Ms RYALL (Ringwood) — Victoria is in the grip of a crime wave like at no other time. There has been no other time like this, where our communities have been plagued by violent thugs committing senseless acts of violence, targeting innocent community members in their own homes, on the roads, in their streets and at their businesses.
Crime rose 18.8 per cent in Maroondah in 2016 according to the latest crime stats available. Residents in the Ringwood electorate speak of fear and worry for their safety and that of their families in their homes, their cars and as they go about their daily lives. The Coghlan report into bail identified a wait of around 35 weeks for a one or two‑day contested hearing to be listed at the Ringwood court. That is approximately 35 weeks when perpetrators are not called to account for the acts they have committed and when so many are out on bail only to reoffend.
Then last night we had a violent yet preventable act of terror in Brighton, where one man tragically lost his life and three special operations group (SOG) officers were shot in an attempt to neutralise a violent criminal who should not have been on the streets. His crimes included bashing people in their own home, 16 priors for burglary, 15 for theft and aggravated burglary, attempted armed robbery, firearms offences, intentionally causing injury and arson in jail. Why should our courageous and brave police and SOG officers sacrifice their safety and put themselves in the firing line when this Premier fails to acknowledge that there is a crime problem, making sure that people who should be in jail stay in jail?