Tele/ Tweed Daily News: Geoff Provest sponsors community petition for more Pottsville police

The state member for Tweed has put his name behind a petition calling for more police resources in the far North Coast.

Following calls from the community, the member of Tweed has sponsored a petition asking for more police in the Pottsville region.

The move comes after a community meeting in Pottsville next week where the member for Richmond Justine Elliot, a former cop, doubled down on calls for more police in the region.

“Locals have been telling me for so long we just don’t have enough police in our area and that crime is out of control,” Ms Elliot said.

“We now have less police today then we did 10 years ago.

“That’s incredibly distressing when we see those crime levels going up in the area.”

However, the state member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, disputed some of Ms Elliot’s clams.

He said the numbers were not actually down but instead had been reorganised into a number of different units including highway patrol, water police and a regional crime squad.

He also disputed claims crime levels were increasing.

“Over the last 100 days there were only 50 crimes reported to the police from Kingscliff to Pottsville,” Mr Provest said.

“Twenty of those were noisy parties.

“In that period of time we had 12 cars stolen – seven of those people had left their keys in the car on the street.”

He said in comparison over the same period the Tweed Heads region had 300 crimes reported.

Mr Provest said the state was also helping tackle crime by contributing a facility to get youth off the street and spending $4 million over four years to help with homelessness.

“The police tell me crime is down, they tell me they’ve got sufficient numbers,” Mr Provest said.

However Mr Provest has agreed to sponsor a petition by the Pottsville Residents Association President Bruce Brown asking for more police which requires 20,000 signatures.

“Every country town and regional town wants more police,” Mr Provest said.

“A big determination (on police) is the amount of crime – if people aren’t reporting crime it’s hard to argue for an increase in numbers.”

He said he believed the streets had “never been safer” and the police had done a good job with a 85 per cent conviction rate.

Mr Provest also encouraged the community to consider re-establishing the Pottsville neighbourhood watch.

The petition is currently being circled around businesses in Pottsville.

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