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More Police, New Tools and Additional Support to Keep Tasmania Safe

27 May 2017

Rene Hidding, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to a safer Tasmania.

In the 2017-18 Budget, we are Building Tasmania’s Future by funding more police, and new technology, housing and services to support our officers as they work to keep us safe.

Our Budget discipline means we can invest more in essential services for the community, such as delivering on our $33.5 million commitment over four years to rebuild Tasmania Police after the cuts of the previous Labor-Green government.

We are on well on track to achieving our goal of 1233 full-time equivalent police officers by June next year, with the latest number being 1185 and about 40 new recruits set to graduate this calendar year.

By the end of June, we will have created 86 of the promised 113 additional positions.

Extra police officers have allowed the establishment of the Serious and Organised Crime Division, which investigates eCrime and fraud, and also cold cases.

More officers have been allocated around the State across the full range of policing roles, including Road and Public Order Services and within Safe Families Tasmania, part of our nation-leading response to family violence.

A new initiative in this Budget is a $3.4 million commitment over four years to roll out Body Worn Cameras to all frontline police officers.

This new technology has been shown to be effective in deterring assaults against officers and is an invaluable policing tool that can lead to an increase in guilty pleas, avoiding the necessity of victims having to give evidence in court and saving time.

The Liberal Government understands that our police officers and fire and emergency service workers go above and beyond – often putting their own safety at risk – helping others.

We know that their work can take a toll on their mental and physical health, and that’s why we are also committing $1.5 million a year over the next four years for a new Wellness Program.

The program, which will be additional to existing services, will take a proactive approach, adopting preventative measures and providing support to emergency services to help workers continue to their jobs.

The Government’s investment in upgrading police housing will see a further $1.25 million provided each year for the next three years.

Tasmania Police owns 59 police houses and 36 police stations with residences attached. Most of these are in country locations and are more than 35 years old, which means many are very much in need of refurbishment.

By providing housing in good condition we can encourage police officers and their families to live and stay in regional and remote parts of Tasmania.

Importantly, the police housing program uses local builders and suppliers, wherever possible, to undertake this necessary work – providing a boost to the local economy.

By rebuilding Tasmania Police, the Liberal Government is helping to Build Tasmania’s Future as a safer community for all.