The Malinauskas Labor Government has cut crucial funding for 168 Protective Security Officers in a huge blow to the safety and security of South Australians as SAPOL faces a staff shortage crisis.
The Budget shows not even a cent has been allocated to retain the PSO’s past 2022/23 – a concerning move that coincides with the delay of three SAPOL cadet intake courses because of an applicant shortage.
The $23.6 million funding cut comes as new SAPOL data reveals an enormous jump in crime with more than 5,100 new offences committed in just four categories for April 2022:
• Aggravated Robbery – 35% increase.
• Serious Criminal Trespass – 18% increase.
• Shop Theft – 31% increase.
• Acts Intended to Cause Injury – 6% increase.
Shadow Minister for Police and Community Safety, Tim Whetstone, said crime is on the rise and Labor has responded with a $23.6 million resource cut.
“We’re seeing crime rates jump in South Australia, but Labor isn’t boosting SAPOL’s resources to match that concerning trend,” Mr Whetstone said.
“SAPOL officers are crying out for help and Labor’s only solution is a massive resource cut.
“We’ve known for months that SAPOL is under immense staff shortage pressure. So why hasn’t Labor stepped up and provided the resources needed to boost frontline services and protect South Australians?
“Instead, Labor has axed funding for 168 trained PSO’s in a move that will have horrible consequences and negative impacts on community safety.
“We need as many officers on the frontline as possible because the crime trend shows that’s where they’re needed right now.”