Shadow Minister for Police Peter Katsambanis has expressed alarm that the McGowan Labor Government has cut spending on police staff.
“The latest quarterly financial figures have confirmed the public’s worst fears that our WA Police Force is being forced to do more with less resources by the WA Labor Government,” Mr Katsambanis said.
“The figures clearly show that in 2019-20 police staff will be paid $1 million less in salaries than they were in the previous 2018-19 financial year.
“This is despite a $1000 a year pay increase for every police officer and $5 million in additional overtime funding provided by the government to fight a rising wave of crime over summer.
“Our hard-working police officers have also been asked to bear the brunt of an additional workload during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet somehow the government ends up paying the police force $1 million less.
“Paying less in salaries means West Australians are getting fewer hours of police time on the beat, which places our whole society at risk of harm from criminal elements.
“In every suburb and every town across the State, people regularly report to us that they see less visible police presence than they have in the past. These alarming figures confirm the public haven’t got it wrong and that police officers really are on the beat for less time.
“The WA Labor Government might talk a tough game but after three years in government they have simply not delivered on community safety. Our existing police officers are being asked to do more and more work, which places them at increased risk of physical and mental harm. And public safety is placed at risk as the thin blue line is stretched to breaking point.
“West Australians should know that the WA Liberals are the only party that will put more police officers on the beat to look after the safety and well being of our community.