Despite Maitland being one of the fastest growing areas in the state, the city’s police command will receive only one new recruit out of a class of 257 graduates.
One new officer has been allocated to the Port Stephens-Hunter district from the group, which graduated from the Police Academy in Goulburn on Friday.
One officer each was also assigned to Lake Macquarie and Newcastle City districts. Hunter Valley, which incorporates Cessnock, Singleton and Muswellbrook, received none.
More than 80 per cent of the rookie cops were assigned to stations in Sydney.
Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison and Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery said the Hunter had been “overlooked” in the allocations.
“Once again the government wants to focus only on Sydney at the expense of regional areas,” Ms Aitchison said.
“We’re taking the housing stress out of Sydney. Five new people move to Maitland each day. We need to be properly supported and resourced.”
“If this is considered a fair distribution of new recruits then we need to look at the way recruits are allocated,” Ms Hornery said.
Ms Aitchison said after speaking with the local branch of the NSW Police Association a year ago, she believed Maitland needed 20 more officers. Ten new positions have been allocated since then.
“We are still at least 10 officers short,” she said.
“The government has got to acknowledge we’ve got increasing crime rates here.
“Domestic violence is a huge problem which takes up a substantial amount of time and resources.
“Our police do an amazing job in the circumstances, but the government must support them.
Ms Hornery, whose electorate covers Beresfield and Tarro, said she believed the suburbs on the edges of police districts bore the brunt of understaffed stations.
“The Wallsend electorate covers three police districts and the major cause for concern seems to be the fringes where the districts meet,” she said.
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“The latest BOCSAR statistics show Beresfield and Tarro have a number of crime categories well above the state average.
“More police on the beat are needed.”
Ms Aitchison said she would continue to advocate for additional police in the lead-up to the 2019 state election, and beyond if she is re-elected.