Tasmania Police Union calls for Urgent Recruiting over Staffing Concerns

Some of the first police graduates in three years
Police morale in northern Tasmania has hit rock bottom because of understaffing and high workloads, the Police Association of Tasmania says.

Association president Pat Allen said he received calls and text messages on Thursday night, the eve of the Easter long weekend, about a staff shortage at the Launceston Police Station.

“There was two acting sergeants and three fairly junior constables working in the area,” he said.

“They had been asking for extra numbers for weeks because it was a Thursday night before Easter, probably a big night.”

Mr Allen said the officers were called for a burglary, drunks, disturbances, hooning, family disputes, concerns for welfare and suspicious persons jobs.

“And they were expected to do that with three constables, one sergeant that has to stay at the station and an acting sergeant out on the road,” he said.

“There was a lot of frustration in the text messages I was receiving last night.

“They were concerned for their own welfare, to the stage where according to a message I got, morale is the lowest they had ever seen and young members are talking about resigning because of the workload.

“What we want is for action to be taken by the police service, put numbers into that area as soon as possible.”

During the election campaign the State Government committed to recruiting an additional 125 police officers, taking the total police numbers to 1,362.

It promised the majority of those officers would be deployed to the frontline at first-response 24-hour stations and in regional and rural locations.

Mr Allen said the extra resources were welcomed but the process should be fast-tracked in Launceston.

“Stop mucking around and get on with getting numbers into that area,” he said.

“The whole of the northern district is understaffed. It needs to happen quickly.”

The Government has been contacted for comment.