Police Numbers Fall Despite SA Government’s Promise of Extra Officers


Police numbers in South Australia have fallen by 48 in the past year, despite a State Government vow to make the streets safer by adding hundreds of extra officers.

As the Government is targeted by the Police Association in a public campaign to restore extra compensation benefits for police injured at work, it can be revealed that the election promise is under a cloud.

Labor first made the pledge at the 2010 election, declaring that it would expand SA Police by 313 staff, compared to employment levels at the time. Premier Jay Weatherill restated the promise in his 2014 election manifesto, setting his Government a deadline of mid-2018 to deliver the boost.

However, new figures in the latest SA Police annual report show that just 71 staff have been added in the past five years since the pledge was first made. The size of the force has actually fallen by 48 to 4475 in the past 12 months.

Police have complained that an increase in paperwork and compliance created by legislation passed under Labor’s law-and-order crackdown of the past decade, has significantly lifted workloads.

Opposition police spokesman John Gardner said it was clear the Government “will not come anywhere near meeting” its recruitment promise and should apologise to voters.

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