MS TIERNEY— To ask the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations (for the Minister for Police and Emergency Services): How many police officers are allocated to police stations on the Bellarine, Surf Coast and Great Ocean Road during the summer tourist season in the evenings.
I am advised that:
Victoria Police recognises the importance of policing along the Bellarine, Surf Coast and the Great Ocean Road coastal tourist destinations over the summer period and accordingly provides support to the area through general policing services to ensure public safety.
The allocation of police resources across the state is an operational decision for Victoria Police. Manpower, vehicles and other operational equipment are deployed and assigned taking into account specific operational needs and priorities.
Police command regularly reviews the distribution of police members to ensure that the changing needs of each Police Service Area (PSA) are taken into account. Prior to the 2012-2013 summer tourist season, police developed a new resourcing strategy of policing for Bellarine, Surf Coast and the Great Ocean Road areas over the holiday period.
No exact numbers are available as they vary according to demand.
I am advised that following a detailed analysis of when and where the public requested policing services, police determined that the historical practice of placing resources at specific stations was not the most efficient model.
Rostering and resource allocation is now managed at a higher operational level rather than the localised manner of the past. Victoria Police advises this approach is to ensure that the area, as a whole, is resourced in the most efficient manner to maximise service delivery and ensure there are adequate resources available in the area.
During the summer period, local police are being supported by additional resources from neighbouring areas as well as from the Operations Response Unit.
Victoria Police indicates this strategy has proven beneficial during the ‘schoolies’ period by increasing the number of visible police patrol units at critical times and there will be a greater awareness of the police presence in the area over the Christmas-New Year and summer holiday period.