Members Statement - Police Numbers

Ms RYALL (Ringwood) — Daniel Andrews has cut the number of sworn police in Victoria since coming to government. There were 13 151 in November 2014 compared to 13 042 in September 2015. Our population increased by an MCG full of people in that time, so comparatively there has been a significant reduction per capita across Victoria also. During this time Victoria has seen rising crime. We have heard of the enormous challenges of ice to our police resources, tying them up for a huge proportion of their shifts.

The impact of family violence on police resources is also significant. We have seen the concerns of terrorism, which demands extra vigilance and police resources to ensure our safety, and we also know that they need to work in pairs.

The police minister guaranteed in April last year that no police station would be forced to close. In July 2015 my community was advised that the Andrews Labor government was ending 24‑hour policing operations at Nunawading police station but that a counter service would continue. Now we find, without notification, that our police station in Nunawading has had its counter service closed.

The coalition government put 940 protective services officers (PSOs) at our railway stations and over 1900 more police on the beat in the four years it was in office. This was to catch up on the degradation of the police numbers to the lowest per capita police numbers of the mainland states under Labor when it was last in government. Now Victorians are watching and are greatly disturbed by the Andrews government’s running down of our police numbers — in true Labor character. We are watching crime rise, while the Premier hopes that the crime numbers just decline, because there are inadequate police numbers to detect and report it. Daniel Andrews has his priorities all wrong and cannot be trusted with community safety.

HANSARD 10 February, 2016.