Police in the Geelong region do a marvellous job, but they can do only so much. In 2011 just over half of all offences committed in Geelong and the Surf Coast were committed by young members of our community. More than 80 per cent of thefts from motor cars in Geelong were committed by young members of our community, which is a figure significantly higher than the state average. More than 60 per cent of residential burglaries were committed by people under 24, again well above the state average. These statistics are very much out of kilter with the rest of the state, where the percentage of youth offences is a little over 40 per cent, compared to 50 per cent in the Geelong and Surf Coast regions. These statistics speak for themselves.
The City of Greater Geelong council recently passed a motion to lobby the government on police numbers, and the Geelong Advertiser, through articles and editorials, constantly seeks an explanation from the government on this issue. Earlier this month the people of Geelong spoke loud and clear in a Geelong Advertiser reader survey, indicating that 27.6 per cent of locals feel less safe than they did 12 months ago and 92.5 per cent firmly believe that we need more police. Yet this government continues to remain silent and has not come in any way close to its election commitment of 70 new police for our region. The people of Geelong and the Surf Coast need to know what needs to be done to get this government to listen and act on police numbers and community policing.