An inquiry has heard how thugs who attack emergency service workers could soon be placed on a violent offenders register, which would come with several consequences.
Criminals who attack our emergency services could be placed on a violent offenders register under a new plan to tackle the rising number of assaults against NSW Police.
A parliamentary inquiry into assaults on members of the NSW Police Force called for the State Government to install a violent offenders register “for people identified as having a propensity for violence” which would restrict access to clubs and pubs.
“A condition of the register could include a suspension from visiting licensed premises or public gatherings for a period of time,” inquiry chair Wendy Tuckerman said.
“To be removed from the register, a person would need to attend a program aimed at addressing violent behaviour or provide evidence of behaviour change.”
The inquiry into officer assaults comes after NewsLocal revealed a massive 12,096 assaults were recorded by NSW Police and the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research between 2015 and 2019 — costing taxpayers an eye-watering $36 million in workers compensation claims.
Representatives from the NSW Police Force told the inquiry assaulted officers on Work Health and Safety Leave are not replaced by another staff member, sparking calls for a reserve pool of officers “to backfill temporary vacancies”.
“The colleagues of an injured officer take on the additional workload and shifts of that officer,” Ms Tuckerman said. “Knowing this, injured officers may feel pressure to return to work earlier than they should to relieve the additional workload on their colleagues.
“Having a pool of police officers available to fill temporary vacancies caused by WHS or sick leave could help ensure staffing levels are maintained.”
A NewsLocal investigation also uncovered the state’s leading police assault hot spots, which include Sydney Local Government Area with 337 cases in the past year, Blacktown with 142 incidents, Cental Coast reaching 105 assaults and Penrith with 103.
Campbelltown saw 96 incidents of assault against police, while Wollongong recorded 87 incidents in the same time frame
The NSW Government has until May, 2021 to respond to the inquiry.
Police Minister David Elliott, and the NSW Police Association were contacted for comment.
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