Why won’t Premier Andrews fund more police to restore community safety?



Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Police resources

Mr WELLS (Rowville) — This statement condemns the Andrews Labor government for its continuing failure to acknowledge and properly resource Victoria Police with desperately needed frontline police at local police stations. Under the state Labor government Victoria is in the grip of a seriously concerning crime wave, with the crime rate over the last 12 months up by 8.1 per cent.

Gang crime is out of control, carjackings are a daily occurrence — Melbourne has been named the car theft capital of Australia — and drive‑by shootings are happening all too regularly. Ice is a scourge affecting local communities across the state, including my own electorate of Rowville. Increasingly police resources are being required to deal with the problems caused, including dealing with psychotic, violent offenders who are tying up valuable police resources with police having to babysit them at hospital emergency departments.

At the recent Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearing with the acting police minister, Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton confirmed under questioning by opposition members that there will not be any relief in the near future, with crime expected to get even worse in the coming months. Yet what has the response been by the Andrews Labor government? Frontline police numbers at police stations have been cut, police stations have been closed or their hours reduced and laws have been weakened to give criminals more rights than victims. This was confirmed at the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing by the Acting Minister for Police, who advised that continued funding was supported in writing by former acting chief commissioner Tim Cartwright in 2015.

The ACTING SPEAKER (Ms Edwards) — Order! The member’s time has expired.