Police Association to lobby state voters

THE Police Association plans to write to all Tasmanian voters with the message "remember what has happened to your police service" when they go to vote in the March state election.

The association letterboxed all houses in the Southern electorate of Franklin yesterday, targeting Police Minister David O'Byrne who holds a seat there.

Police Association president Pat Allen said the message was nothing new.

"It's our intention to also let the whole of Tasmania know what Labor and the Greens have done to the police service," Constable Allen said.

The letter blames Mr O'Byrne for cutting police by 135 officers.

The association moved a no- confidence motion in the minister in October 2012 following cuts to the force and has a long-running campaign for numbers to be restored.

Mr O'Byrne said the association had refused to meet him to discuss police numbers.

He countered claims made by the RACT and Constable Allen about highway patrol numbers, saying police had undertaken more random drug and alcohol tests and speed checks.

Mr O'Byrne said the number of hours spent on patrol by police had increased in 2013.

"Despite increased policing, too many Tasmanians are still speeding excessively, engaging in high risk traffic offences and continuing to drink and drive," Mr O'Byrne said.

Constable Allen said Mr O'Byrne's response was "pathetic".

Opposition police spokeswoman Elise Archer said the Liberals were committed to "rebuilding the police service" but would not say what the total number of serving officers would be.

The Liberals have promised to create 37 new police jobs in a serious crime unit and through restoring the Public Order Response Team.

When pressed on whether the opposition would also make cuts to the service Ms Archer said: "If we are going to rebuild the police service it doesn't sound like cuts to me".

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