LNP promises more cops but Mackay's numbers are unknown
AN EXTRA 535 police officers will be on the beat throughout Queensland over the next three years if the Liberal National Party wins the November 25 State election.
The promise is 135 more officers than the Australian Labor Party's election commitment and would be delivered in full one year early.
However, after running a campaign off the back of reducing Mackay's crime problem, LNP candidate for Mirani Kerry Latter could not tell voters how the announcement would affect the district.
In comparison, the ALP explained Mackay would receive 11 new officers over four years, five graduated on November 2.
The LNP made the announcement today at Jubilee Park in Mackay, Shadow Communities Minister Ros Bates said her party wouldn't dictate to the Police Commissioner where the extra police would go, unlike the ALP.
"We will make sure the areas are completed resourced across Queensland but then again that is operational decision by the Police Commissioner,” she said.
Mr Latter was asked how people could vote for him off the back of his tough stance of crime but without knowing how many extra officers would come to Mackay.
"I think voters will go to the poll knowing this package would deliver more officers across Queensland which will include Mackay,” Mr Latter said. "535 means we're going to get the resources we need.”
But ALP Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said that wasn't good enough. She wanted voters in the region to know how many more police officers would come to the region if the LNP won the election.
"Even though Mackay has a low crime rate compared to other areas, we need to have our fair share of any additional resources so we can maintain our low level of crime,” she said.
"We can't take our eye off the ball with resources and let the crime rate increase.”
Mackay Crime Watch Facebook group administrator Noela Lowrey said she supported any policy which increased the number of police resources in Queensland and Mackay.
"I think (the crime problem in Mackay) is a combination of an overload on our police force and I don't think they have the proper resources to deal with crime,” she said.