CRACK floating police squads which could pounce on small towns and suburbs to smash drug rings and anti-social behaviour look set to be introduced across regional NSW in a proposal being considered by new Commissioner Mick Fuller.
Fairfax Media understands region enforcement squads may be rolled out across the rest of the state following their continued success throughout Sydney in extinguishing localised problems by flooding troubled areas with dozens of officers.
The squads would consist of about 30 plain-clothed officers and could perform work similar to that being performed by smaller units across local area commands including target action groups and special operations groups.
That work could range from investigating local spikes in property crimes, such as burglary and car theft, to taking on serious drug syndicates.
Their immediacy – and ability to inundate trouble spots – have impressed senior police, and the fact that Mr Fuller, who took over from Andrew Scipione last month, helped in setting them up across metropolitan Sydney has enhanced their claims.
They are separate to the once-successful regional crime squads, which were comprised of detectives who took over major cases including murder and armed robberies but were disbanded in the 1990s following the royal commission.
“They have been brilliant in Sydney; the fact you can have so many blokes just go in and smash a place just works,’’ one senior officer told Fairfax Media.
“And I think they would be even better regionally.
“Having a resource that you can immediately call on to go and quiet down a place just hasn’t been available.
“It means you can really nip something in the bud before it takes off.’’
A spokesman for Mr Fuller refused to confirm on Thursday the proposed expansion of the region enforcement squads, stating it was too early to speculate.
However, it is understood to be firmly on the table for the senior executive.
One of the main hurdles to the proposed expansions across the state includes finding the numbers to fill the squads, with local area commanders across the regions having to fill vacancies from their own staff.
They have been brilliant in Sydney; the fact you can have so many blokes just go in and smash a place just works