Thursday, 21 March 2024


Eastern Victoria Region police numbers

Eastern Victoria Region police numbers

Melina BATH (Eastern Victoria) (18:15): (818) My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Police, the Honourable Anthony Carbines in the other place, and it relates to policing resources and rising crime. Today’s Crime Statistics Agency report is out, on the 12 months ending in 2023, and it correlates very much with the information I am receiving from constituents in my Eastern Victoria Region. The action I seek from the minister is to read the statistics, listen to the statistics and increase frontline Victoria Police officers in the Cardinia, Bass and South Gippsland shires in my electorate.

Labor’s current Victoria Police staff allocation model is simply not working. Any additional police officers over recent years have been allocated to taskforces in the CBD, not placed on patrol on our rural and regional streets in our communities. Police officers on the beat are certainly under the pump, so much so that that the thin blue line feels like it is stretching even thinner under Labor. 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 personnel onto the frontline in the regions.

Over the past 12 months in the Bass Coast shire only 34 per cent of criminal incidents have had charges laid against the alleged offender, while 39 per cent of reported incidents have gone unsolved. In Cardinia shire 29 per cent of criminal incidents have had charges laid, while 51 per cent have gone unsolved. Total offences are up by 15.5 per cent in Cardinia, 4.5 per cent in Bass Coast and 14.5 per cent in South Gippsland shire. Towns like Wonthaggi, Cowes and Lang Lang are experiencing elevated levels of crime. Theft in Cowes is up by 31 per cent on the previous year. In Wonthaggi crimes against the person are up 31 per cent and, tragically for victims, family violence assaults have risen by 61 per cent. Weapons offences are up by 73 per cent. In the township of Lang Lang crimes against the person are up a startling 200 per cent on the previous year.

We know our hardworking police are stretched and they are doing their very best, and we thank them both individually and collectively. But this Allan Labor government is not interested in fighting crime. The Nationals want a genuine commitment that in our rural and regional communities we 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.