A petition calling on the NSW Parliament to act on community demands for a 24-hour police presence in the Wellington township is gaining momentum.
Members of the Wellington Business Chamber are overseeing the effort which has already gained over 400 signatures in just a few days.
“You’ve got to have somewhere near 500 signatures to get it read out in the parliament,” Wellington business owner Michael White said.
Mr White first took the matter to the chamber of commerce because he believes breaking and entering is on the rise.
“We know from observation they start after the police clock off,” Mr White said, adding a number of local businesses and residences have experienced costly break-ins in the early hours.
“It’s a bit of a joke,” Wellington Business Chamber President Barry Jeffery said.
“We’ve been promised 24 hour police three times previously. I feel like we’ve been let down by the state government. The officers here work hard, but they’re flat out.”
Allison Irwin’s hardware store was broken into at 4am in the morning.
“When we rang the police, it went through to Dubbo and they sent a policeman from Yeoval that took an hour to get here,” Mrs Irwin said.
“These undesirables know when the police finish and in these early hours they just run havoc on our beautiful town.”
“It’s frustrating. The police do a great job, we just need a 24 hour police station.”
The break in cost the Irwin’s business over $5000 in total losses.
Orana Mid-Western Police District inspector Dan Skelly said Wellington Police were available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Our pro-active team from Dubbo is frequently there patrolling in un-marked cars.”
“Most of the members of the community wouldn't be able to distinguish them because they’re undercover.”
Inspector Skelly is confident that crime in Wellington will trend downwards overall.
“Across the five major crime categories, of which breaking and entering is one, they have all been trending down.”
“I’m happy with the way things are running with the staffing that I presently have available.”