Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC has condemned comments by the Labor Member for Maitland that police in Maitland are being forced to choose which lives to save.
Ms Aitchison has said "Maitland's dire lack of police has forced officers to choose between which lives to save."
“This is an irresponsible lie by the Member for Maitland that erodes the trust in NSW Police”, Mr MacDonald said.
“The Labor MP for Maitland Jenny Aitchison has misled the public and slandered the men and women of the NSW Police Force in the Hunter.”
“There is no evidence a life has been lost or endangered because of Police numbers, their resources or their operational decisions. Police are sworn to protect the life of the public. It is their highest priority. Ms Aitchison has made an irresponsible statement that undermines community confidence in the NSW Police."
In March the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research released the New South Wales Recorded Crime Statistics December 2017 Quarterly Update.
13 of the 17 categories across the Maitland LGA have remained stable in the two years to December 2017. The four excluded categories (murder, robbery without weapon, robbery with firearm, robbery with weapon not a firearm) are excluded for most LGAs across the state. Those incidents aren’t common enough to assess statistical trends within local areas.
Furthermore, the Maitland LGA does not record the highest rate of domestic violence in the state as claimed by the Member for Maitland. The two year trend for domestic violence in Maitland remains stable.
"Since the NSW Liberal National Government was elected in 2011, the number of sworn officers has increased from 15,806 to 16,800 across NSW. The reengineered Port Stephens-Hunter Police District manpower has recently increased by 10. Ms Aitchison may be worried where a headquarters is located. The NSW Government is focused on frontline police numbers."
“In late March the Police Minister Hon Troy Grant and myself met with Superintendent Craig Jackson. We are confident the Police District command is proactively and effectively serving the community.
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research can be accessed at http://www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au/