Upper Hunter candidate Lee Watts says police numbers in the region are unacceptable

POLICE numbers in the Upper Hunter are just not acceptable according to Lee Watts, candidate for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party.

“We have police stations in this electorate, but not enough police to staff them, much less enough police working in our towns,” said Mrs Watts. “The Singleton area has a population of more than 23,000 people, but the state government don’t think that’s enough to have an operational police station,” she said.

“I have people from all of our towns talking to me about how long it takes for police to reach them from Muswellbrook, how they can’t remember the last time they saw police on the beat in our towns and it’s because neither of the major parties have bothered to make sure police numbers keep pace with our communities growing needs.

“When you look at the Singleton police station it was built in 1896, because even that long ago the town needed police on the ground and in 1996 the last lock up keeper left and it has been unstaffed ever since. “It is the same story around the electorate in our towns with police stations that people can’t go to for help.

“We shouldn’t have to wait for police to travel from Muswellbrook to respond, we need more police in our towns ready to respond and ready to answer the door when we need them.

“Our local police do an incredible job, travel huge distances to respond urgently to road accidents, domestic violence and they have more and more jobs and paper work to do; they deserve more support and we deserve more police.

“Saying we don’t have enough police to staff a station sounds like a bad joke and it is,” she said. “It is not ok that both of the major parties have let numbers dwindle away and our stations close, because it has happened under both of them, but they don’t have a problem pumping money into billion dollar stadiums and weird multi-million dollar art works in Sydney while we get left behind with the basics,” she said.

“The Upper Hunter deserves better and if people want things to change they need to vote for change and not keep voting for the major parties who have a long history of leaving the Upper Hunter behind,” Lee Watts said.