25 November, 2015
The Andrews Labor government is the first Victorian government in decades not to commit to additional police numbers. While the coalition government delivered over 1900 more police in its four years in office, this year has seen police numbers decline. As a result, more and more communities, including the Warrandyte community, are starting to voice their concerns that local community safety is declining and that there just are not sufficient police to deal with growing crime and antisocial behaviour.
The Bellarine community is one area that has been calling for more police. On this occasion, local Superintendent Darryl Clifton is on the record as saying that policing on the Bellarine was working effectively and would remain unchanged. Fortunately for locals in the Bellarine area, unlike my community, they live in a marginal Labor electorate. The Premier has insisted that additional police are moved to the Bellarine to support his Labor colleague, but with the Premier's focus purely on politics it seems the same attention will not be forthcoming to the Warrandyte community, because he deems it a safe Liberal seat.
The Minister for Police and the Chief Commissioner of Police are both telling me that the other one is responsible for allocating additional police in Warrandyte, and as they continue to fob off my constituents it is Warrandyte's community safety that is compromised. Local Warrandyte police are highly respected by residents; they do an outstanding job with the resources they have. I say to the Premier that it is time to add support for those police, to listen to my community and to stop playing politics.