Police Crime

Police resources in the Euroa electorate

23 June 2016

23 June 2016

Ms RYAN (Euroa) — The adjournment matter that I wish to raise tonight is for the Minister for Police, and the action I seek is that the minister categorically rule out cutting the hours of police stations in the Euroa electorate. I specifically make this request in light of recent comments by the Chief Commissioner of Police, who is quoted in the Herald Sun of 11 June as confirming that it is the government's intention to reduce police station hours.

Crime rates have spiked drastically across my region since Labor came to government, and frontline police numbers are falling as a result of Labor's failure to adequately resource Victoria Police. I note the comments of the Police Association Victoria secretary, Ron Iddles, in that article, who said that he does not support the notion of having one super-station and shopfronts and kiosks. He said:

I think the community is a long way off from accepting this.

The truth of the matter is that the government is considering these plans because it has failed to employ enough police to keep pace with population growth. Indeed the number of frontline police has fallen since Labor came to office. Communities like Rushworth have already seen the opening hours of their police stations cut, and police have been posted out of town, leaving communities exposed. The communities there are greatly concerned about the impact this is having on community safety, and there has been a visible increase in crime in those communities.

The latest crime statistics, which were released last week, show worrying trends. On average there are 1422 offences committed in Victoria every day. In comparison with last year, that is an extra 156 offences per day or an extra 57 344 offences this year. The Euroa electorate is battling with increasing crime rates, particularly in Benalla, where crime has increased by a staggering 36.6 per cent, the second highest increase in crime in any local government area in Victoria. In the Mitchell shire 4500 offences were committed over the past year, which is 1000 more than in the preceding 12 months. Property and deception crimes have the highest rates and are becoming more and more common in our local communities, along with crimes against the person.

The government has a responsibility to protect and care for the people of my electorate and the people of Victoria, and I urge the minister to give a firm commitment that the government will not cut the hours of police stations in my electorate.

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