The ACT's Police Minister says the Canberra Liberals' argument for more officers and a new police station is a "tired" one, based on them "deliberately misinterpreting" police staffing numbers.
Opposition police spokesman Jeremy Hanson will put forward a motion in the ACT Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, calling on the government to set up a permanent police station in Molonglo Valley by 2022 and increase the number of police officers in Canberra.
Mr Hanson said the Molonglo Valley community was concerned about crime levels and, more broadly, the lack of police in the ACT.
"When you speak to police officers on the ground, when you speak to the Australian Federal Police Association, across Canberra there's no doubt that they're just stretched too thinly across the board," he said.
"The reason is that we just have too few police officers - we've got less in actual numbers than we did nearly a decade ago."
In Mr Hanson's motion, he will say the ACT has the lowest number of police per capita in Australia, and the territory should increase its numbers to at least match NSW's per capita levels by 2024.
He will point out the government cut $15 million from ACT Policing in the 2013-14 Budget.
Federal police association president Alex Caruana said the association would support a new Molonglo Valley station as long as it was "fully funded and future-proof".
He said police numbers were down across Canberra as a whole.
"We don't see police officers in shopping centres like we used to, we don't see police officers walking the streets in Civic like we used to, we don't see a presence like we used to - [that's] a big thing that we get when the community talks to us," Mr Caruana said.
"It opens up to that question: are the current police numbers meeting the community expectations?"
But ACT Minister for Police Mick Gentleman said the Canberra Liberals had "yet again deliberately misinterpreted police staffing numbers".
He said Canberra was a safe city with low crime rates, and they were the best measure to show "we are adequately resourcing our police force".
Mr Gentleman said that in the 2019-20 ACT budget, the government committed $33.9 million to the Policing Services Model, which would add more than 60 ACT Policing members in its first four years.
"These investments will ensure ACT Policing is well placed to deliver a sustainable, efficient and effective policing service for our community," the minister said.
"We are ensuring that the growing region of Molonglo is adequately served by front-line police and emergency services."
Mr Caruana said while crime rates were down in the ACT, a large portion of the work that police officers did was not reflected in those statistics.
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