MacDonald hits out at Aitchison’s police comments

27/04/2020 Posted by admin

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald has taken aim atMaitland MP Jenny Aitchison’s comments regarding police resources in Maitland.

The Mercury reported on Wednesday that Ms Aitchison had made a pushfor more police in Maitland, saying a lack of resourceshad forcedofficers to choose between which lives to save.

Mr MacDonald said the comments “undermined” community confidence in the NSW Police.

“There is no evidence a life has been lost or endangered because of police numbers, their resources or their operational decisions,” he said.

But Ms Aitchison stood by her comments, which she said came from “extensive” research anddiscussions withpolice and said she was not criticising the police in any way.

“They are in a situation where they are having to prioritise which cases they go to,” she said. “It has to be endangering lives. But it’s notthe police’s fault.”

Ms Aitchison said Mr MacDonald should be advocating for better resources instead of attacking her and invited him to come and see the situation for himself.

Mr MacDonald went on to point out figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistics showing most major crime categories had remained stable in the two years to December 2017.

“The two year trend for domestic violence in Maitland remains stable,” he said.

But Ms Aitchison said police told her at the Maitland community precinct meeting that thecity’s rate of Apprehended Domestic Violence Order applicationswas top of the state.

In terms of police numbers, Mr MacDonald said sincethe NSW Liberal National Government was elected in 2011, the number of sworn officers has increased from 15,806 to 16,800 across NSW.

“We are confident the [Port-Stephens Hunter] Police District command is proactively and effectively serving the community,” he said.

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