Almost 90 per cent of Northern Territory police officers believe the Gunner Government interferes with police operational matters and are extremely dissatisfied with its current performance, according to a survey released today.
The Northern Territory Police Association’s pre-election survey revealed 86.5 per cent of respondents rated NT Labor’s handling of policing issues over the current term of government as ‘poor’ or ‘extremely poor’.
The survey found 87 per cent of respondents believe the NT Government does not understand policing issues, while 86.5 per cent believe the government interferes in police operational matters.
More than half of the respondents, 62 per cent, believe the NT Government does not support police while 15 per cent of members expressed dissatisfaction with the chief minister and specifically called for him to resign.
The survey, held in February, was participated in by 500 officers, representing a third of the NT police workforce.
More than 75 per cent of respondents were frontline officers at constable to sergeant rank.
NTPA president Paul McCue said many officers held concerns around government interference in police matters and the police commissioner’s office being too responsive to political intervention.
“There’s a perception of separation of powers, the office of the Commissioner is extremely important to our members, the independence of that office and the feedback from the survey is that they (NT police members) still hold concerns around that,” he said.
Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro said the results demonstrated that many police had lost faith in the Gunner Government to support officers on the beat.
“It’s sad but not surprising that Territory police take such a dim view of the Gunner Government,” Mrs Finocchiaro said.
“Police deserve respect from the Territory Government, but they aren’t getting it from Labor. They will get respect from a CLP Government.”
Police minister and Treasurer Nicole Manison said the NT Government would continue to invest in police.
“That is something that we will always do to back our police,” she said.
Ms Manison said she had recently met with the NTPA about the survey and backed her government’s record, including establishing 70 police auxiliary liquor inspectors.
Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker’s office was contacted for comment.
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