NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and the NSW Minister for Police, Tony Kelly, have today officially opened a new police station at Lismore, purpose-built at a cost of $13.9m.
The building will be the functional base for officers operating out of Lismore, as well the hub for the Richmond Local Area Command, which covers the Northern Rivers region from Ballina to Casino.
The three-level state-of-the-art building is located in Zadoc Street, adjacent to the Wilson Creek, and beside the heritage-listed Molesworth Street police station built in 1935.
Commissioner Scipione said the first record of a police station in the district was in 1861, with six police officers serving the Richmond, Tweed and Clarence valleys.
“Two constables were originally posted to Lismore and, a few years later, a single constable was responsible for policing in Lismore,” Commissioner Scipione said.
“More than 200 men and woman based at 14 stations of the NSW Police Force serve the 115,000 residents of the Richmond community.
“The centralisation of resources is a key component in the provision of an efficient and effective policing service to the local community.”
The Commissioner said police commitment to the local community was seen in this week’s Bureau of Crime Statistics (BOCSAR) figures which showed a reduction in key areas between September 2006–2008. These include:
- 12 of the 17 crime categories were stable;
- Domestic-related assault was down 9 per cent
- Steal from motor vehicle was down 13.6 per cent
- Steal from dwelling was down 8.7 per cent.
“One of the key improvements is that the Local Area Command and other specialist units such as Legal Services are now centralised and housed under one roof,” the Commissioner said.
“The building also incorporates a Task Force room that can be used for major crime investigations and an Emergency Operations Centre.
“This will prove to be a valuable investment, as the centre of operations during local emergencies, such as the recent floods.”
The Forensic Services Unit now operates from the old police station house which has been refurbished.
Local Area Commander, Superintendent Bruce Lyons, said the new Lismore Police Station was a bricks-and-mortar example of improvements and initiatives being implemented in the LAC.
“Other initiatives in the command include a mobile police station based at Lennox Head to provide a police presence during peak tourism periods,” Supt Lyons said.
“There are three traffic operations in the area: Operation Southtracks, Richmond Speed, and next week is the launch of the annual Statewide summer road campaign, Operation Safe Arrival.
“An increased and sustained presence in the Nimbin area has seen an improvement in police-community relationships, with police involved in a number of proactive projects.