IN CHARGE: New Coffs Clarence Police Local Area Commander Superintendent Steve Clarke with Grafton commander Inspector Jo Reid.
IN CHARGE: New Coffs Clarence Police Local Area Commander Superintendent Steve Clarke with Grafton commander Inspector Jo Reid. Tim Howard

Crime prevention key to new police commander's plans

ALMOST two months into his role as Coffs Clarence Police Local Area Commander Steve Clarke is still getting around the traps of his new command.

This week, Supt Clarke was in Grafton to inspect the Northern region and talk to local community groups.

He comes to the role with experience of the issues confronting police on the NSW North Coast.

"I was commander of the Hunter Valley Police District before I came here,” he said.

"Before that I was the crime manager at the Mid North Coast command, based in Port Macquarie.

"Prior to that I was in the Richmond command, so I've worked in commands to the north and south of Coffs/Clarence.”

Supt Clarke's approach to the command has been businesslike, even using the term "business plan” to describe his blueprint for the command since taking over from Supt Mark Holohan on July 23.

"In the district we're moving the focus more to crime prevention,” he said.

"That involves engaging people involved in the agencies and community groups so there is intervention prior to incidents happening.”

He said the long-term business plan for the LAC involved three roles for police.

"Firstly there's prevention, then there's disruption and finally there's response,” he said.

"They actually align with the attitudes of the Commissioner (Mick Fuller).”