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More frontline police officers in Gippsland urgently needed to deter criminal activity

Melina Bath criticises Allan Labor government's failure to adequately resource regional police. Rising crime rates in Cardinia, Bass, and South Gippsland prompt calls for more frontline officers.

By news@gippsland - 21st March 2024 - Back to News

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," she said.

Communities require more police presence to combat crime. Despite efforts, the Allan Labor government lacks commitment to tackling crime

Communities require more police presence to combat crime. Despite efforts, the Allan Labor government lacks commitment to tackling crime

Regional policing crisis

Ms Bath said, "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," said Ms Bath.

Over the past 12 months in Bass Coast Shire only 34 percent of criminal incidents had charges laid against an alleged offender while 39 percent of reported incidents have gone unsolved. In Cardinia Shire only 29 percent of criminal incidents have had charges laid and while 51 percent have gone unsolved. Total offences were up by 15.5 percent in Cardinia, 4.5 percent in Bass Coast and 14.5 percent in South Gippsland Shire.

Rural crime escalation

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 percent in the past year. In Wonthaggi crimes against the person are up 31 percent and tragically for victims - family violence assaults rose by 61 percent. In the township of Lang Lang crimes against the person are now up by 200 percent 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," Ms Bath concluded.

Pictures from Victoria Police Facebook page.


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