Extra cops are on the Coast beat

SEVERAL cops have begun their career on the Fraser Coast and there may be more coming soon with 120 police recruits starting their training at the Oxley Queensland Police Academy recently.

The recruits will do 30 weeks of training at the academy before being posted to stations across Queensland.

The State Government has promised to provide 600 additional police officers during the current term of government.

Police Minister Neil Roberts said more police were needed to maintain public safety as the population of Queensland increased.

"The number of police officers in the Maryborough Police District has risen from 179 in October 2008 to 190 in October this year – a 6 per cent increase,” Mr Roberts said.

“The number of officers has increased by around 22 per cent since June 2005, when there were 155 officers in the district.

“Our focus on boosting frontline resources is paying dividends – the overall rate of crime in Queensland has decreased by 28 per cent in the past 10 years.”

Queensland has about one police officer for every 434 residents.

While the Police Minister was lauding the State Government’s achievements, the Opposition was bagging its performance.

LNP police spokesman Vaughan Johnson said police recruitment in 2009/10 barely kept pace with those who left the service – putting a strain on frontline officers.

“The latest police annual report shows recruitment fell from 850 in 2008/09 to just 454 in 2009/10,” Mr Johnson said.

“In 2009/10, 350 officers left the services, of which 107 were experienced Sergeants and Senior Sergeants.”

Mr Johnson said frontline police were struggling under red tape and administrative requirements and the last thing needed was a staffing crisis.

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