Member for Ringwood Dee Ryall MP has raised concerns about community safety and the safety of hardworking men and women in Victoria Police due to the inaction and failures of the Andrews Labor Government.
The Government has failed to acknowledge the need to provide additional new police to deal with Victoria’s rapidly expanding population, and increasing crime rate. Alarmingly, not one additional police officer has been added to Victoria Police since Daniel Andrews was elected, despite the increasing crime in the local community of Ringwood.
At a time when Victoria recorded the highest population growth rate of all states and territories at 1.7 per cent over the year to March 2015, the need for additional police and resources is critical. In Ringwood, the crime rate has increased in the last financial year by 16.4% compared with the previous four year average. Across Maroondah, the crime rate has increased by 19.6% in the last financial year, compared with the previous four year average.
Victoria’s overstretched and often overstressed police members, currently face multiple and difficult challenges including the scourges of family violence and the Ice epidemic, the end of single manned patrols due to the increased terrorism threat and increased threats of physical harm from offenders with mental illness or drug issues.
The previous Coalition government delivered a record 1900 additional police officers and 950 protective services officers and in acknowledging the need to provide more police, promised hundreds more new front line and specialist police resources at last November’s state election. A commitment not matched by Labor.
Both the Coalition and Labor made election commitments to relieve police officers of having to babysit criminals in police cells but Labor’s custody officer program has been delayed. Recently more police have been needed for babysitting duty because of Labor’s failure to manage new non-smoking bans in prisons, resulting in a riot. Indeed Ringwood’s police cells have not even been identified as a priority for the custody officers when they eventually do come on line. While local police officers continue to babysit criminals, they will not be on the beat, dealing with rising crime in our community.
There is a growing crisis in police numbers across Victoria, which the Andrews Government simply refuses to address it.
Quotes attributed to Dee Ryall:
“The failure to adequately resource Victoria Police means even greater pressure on our hard working Police Officers already dealing with increased crime and the challenges of family violence and drugs such as ICE.”
“Daniel Andrews needs to immediately fund additional police officers to deal with the growing crisis.”
“Our jail cells in Ringwood need to be made an urgent priority for Custody Officers to relieve our local police from having to babysit criminals. These police officers then need to be retained in our local community so they can deal with the increasing crime.”