The SAPOL Annual Report has revealed that there are 48 fewer police officers on our streets this year compared to last year.
Active sworn police officers (including community constables)
- 30 June 2014 – 4522.7
- 30 June 2015 – 4474.8
The figures reaffirm that the Weatherill Government will not come anywhere near meeting its 'Recruit 300' police election promise – which requires them to increase sworn police numbers to more than 4,700 by 2018.
"At a time when we are asking police to do more than ever before – to crack down on domestic violence, to beat the scourge of ice, and to face an increasing threat of terrorism – Labor has started reducing police numbers," said Shadow Police Minister John Gardner.
"At two successive elections, and two by-elections, South Australia's community was promised 300 more police on the beat to ensure safer streets. It's not going to happen and it's time to apologise."
Labor's original promise, made prior to the 2010 election, was for '300 more police on our streets over the next four years.' 13 transit police were subsequently included, bringing the total to 313.
In the 2013-14 Budget the 2014 deadline was extended to 2018. Last September Minister Piccolo announced that cadets would be included in counting – despite previously saying that "the understanding is that it is 313 additional sworn officers, not cadets or community constables".
"This promise has been extended by four years, the count has been twisted to include cadets, the wording has been changed to take into account the transfer of some duties to unsworn officers – and the Government is still nowhere near delivering 313 extra police," said Mr Gardner.
"This is a broken promise plain and simple, and it is time for the Weatherill Labor Government to admit it and apologise to the people of South Australia."