Delegates, it’s time.

It’s time to listen.

It’s time to act.

For years, governments and the NSW Police Force have listened to everyone.
They have listened to the Coroner.
They have listened to oversight bodies.
They have listened to all the other government services who have said “we can’t do it, I’m sure the police can fill that gap.”

And for many years the men and women of the NSW Police Force have done just that and filled that gap and it’s because they have a duty and a sense of service to this state.
Our members will never say no because our members have always made a bad situation work.
Delegates, enough is enough.

It’s time to listen to the men and women on the street, in Detective offices, in Specialist areas, the cops young and old who have taken on all these functions that other services aren’t available to do.
It’s time to listen to the voices of men and women who are at breaking point because of this excess workload.

Our Police are leaving the profession that they love because they can’t do it anymore.
Those that are staying are tired, they are fatigued, they are burning out and they are getting injured.

It’s time to listen to what those members are saying.

It’s time to let our police be Police. 
When I joined the Police Force, you were given a police uniform and you enforced the law.
Today we may as well give our officers a police uniform and a kit bag full of different uniforms that they may have to put on.

Because today all over NSW, officers have come to work and at some point during that shift or due to the lack of available experts, they will be expected to be mental health clinicians, ambulance paramedics, relationship councillors, prison guards, youth workers, workcover investigators, family law solicitors, RSPCA inspectors, national parks and wildlife officers, insurance data collectors, probation and parole officers and so many more jobs that we have inherited over the years.

Why in 2024 are NSW police sitting with juvenile offenders who have been in custody for months and taking them to court appearances all over the state.

Why in 2024 do police have to sit with adults in custody and bail refused who have been hospitalised because of where the hospital is located.

Why in 2024 can a local Mental Health team call the local police station and have them check on a patient who is refusing to take his or her medications.

Why in 2024 do police have to drive bail refused prisoners around the state because corrective services cannot pick them up.

In 2024 why is Mr and Mrs Citizen calling Police and having to wait because their local police are elsewhere doing a non-police function.

Because in 2024 our police aren’t just police anymore.
They are the problem solver for everyone else.

Our members should not be expected to be experts in jobs that they aren’t trained in. 
Sometimes, mistakes are made, but at least they care and are trying to make a difference because everyone else has packed up for the day and gone home. 
It is inherently unfair for them to be heavily criticised when something goes wrong in that space.
It is becoming far too commonplace these days that they are always the first and easiest to blame.
It is disrespectful that they are treated like second class citizens in various Coroners courts across the state and allowed to be subjected to ridiculed for their actions during the course of those proceedings.
It is soul destroying when they spend hours and hours preparing briefs of evidence to bring justice for a victims of crime only to see sentences handed down by a judicial system that seems out of touch with community expectations.

And it is outrageous when they are called murderers by a political party that does nothing but lay in wait with an agenda to defund the police.   

It’s time to listen, it’s time to show our members the respect they deserve, our members are experts in law enforcement. 

Running into and then investigating scenes like Bondi Junction or standing the line between the community and those who wish to destroy it like we saw at the Wakeley riot. These are but two recent incidents. But these levels of heroics, and dedication and professionalism occur every day across this state by our Police officers.
This is our job. Law enforcement and keeping our communities safe.

Premier, two years ago you told our delegates that for our Police, NSW Labor have their backs.  

I implore you to get around a table with your ministers and say the NSW Police Force are no longer the problem solvers for everyone else’s portfolio. 

The solutions lie with them.

Tell them that Police are going back to the streets to enforce the law and keep communities safe and that they have your full support for doing this.

Premier, we know that this can happen.

We told you that recruitment was an issue and now, we have an unprecedented staff vacancy issue. You listened.

A suite of recruitment initiatives have now been implemented.

Paying new recruits to train whilst at the Academy has seen a 25% increase in applications compared to this time last year and classes of 350 students not seen in years.

Modernizing recruiting has provided pathways for people in regional areas under the ‘Be A Cop In Your Hometown’.

Modernising The Professional Mobility Program where Police from other states and New Zealand can now join NSW Police Force and after training have their current service recognised at rank up to Senior Constable Level.   

You listened and you led on these issues of staff shortages which will eventually take pressure off the front line. It is now imperative to ensure that we retain experienced Police to train these recruits, to guide them and to mentor them.

For a long time, Police officers have held the line with fewer numbers, managing a workload that has not decreased. 

They have done this,only to return home and endure the same living pressures that every other family in this state is confronted with. Cost of living and raising a family, housing and rental prices, working towards and being able to contribute to a comfortable retirement… our members are not immune to these pressures. 

It’s time to listen and lead again by giving the men and women of the NSW Police Force the respect they deserve, the remuneration they deserve and the resources they need.

Premier, we look to your leadership to respect, to reward and to retain our cops.