Call for More Casino Police

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A Government MP, senior police and the Casino business community are all calling for more officers to be assigned to the area.
Last week, about 80 business people met to discuss recent crime problems at Casino.
Inspector Rob Cairnduff was at the meeting and said police at Casino were struggling.
He said police backed community calls for a 24-hour police station.
“We are very supportive of that,” Inspector Cairnduff said.
“At the moment we have an authorised strength of 17 and we are receiving three additional new probationary constables … but with police on long-term sick and maternity leave and things like that we do struggle with the numbers,” he said.
That sentiment was echoed by the Minister for the North Coast Don Page.
The Ballina MP said his own government must act to rectify a dire shortage of police in the region.
He estimates there is one officer for every 700 people in the region, compared to a state average of one to 500.
As with the Casino station, Mr Page said many of the officers allocated to local commands are not available to work.
“We have a higher than normal non-operational police force situation, where for example we have in some cases 20 to 23 per cent of our authorised strength that are not available for operational duty and that’s very high by state standards,” he said.
Businesses at Casino are not content to simply wait for extra police.
An action plan was created at last night’s meeting which includes security cameras in the CBD and a youth-mentoring program.
However, Sonya Marks from the Casino Chamber of Commerce also wants to see more police on the streets.
“[There’s] a push for 24-hour policing and that’s been ongoing and will continue to be ongoing [and] the community as a whole needs to get behind that,” she said.

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