Labor to add 15 more police officers

LABOR has promised $8.5 million for additional police and community safety programs if re-elected, despite repeatedly pointing to statistics that show crime is at its lowest level in a decade.

Police Minister David O'Byrne said the funding would provide 15 additional police officers to the amalgamated Road and Public Order Services team and 12 new high- visibility police cars, bringing Labor's target police force up from 1120 to 1135.

But it is still a long way short of the Liberal Party's promise to restore the police force to pre-2011 levels of 1228.

"Our commitment is strategic, responds to the needs of the community and is affordable," Mr O'Byrne said.

Mr O'Byrne said he did not consult the Police Association of Tasmania before releasing the policy, because the association had not spoken to him formally since passing a no-confidence motion against him in October 2012.

"When you run a political campaign, and you pick sides, you deal yourself out of constructive conversation," he said.

PAT president Pat Allen said the association's campaign was not political - despite ads attacking Labor and the Greens - because it was based on supporting policies, not a political party.

He said Mr O'Byrne's statement was "a pathetic comment from a desperate man with foolish advisors."

"If he's ready to talk about getting our numbers up to 1228, I'll get on the phone to the executive and I'm sure they'll meet with him tomorrow," he said.

The Liberal Party's promises to police total $33 million and include mandatory minimum sentences for assaults on emergency service workers, establishing a serious and organised crime unit and restoring the Public Order Response Team.

David O'Byrne

David O'Byrne


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