From next Monday, New South Wales will become a “fine-free” state with Police set to show leniency on any ticketable offence following an escalating pay row with the State Government.
The action is expected to cost the State Government over $2 million and raise public interest over the matter with 15,000 police state-wide siding with the public for everything from road and boating fines to alcohol offences.
This has come about after the Government denied a proposed 5 per cent pay rise from the police union, instead offering 4 per cent in exchange for reduced entitlements, including compensation for injuries.
The police union has already employed this tactic before by introducing a “fine-free week” a fortnight ago, although this new boycott will last indefinitely.
For motorists this potentially means consequence-free driving although pushing the envelope for motoring offences isn’t recommended.
This row has also brought to light allegations that the Government has been overzealous in regards to the number of officers in the force, with the figure bloated by some 400 part-time police and officers seconded to the Federal Police at Sydney Airport.
“We’re suffering right across the board but just for example, highway patrol are currently 150 under strength,” Police Association president Bob Pritchard said.
“With the increased road toll, it’s the bleeding obvious that high-visibility and highway patrol officers out on the street are the best way to curb the death toll.”
At least it’s refreshing to hear that our police force is employing some common sense when it comes to reducing the road toll while the State Government continues to employ money-grabbing schemes thinly veiled as safety initiatives.
Source: ABC News