More Police on the frontline and a 24-hour service in Richmond are two key results of the Nelson Bays Police restructure now under way.
The strategic restructure, which has been developed over the past six months, is now in the first stages of implementation. Nelson Bays Area Commander, Inspector Brian McGurk has initiated the restructure to ensure the finite Police resources are utilised to best effect in order to increase capacity for preventative and visible policing.
"This restructure is all about working smarter. Staff numbers are not being reduced, however we have had a clear message from National Headquarters that we will not be getting extra staff in the near future. Therefore the challenge for me is to manage the resources I have to best effect. Ultimately that means reducing crime and road crashes."
One of the key drivers of the restructure was to get more staff back on to frontline policing and to enable staff to be rostered to risk.
"Richmond and the surrounding area has experienced considerable population growth and to better police these communities the Richmond Station will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
Inspector McGurk has also made more resources available to deal with family violence and child protection issues.
"It may come as a surprise to some people, but family violence is one of the largest volume crimes Police in Nelson Bays have to deal with. Hot on its heels are the associated issues around child safety and protection. This restructure will ensure we have more resources to effectively police these issues."
The restructure also creates a centralised file management centre to streamline paperwork and enable Police Officers to get back on the beat more quickly.
To provide the extra staff required in these areas staff have been moved out of traffic policing and some other youth services.
"We will have one less Community Constable and one Youth Education Officer, with those roles moving into the family violence and child protection teams. The staff movements also mean we will have slightly fewer traffic cops on the road in our Strategic Traffic Unit."
Inspector McGurk said the restructure had been developed through extensive consultation with staff and the Police Association.
He said the response from local staff to the change had been generally positive.
"I've had some really constructive input from staff from across Nelson Bays which has been valuable.
"Frankly, I see this restructure as a starting point. Our communities and the issues that arise in them are constantly changing. My expectation is that Police will retain the flexibility to quickly adapt to the changing needs of the community and manage our response accordingly," Mr McGurk said.