Upper Hunter residents to witness more visible police presence on the streets

UPPER Hunter residents will see a more visible police presence on their streets from this month, with the start of a newly-formed unit.

In January 2019, the NSW Government announced 100 new high-visibility officers to be stationed at five regions across the state.

In the Northern Region, six will be posted at Newcastle Police Station to service multiple districts including Newcastle City, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens-Hunter, Hunter Valley, Tuggerah Lakes and Brisbane Water.

The Northern High-Visibility Police (HVP) Unit is aimed at preventing, disrupting, and responding to crime by undertaking high-visibility patrols of crime hotspots, roads, transport networks, local neighbourhoods, and planned events.

The HVP Unit will proactively engage with individuals, groups and communities at risk of crime in an effort to build intelligence-driven data.

The officers will be specifically trained in intelligence gathering, so they can proactively identify conflicts ranging from local level issues to more serious incidents.

Northern Region Commander Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell APM said the high-visibility teams would be a reassuring presence on Hunter Valley streets, playing a key role in disrupting crime and anti-social behaviour.

"High-visibility policing is a crucial element of regional policing," he explained.

"We want our communities to know we are there in numbers to protect and support them 24/7.

"Local policing is at the heart of any regional community.

"And, the HVP Unit is designed to increase overall confidence for all members of the community, by addressing any concerns from retail owners, to visitors, to residents and workers.

"The Northern HVP Unit will have the ability to be deployed wherever our demand and need is.

"They are highly-skilled and available to engage with the public - we want you to come up and talk to them, tell them what is happening in your neighbourhood.

"By targeting crime with more boots on the ground and in a highly-visible manner, it's hoped offenders will have second thoughts before breaking the law."

The HVP officers can be deployed to any areas of the Northern Region as deemed appropriate.

The Northern HVP Unit consists of one Sergeant and five Constables.

The officers began their first foot patrols last week.