Libs' police plan a con: O'Byrne

A LIBERAL plan to boost police numbers by more than 100 officers is an unfunded con, says the state government.

Police Minister David O'Byrne said yesterday that new spending meant cuts somewhere else, and there was less crime in Tasmanian than when the government was elected four years ago.

But police have welcomed the move, subject to more detail.

Opposition police spokeswoman Elise Archer said that if elected, the Liberals would boost Tasmania Police to 1228 sworn officers -  the number   before the state government budget cuts.

Ms Archer said this meant an extra 108 officers on the beat or in re-established specialised units.

She said the plan was costed at $33 million and would be funded from nearly $500 million in identified budget savings.

Mr O'Byrne said the Liberal plan would put at serious risk plans for major police infrastructure and equipment upgrades.

``It is impossible to recruit, train and pay for 108 new police officers in a year,'' he said. 

``And if they're saying they'll do it sometime over the next four years, it still won't happen.''

Police Association of Tasmania president Pat Allen said the Liberal plan was welcome and he expected more information at the association's biennial conference on Wednesday and Thursday in Hobart.

Constable Allen said the boost in numbers would improve police and public safety.

In response to the government's claim that crime was down since the last election, Constable Allen said police did not trust the government.

``We want the government to do something for us but all they have done is cut the guts out of the police service,'' he said.

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