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NSW police deny Redfern ban plan

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 22 February 2004


The New South Wales Police Association has played down a newspaper report that officers at the inner Sydney suburb of Redfern will impose a work ban on the site of last Sunday night's riot.

Police are meeting this week to discuss whether they will declare an area in Redfern known as "The Block" a "no-go zone".

Police Association president Ian Ball says Redfern officers will meet tomorrow afternoon to voice anger and discuss the policing of the block.

"I think that our members will have a meeting and they will discuss a whole range of issues," Mr Ball said.

"They are entitled to be quite annoyed at what's gone on and they will, no doubt, discuss a range of strategies that they might want to undertake.

"One thing's for certain, while I was at the police station they made me very, very aware that they would do their duty."

New South Wales Opposition spokesman Peter Debnam says the police reaction is not surprising.

"You've got to understand their fury. They've really haven't had the support of the Carr Government all week," Mr Debnam said.

New South Wales Police Minister John Watkins says there is no part of Redfern, or any part of the state, that is a no-go zone for police.

"I absolutely support the outstanding work they've been doing and I'm confident that will continue."

Mr Watkins says discussions are now under way to ensure community services are also integrated with police efforts.

"In my discussions with the local area commander, he was complimentary about the level of support that police were receiving from other agencies," he said.

"But I'm very happy to discuss these matters wtih the local area commander at any time to see how we can better support these front-line troops that have done such an outstanding job."


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