Fears over changes to police

The Break O'Day Council says it is concerned that the East Coast will be disadvantaged by a plan to manage its police officers from George Town.

Mayor Sarah Schmerl said councillors were told of the change to their local policing structure two weeks ago by Commander Jeff Smith, who is overseeing the budget-driven statewide structural review.

``The council point of view is that we are not happy about the downgrading of our area, and we feel that in times of disaster like flood or fire, when we are already isolated, we will be further disadvantaged by being cut off from our police inspector in George Town,'' she said.

Cr Schmerl said the council had been told that the model would be taken to a review at the end of next year.

``We weren't involved in the original process, but we have written a letter to Commander Smith requesting to be involved in the next review.''

Northern District Commander Richard Cowling said bringing the East Coast under the George Town inspectorate was one of three options that would be submitted to the restructure committee next month, but   the final decision was yet to be made.

The model would see the North lose one inspector's position and create a new inspectorate stretching from the East Tamar to St Marys.

Commander Cowling said George Town's Inspector John King assumed command of both districts this month because of an unrelated staffing issue.

Commander Smith said the model had been granted provisional approval by the restructure committee so he could take it to councils, but   the committee would not make its final recommendation to Commissioner Darren Hine until early next month.

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