My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. It is in relation to a media release dated 15 July 2014 from the member for South Barwon in the other place, Andrew Katos, claiming that there has been a major increase in police numbers in the Geelong region. In fact the media release states that there are:
… an extra 60 police officers in the Western Victoria region, which covers the Bellarine, Corio, Drysdale, Geelong, Lara, Portarlington, Queenscliff, and Torquay police stations.
Community members are rightly confused, as the assertion leads people to think that 60 extra officers have been specifically allocated to the stations mentioned.
The fact is the Western Victoria police region is half the geographical size of the state. Added to this, Police Association of Victoria secretary Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles has challenged the government’s claim, stating that since November 2010 the number of first-response police officers in the Geelong region has actually declined, not increased.
If this wasn’t the case we wouldn’t be seeing resources at Lara, Portarlington, Queenscliff and Drysdale being diverted to Geelong at the expense of policing in those communities …
We’ve recently seen the Bellarine night shift van do 10 jobs in Geelong in one night then another 14 jobs in Geelong the next night, including jobs all the way to Little River.
We’re also about to see the Corio police station doors close at night from August. This wouldn’t be happening if there were sufficient first-response members in the region.
We need to further boost the number of first-response officers in Geelong and surrounding stations and not keep robbing Peter to pay Paul.
The action I seek is, firstly, for the minister to clarify the number, allocation and location of police officers allocated to stations in the Geelong region and, in particular, how many of the so-called 60 extra police officers in the Western Victoria Region are actually stationed at the Bellarine, Corio, Drysdale, Geelong, Lara, Portarlington, Queenscliff and Torquay police stations.
Secondly, are there 60 police officers working in the Geelong region’s police stations in addition to the number that were there in 2010 or have there simply been 60 police officers allocated to these stations over the past four years to replace retired officers and officers who have moved from the region?
Thirdly, how many police officers in total were stationed at the Bellarine, Corio, Drysdale, Geelong, Lara, Portarlington, Queenscliff and Torquay police stations at the beginning of 2011 and how many police officers in total are at these stations now?