The Nats demand a boost to police resourcing

The latest crime statistics highlight the Allan Labor Government’s failure to properly resource Victoria police in regional areas.

Raising the issue in state parliament, The Nationals Melina Bath called for more frontline police officers in eastern Victoria.

Ms Bath told the parliament “crime is continuing to rise across the LGA’s of Cardinia, Bass and South Gippsland” and “Labor’s current Victoria Police Staff Allocation Model is not working”.

“Any additional police officers over recent years have been allocated to task forces in the CBD, not placed on patrol in our rural and regional communities.

“Police officers on the beat are under the pump, so much so that the thin blue line under Labor is getting thinner. Crime is up and criminal offences are going unsolved.

“Our communities need a stronger policing presence to deter criminal activity and antisocial behaviour and that means allocating more uniformed officers to the frontline in the regions.”

Over the past 12 months in Bass Coast Shire only 34 per cent of criminal incidents had charges laid against an alleged offender while 39 per cent of reported incidents have gone unsolved.

In Cardinia Shire only 29 per cent of criminal incidents have had charges laid and while 51 per cent have gone unsolved.

Total offences were up by 15.5 per cent in Cardinia, 4.5 per cent in Bass Coast and 14.5 per cent in South Gippsland Shire.

Ms Bath said when you drill down and look at individual towns the picture becomes even more concerning with communities like Wonthaggi, Cowes and Lang Lang experiencing elevated levels of crime.

Theft in Cowes is up by 31 per cent in the past year.

“In Wonthaggi crimes against the person is up 31 per cent and tragically for victims – family violence assaults rose by 61 per cent.

“In the township of Lang Lang crimes against the person is now up by 200 per cent in the last year.

“Our hardworking police officers are doing the best they can, but this Allan Labor Government is not interested in fighting crime.

“The Nationals want a genuine commitment that our rural and regional communities will not continue to be short changed by Labor – too many crimes are being committed, too many are going unsolved and there are too many victims.”