Overall, the NSW Police Force (the Force) is not meeting its target for responding to urgent calls for assistance. Today, one in four complaints is about customer service. Victims of crime report issues including difficulties in contacting an officer and frustration at having to wait for an officer to return to duty to find out about their case. The timeliness of investigations is also at risk when follow-up is delayed. Seventy per cent of commanders surveyed indicated that rosters did not support continuity of investigations or victims’ needs.
We are also concerned that the current roster pattern may not be in the best interest of the health and safety of officers. Sick and injury leave is higher in NSW than other states and the Force is yet to assess the extent to which rosters may contribute to this. The Force also needs to do more to protect its general duties officers from fatigue in line with contemporary practice for managing shiftwork.
Parliamentary reference - Report number #173 - released 5 December 2007