2018 Back the Blue staffing campaign wins 1,500 extra police

On 3 September 2018, the PANSW launched a strategic staffing campaign calling for additional Police.

It was timed to follow the NSW Police Force’s internal restructure and was backed by our comprehensive state-wide audit that had uncovered a high number of vacancies—900 ghost police who only existed on paper.

This shortfall meant NSW Police Force hadn’t met the benchmark of responding to 80% of urgent calls for assistance within the target time for years.

Our compelling brief sought more police across the force to:

  • Fill vacant positions in metropolitan areas and allow for future police in high growth suburbs;

  • Target the scourge of illicit drugs;

  • Monitor/target offenders on the Child Protection Register who weren’t being monitored;

  • Provide increased supervision in country areas; and

  • Boost specialist divisions including DV response teams, Detectives, Prosecutors and Forensic Services.

As part of an overarching state-wide strategy, local Police Association branches ran strong Back the Blue staffing campaigns, with support from PANSW regional teams.

Our social media presence was also vital in driving the momentum of the campaign.

Widespread media coverage focused attention on insufficient numbers of police to monitor and target convicted paedophiles on the Child Protection Register and the increased workload due to the Ice epidemic, especially in regional areas.

To support the campaign, an online petition was launched which received over 11,000 signatures.

Leading up to the 2019 NSW State Election, we launched our Pre-Election submission at NSW Parliament, calling on both the NSW Government and Opposition to “Back the Blue”.

In November 2018, a significant breakthrough was achieved when NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, announced an additional 1,500 police over four years.

This is the largest injection of police in 30 years and a significant win for the PANSW, our activists and members.