As you are aware, Sheriff’s Officers are responsible for the safe and efficient functioning of the courts and justice system. They maintain the security of court complexes and ensure the safety of judicial officers, legal professionals and the public in NSW courts and tribunals.
Sheriff’s Officers also have law enforcement responsibilities – serving warrants, summons and other orders issued by NSW courts and tribunals and the enforcement of orders within NSW on behalf of Commonwealth courts – the High Court, Federal Court and Family Court of Australia.
Over the last few years, the number of Sheriff’s Officers throughout NSW has been declining, with many unsatisfactory reasons given for failing to recruit and/or not fill vacant positions.
The heightened national terror alert announced in September 2014 further amplified the need to address Sheriff’s Officer numbers.
PSA staff and delegates on the Sheriff’s Officers’ Vocational Branch Advisory Group (SOVBAG) have been campaigning tirelessly for an increase in Sheriff’s Officer numbers.
Part of a dispute lodged by the PSA against the Office of the Sheriff in March 2015 was the considerable reduction in Sheriff’s Officers and the need to rectify this shortfall as a matter of urgency.
The PSA was advised by the Department in June this year that an increase in funding for one year had been granted for the recruitment of Sheriff’s Officers to address the heightened national terror alert.
The persistence of the PSA in highlighting the need for more Sheriff’s Officers paid off. The Government announced that security at key courthouses across NSW will be strengthened with the appointment of forty (40) new Sheriff’s Officers.
The new recruits will undergo a five week training program, with the first classes already underway. Once the recruits have successfully completed their training, they will be located in Sydney and regional areas of NSW.
What can you do?
- Give a copy of this bulletin to your colleagues.
- Print out this bulletin and put it up on your notice board.
- Ask a colleague to join the PSA.
- Get involved as your Area Contact.
- Attend a meeting at your worksite.
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