Police retention and crime in spotlight

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath has called on the Andrews Government in State Parliament to reverse the high attrition rate of Victoria Police leaving the force.

Ms Bath said law abiding citizens and victims of crime deserve action from the Andrews Government given the concerning ongoing rise in crime in her electorate.

“The Andrews Government promised to recruit 500 new police officers over a two-year period, but it’s failed to come anywhere near its own target – the reality is there’s only 123 police recruits in training for 2023.”

“The Chief Commissioner of Police recently confirmed that 700 police officers left the force in the last financial year, 200 more than the year prior.

“He also said police officer recruitments would need to hit 2000 to cover the workforce losses, “said Ms Bath.

“There is no acceptable level of crime, therefore our hardworking local police officers deserve adequate resources to support their important work maintaining law and order.

“Coming out of COVID restriction enforcement and with an ever increasing administrative burden placed on our police officers, it’s no wonder there is a sense of burnout and frustration.”

Ms Bath said community concerns about the rise in crime and the stretched police workforce are valid.

“Like my constituents, I hold Victoria Police in high regard, however there is genuine public concern at the lack of frontline officers available to adequately respond to the community’s call for help, when they need it.

Over the last eight years justice procedure offences have risen 85 per cent in Bass Coast, 81 per cent in Latrobe, 129 per cent in Cardinia, 148 per cent in Casey, 186 per cent in South Gippsland and 200 per cent in Baw Baw Shire Council area.

While crimes against the person have increased 37 per cent in Bass Coast, 56 per cent in Cardinia, 51 per cent in Casey, 55 per cent in South Gippsland, 50 per cent in Casey and 50 per cent in Baw Baw.

“The Andrews Government must act to alleviate the workload pressures on our hardworking police officers so can perform their important job of keeping our communities safe.

“I call on the Minister for Police to inform my constituents what he is actually doing to stop the drain of VicPol personnel leaving the force.

The Minister has 30 days to provide a response to Ms Bath.