‘We can do more to fix it’: NSW Police Commissioner

ALBURY police raised the idea of a cross-border “ice” investigation unit with the NSW Police Commissioner during his visit to the station yesterday.

Andrew Scipione said more should be done to combat the area’s methamphetamine trade and he was willing to discuss further co-operation with Victoria Police.

“Based on the amount of briefings that take place, based on the amount of exchanges of information, the intelligence and the cross border work that goes on, I think there’s been a lot of good work in this area,” he said.

“But can we do more? Will we do more? Should we do more? The answer is yes, because you can never do too much.

“We’re in it together.”

Mr Scipione said Albury police commander Supt Beth Stirton had brought up the idea of a formal arrangement between Albury and Wod-onga police to tackle the Border’s methamphetamine trade.

Federal Liberal MP and co-chairwoman of a national parliamentary drug law reform group Sharman Stone proposed the need for a joint unit in The Border Mail ahead of Monday’s Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry at Wodonga.

Mr Scipione said he would discuss the idea with his Victorian counterpart Ken Lay if he raised the issue as a result of the inquiry.

Supt Stirton last week said she didn’t know if a joint unit would be the answer due to jurisdictional issues.

The commissioner was in Albury as part of a tour of eight southern NSW stations.

Some of the subjects canvassed were opera- tional issues, crime rates, equipment needs, successes and areas of improvement.

Mr Scipione singled out alcohol-related crime as a key issue in the area.

He called the five recent assaults of Albury security guards “outrageous behaviour” that “simply can’t be tolerated”.

He said the state’s new alcohol restrictions, including the 10pm closure of bottle shops, and the one punch law would help curb the problem.

“If you go out and get drunk to the point that you’re intoxicated and you hit somebody or throw something at them or assault them and they suffer grievous bodily harm or worse then you can expect to get a minimum mandatory sentence,” Mr Scipione said.

“You’re going to jail — that should be a really strong deterrent.”

He also ruled out the need for a second Albury police station.

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