Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney MP, has welcomed a Brumby Labor Government announcement to add an extra 1,966 police across Victoria in the biggest single boost to police numbers in the state’s history.
“We are deploying an additional 1,700 officers to front-line policing as well as freeing up an additional 266 police officers to be redeployed to other operational roles,” Ms Tierney said.
“This rollout will start this year and will see Labor increase the number of police in Victoria by over 3,500 sworn police since 1999.”
Ms Tierney said that under the Labor Government’s plan, to be funded in the upcoming Budget, the Chief Commissioner of Police would allocate the extra resources based on their operational need.
As part of the boost to the force, 266 sworn police would be moved from desk-bound jobs, such as call taking and dispatch in regional areas, into frontline roles, with new jobs for public servants backfilling these positions.
Ms Tierney said that increases in the numbers of police in the Western Victoria since 1999 highlighted the Labor Government’s commitment to investing in increased police numbers across Victoria. Increases in police numbers and their corresponding crime rate include:
• Police numbers in Geelong have increased by 18.51 per cent and crime has reduced by 28 per cent;
• Police numbers in Surf Coast have increased by 24.47 per cent and crime has reduced by 9.7 per cent;
• Police numbers in Ballarat have increased by 40.03 per cent and crime has decreased by 6.4 per cent;
• Police numbers in Moorabool have increased by 88.53 per cent and crime has decreased by 31.8 per cent;
• Police numbers in Horsham have increased by 22.32 per cent and crime has increased by 38.7 per cent;
• Police numbers in Corangamite have increased by 1.28 per cent and crime has reduced by 2.7 per cent;
• Police numbers in Southern Grampians have increased by 9.68 per cent and crime has reduced by 4.2 per cent; and
• Police numbers in Warrnambool have increased by 3.76 per cent and crime has reduced by 1.1 per cent.
Ms Tierney said that the Labor Government has been working with Victoria Police to crack down on crime such as drunken and disorderly behaviour, hoon driving and graffiti, to help keep communities safe.
“Since we introduced tough new laws in late 2009, a total of 436 $234 fines have been handed out to troublemakers in the Western Victoria,” Ms Tierney said.
“We have also rebuilt or refurbished more than 160 police stations and residences as part of a $450 million police station building program – the largest in the state’s history.”
Ms Tierney said that the Labor Government had invested in building and upgrading a number of police stations in Western Victoria, including Gordon, Buninyong, Bellarine, Apsley, Branxholme, Kaniva, Edenhope, Dartmoor, Goroke, Lake Bolac, Merino, Natimuk, Nhill, Penshurst, Balmoral, Beeac, Forrest, Lavers Hill, Bannockburn, Cressy, Apollo Bay, Timboon, Mortlake, Landsborough, Learmonth, Lexton, Clunes, Skipton, Beaufort, Maryborough, Smythesdale, Elmhurst, Linton, Ararat, Torquay, Koroit and Macarthur.
“When Labor promises new police, Labor delivers. Since 1999, we have promised and then delivered 1400 new police and currently adding more than 470 more to the force,” said Ms Tierney.
“This is in stark contract to the Victorian Opposition, who, when Ted Baillieu was party president, promised 1,000 new police but actually cut 800.
“Only Labor can be trusted to deliver new police to Victoria – and today’s announcement reaffirms that.”