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'Stressed out' police threaten to strike - 28 February 2006

Exclusive by Kara Lawrence Daily Telegraph February 28, 2006

POLICE in NSW's top robbery hotspot, Redfern, have demanded 20 more frontline officers be posted to the area or they will consider industrial action.

Robbery rates in Redfern are spiralling, a Police Association branch meeting was told yesterday. Redfern local area command last year experienced a massive 7.4 per cent of all robberies across the state.

Officers in the area expressed frustration at yesterday's meeting at being overworked and not having enough general duties officers to respond to robberies and other crimes.

Redfern usually has two patrol cars staffed by two officers each shift - police are demanding three cars a shift.

Detective Sergeant Mark Carter said robbery figures were rising and police were "going backwards" due to the workload.

"We're number one in the state for robberies - the numbers speak for themselves," he said.

The meeting voted to give NSW Police 30 days to meet the demand or face industrial action.

Association president Bob Pritchard said the extra numbers were essential to ensure the community got the service it needed.