The Andrews Labor Government will give police new powers to collect the DNA of suspected criminals, introduce new laws to crackdown on organised crime and drive by shootings, and establish a dedicated police assistance line for the community, as part of a comprehensive plan to keep Victorians safe.
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney welcomed the release of Victoria’s first ever Community Safety Statement – a plan to keep Victorians safe, prevent harm in our communities and hold criminals to account.
The measures outlined in the plan are being backed by an additional $2 billion in investment, and include:
- The recruitment of an additional 2,729 police and 100 Protective Services Officers over the next four years – the largest single police investment in Victoria Police’s 163 year history.
- Establishing a dedicated 24-hour Police Assistance Line for non-emergency calls so that Victorians can contact police when and where they need to.
- Rolling out state-of-the-art Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology to 220 transit police vehicles, up from six, to crack down on dangerous and unauthorised drivers.
- Modernising and expanding the Victoria Police Air Wing by engaging three new helicopters and one fixed wing aircraft.
- Building a new training facility for Victoria Police’s Special Operations Group, Bomb Squad, and Critical Incident Response Team.
- $10 million in Youth Crime Prevention grants to for the community to address the cycle of youth offending and recidivism.
Ms Tierney said the Surf Coast Shire Council had received $230,540 in funding as part of the Labor Government’s Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants program.
This funding will help the Council deliver the installation of lighting and security measures at community facilities across Deans Marsh, Lorne, Jan Juc, Mount Moriac and Anglesea for safer community precincts.
The Community Safety Statement also outlined new police powers to fight crime including:
- Giving police the power to take DNA samples from people suspected of committing an indictable offence without a court order, increasing the number of DNA samples analysed by police from 7,000 to 70,000.
- Introducing new laws to ban the payment of cash for scrap metal in an effort to target organised crime.
- New laws targeting drive-by shootings, including firing into a house, building or stationary vehicle.
The Community Safety Statement recognises that all Victorians have the right to feel safe and be safe – in their homes, workplaces and businesses, on transport, in public and in their neighbourhoods.
The Government is building on the approach of other leading jurisdictions, such the Statement of Intent in New Zealand and the Mayor of London’s approach to the development of its Police and Crime Plan.
The statement will be released annually to track outcomes, improve responses and ensure Victorians are kept up to date on community safety issues into the future.
Quotes attributable to Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney MP
“This is a comprehensive and historic plan to keep Victorians safe.”
“We are funding thousands of additional frontline police, introducing new laws to fight crime and giving our police the latest in crime fighting capabilities.”
“We’re also working to break the cycle of youth offending in the shire through a targeted grants program.”
“The Government is proud to be partnering with the Surf Coast Shire Council to help increase public safety.”