will move to establish a joint Lower and Upper House inquiry to examine SAPOL’s budget, staffing and operational needs.
“Today’s revelations follow Monday’s acknowledgement by Police Commissioner Grants Stevens’ that Labor’s promise to recruit an additional 300 police officers cannot be met within the current budget.
“Commissioner Stevens’ statement was completely at odds with Police Minister Peter Malinauskas’ statement said in Parliament on 11 February 2016:
I am very pleased to inform members that it is very much this government’s intention to honor its ‘recruit 313’ target as outlined a number of years ago by this government. (Hansard, 11 February 2016)
“The Police Commissioner advised the Budget and Finance Committee that an additional $8 million is required to meet the current promise, which was first made in 2010.
“Last year’s SAPOL Annual Report revealed that there were 48 fewer police officers on our streets this year compared to 2014.”
Active sworn police officers (including community constables)
30 June 2014 – 4522.7
30 June 2015 – 4474.8