By Tara Ravens SYDNEY, May 23 AAP - An additional 30 positions will be created in NSW’s child abuse prevention squad almost a month after a report revealed children are falling through the cracks because of major staffing shortfalls. A leaked human resources review found the police squad responsible for protecting children from abusers was operating at 50 per cent below what’s needed. It said 50 cases were ready to proceed in January but suspects weren’t arrested because of a lack of resources. Wollongong detectives were dealing with 45 cases of child abuse when the recommended amount was no more than 15, with overworked officers forced out due to stress. The review also warned that workloads were set to explode in the wake of the national royal commission into institutional responses to child abuse. It found 175 officers were needed, 50 of them critically. On Thursday NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher said another 30 positions would provide an “enormous boost” to the capabilities of the Child Abuse Squad. “I am keen to see these 30 positions filled at the earliest opportunity with officers who have the skills, mental resilience and dedication to working with these victims of crime.
SYDNEY, May 19 AAP - The NSW government is prepared to consider increasing speed limits on freeways if it’s deemed safe, Premier Barry O’Farrell says. Roads Minister Duncan Gay has flagged raising speed limits by 5km or 10km per hour, if the roads meet certain standards. Mr O’Farrell has backed the initiative, stressing any moves to increase limits would need to be properly assessed by the Centre for Road Safety. “We should have speed limits that are appropriate for the roads on which people are driving,” he told reporters in Sydney on Sunday. “If that means that we build better freeways, if that means you can travel safely on those freeways at a higher level.. then we’re prepared to have the safety experts look at it.” Opposition leader John Robertson said the government needed to come up with evidence that showed increasing speed limits didn’t lead to more road deaths. “I’ve not seen a safety report that says we ought to be increasing speed limits to drive down the road toll,” he told reporters Sydney. “I want to see the safety reports on this because what we know, and what police tell me, is that speed kills.” NSW had driven the road death toll down to record levels by cracking down on speeding, he said.
SYDNEY, May 13 AAP - A man has been charged after storming into a police station in western Sydney with a loaded gun. The man, 32, walked into Bankstown police station about 10pm on Sunday and started behaving aggressively towards officers. While police were talking to him, the man lifted up his shirt, revealing a loaded gun and ammunition. The man subsequently placed the gun on a counter and was arrested. More ammo was later found in the man’s pants. He was charged with a number of offences including possessing a loaded firearm in a public place. He was refused bail and will front Bankstown Local Court on Monday.
SYDNEY, May 9 AAP - NSW’s top cop has urged tougher restrictions on importing firearms into Australia amid a police crackdown on gang-related gun crime. Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said on Thursday he wanted stricter rules for guns brought into the country. “I’d just like to see the importation of firearms to be restricted and stopped,” Commissioner Scipione told reporters. He said that would be “a very big ask” but he was dealing with the effects of firearm importation “downstream”. “More needs to be done … to actually stop them from coming into the country so we’re not dealing with them at crime scenes.” His call came as police revealed they had arrested 220 people in three months as part of a crackdown on outlaw gangs and gun crime. NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Mr Scipione said the arrests were part of Operation Apollo launched in February to target gang-related gun crime. Mr O’Farrell said in a statement that 420 charges had also been laid and 70 firearms taken off the streets.
SYDNEY, May 6 AAP - Sydney police officers went “above and beyond” to save an intellectually disabled woman from a burning building, their inspector says. Two officers arrived at a Marrickville house just after 2am (AEST) on Monday to find it ablaze, with smoke pouring from the roof and windows. Inspector Darren Smith says the officers heard a woman screaming from the back of the house. “The police tried to go through the front door but there was too much flames and smoke, so they’ve gone down the side and run past the actual bedroom that was on fire,” he told the ABC. In the next bedroom back they found the distressed woman, and had to force apart metal window bars to pull her to safety. The other occupants of the house, which operates as a disability care facility, had escaped out the front. Inspector Smith praised the actions of the two police officers who were first on the scene and had to be taken to hospital for smoke inhalation. “It was a pretty brave effort from both of them … running into the side of a burning building, they’ve gone above and beyond what they’re probably expected to do,” he said. The pair were in good spirits, he said.
SYDNEY, May 6 AAP - Kay Schubach would scramble for the landline while she was being beaten in her own home but her abuser would pull it out of the socket. He would go through her mobile phone regularly to find out what she was up to. Such cases have prompted the NSW government to launch a discreet smartphone app for victims of domestic violence. The Aurora domestic violence app has a “message friends” section allowing users to quickly send an SMS to a trusted friend or family member when they are feeling threatened. It has a choice of three in-built messages - “call me”, “come and pick me up” and “call the police for me” - that can be instantly communicated in emergencies with three quick touches on a phone pad. The app also allows users to customise texts to include a secret codeword shared only with a trusted friend or relative. “My abuser almost killed me in my own home,” Ms Schubach told reporters on Monday. “This would have been a life saver for me. “I could have called emergency services quickly or I could have sent a message to one of my friends.”
SYDNEY, May 4 AAP - The NSW opposition has accused the O’Farrell government of putting cost savings ahead of community safety by placing a freeze on police recruitment. In a statement on Saturday, Opposition Leader John Robertson said the government had stopped applications for a number of police force employment programs. “The O’Farrell government has suspended recruitment for the NSW Police Force indefinitely - despite critical police shortages in the child abuse squad, public transport command and local police stations,” Mr Robertson said in a statement. “It has today been revealed the government has ordered no new applicants be allowed to apply to become a police officer in NSW - because it claims it already has enough.” Opposition police spokesman, Nathan Rees, said the announcement was about cost reduction. He called on the government to explain whether it was putting cost cutting ahead of community safety. Comment was being sought from the government. A spokesman for Police Minister Michael Gallacher said the freeze was only in place because there were thousands of prospective recruits on the force’s waiting list. “There are over 1000 people trying to get into the academy,” the spokesman said. “It’s not fair to make people pay over $500 in medicals when they are on a long waiting list.”
May 2, 2013: Following revelations that easily spread asbestos remained unaddressed at Villawood, the NSW Police Association is threatening to ban officers from the controversial detention centre. The police association may ban its members from attending emergencies at the Villawood immigration detention centre unless the federal government immediately has the asbestos threat at the facility independently reviewed. The federal Greens, calling this “a potentially life and death situation for employees and the people being held in Villawood”, also demanded action. The concerns follow revelations in The Global Mail with Detention Logs this week that 165 current asbestos contaminations – including 27 classified as “medium risk” and friable, or easily spread – had been detected and reported at the Villawood centre in both 2011 and 2012.
By Dan Proudman Marvellous. Senior Constable Tony Tamplin would have been chuffed as thousands of mourners packed Newcastle Town Hall this morning to celebrate the life of a man who had touched so many. Brilliant and heartfelt tributes from his grieving wife, Sonia, their children and his brother, Denis, were complimented by moving words from NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and representatives from the media and charities. Senior Constable Tamplin died suddenly on Monday, aged 54 and after 35 years service in the police force, more than a decade helping his favourite charity Variety - the Childrens Charity and seven years as a popular celebrant. Mr Scipione also announced that Senior Constable Tamplin would be honoured posthumously with the National Police Service Medal, recognising his ethical and diligent service in protecting the community. “When we gather at a funeral to farewell a colleague, a friend, a loved one, it is understandable, perhaps inevitable, that the mood is sombre,’’ Mr Scipione said. “There is always great sadness at the loss.
SYDNEY, April 29 AAP - A silver bullet to reduce underage boozing is available but the NSW government has bowed to industry pressure instead of protecting the young, police have told an inquiry. Reduced trading hours, limiting the sale of high-alcohol content drinks, and lockouts resulted in a 37 per cent decrease in late night assaults when the measures were trialled in Newcastle. “If that was the road toll there would be handstands being done down Macquarie Street to introduce it,” Peter Remfrey, secretary of the police union, said. He was speaking at a parliamentary inquiry into strategies to reduce alcohol abuse among young people. “We can only surmise that it’s the influence of the industry that has stopped the ongoing rollout of this,” Mr Remfrey said. Scott Weber, president of the Police Association of NSW, told the hearing the model should be rolled out across NSW.
By Melissa Davey Surgeons across Australia are urging a change to the nation’s drinking culture, saying they are tired of patching up people hurt as a result of drunken violence. They say alcohol is increasingly a factor in the cases of shattered jaws and severed tendons they confront, describing much of their work as focusing on ”preventable tragedies”. Whether those people being wh
SYDNEY, April 22 AAP - Police in the NSW Hunter have had a lucky escape after two Molotov cocktails thrown at a police station failed to ignite. Officers found two smashed glass bottles at the back of Cessnock Police station around 3am (AEST) on Friday. Investigators also found fluid nearby and determined that it came from a Molotov cocktail that had been thrown at the station’s roof, police said. Detectives are appealing to anyone with information about the incident to come forward.