Tasmanian police deny big drop in patrol hours

Statistics suggesting police patrol hours have been slashed across Tasmania do not reflect reality, police say.

Figures in the March issue of the Tasmania Police Corporate Performance Report suggested uniform police patrol hours in the nine months to the end of March had fallen by 35 per cent statewide, compared to the same period a year earlier.

According to the figures, police performed about 38,000 fewer patrol hours.

The number of patrol hours performed by Tasmania Police officers has not changed at all in the last few months.

Ian Whish-Wilson

The figures suggested patrol hours were down by 31 per cent in the North-West and West, 35 per cent in the North and  37 per cent in the South.

Police denied patrol hours had been slashed.

“The number of patrol hours performed by Tasmania Police officers has not changed at all in the last few months,” Commander Ian Whish-Wilson said.

“The Tasmanian public can be assured that absolutely nothing has changed in the way police officers’ hours are distributed between their various responsibilities.

“The information in the Corporate Performance Report (CPR) that suggests patrol hours have reduced is the result of a change in the way the hours were calculated following the migration to the new Emergency Services Computer Aided Dispatch (ESCAD) system in October 2017.

“Our statistical and reporting services area is working to ensure that the issue associated with the calculation of hours is resolved for future editions of the CPR.”

A footnote to the statistics mentioned the change to include ESCAD data from October.

A police spokesperson said: “Our reporting services area is reviewing the calculations used for uniform patrol hours and the different methodology applied to extracting hours from the new ESCAD system from October 2017 compared to the previous CACS system.”

Police Association of Tasmania president Pat Allen said he understood there were glitches in reporting since the ESCAD system was adopted.

This story Tasmanian police deny big drop in patrol hours first appeared on The Advocate.