Increase in police numbers welcomed

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Policeman and newly elected mayor Brett Owen is hopeful Cardinia Shire will gain frontline police following the State Government’s commitment to increase police numbers in growth areas.

Over the next four years an additional 2729 police members will be introduced to police stations across the state.

Cr Owen said the council had advocated to state representatives for the “strong need” for more police across the shire, with letters highlighting concerns about current resources.

“My understanding is that growth areas will be a priority. I look forward to seeing the details on where these members will go,” Cr Owen said.

“The council wrote to the Police Minister and the Police Association earlier this year to request additional police resources after our community expressed concern about increasing crime across the shire, and it is very pleasing that our efforts have paid dividends.

“I know I speak on behalf of my councillor colleagues and the wider community in welcoming the commitment to provide close to 3000 extra police across Victoria over the next four years, and we all look forward to seeing an increased police presence throughout Cardinia Shire in the coming months and years.”

Cr Owen said a recent community engagement survey conducted by the council identified crime, perceptions of safety and a limited police presence as major issues.

The council has since been working towards accreditation as an International Safe Community through the World Health Organisation.

This process includes formulating a number of action plans, with one focused on crime.

As part of the $2 billion State Government investment in police, regional stations in Warracknabeal, Rutherglen, Alexandra, Wycheproof and Tangambalanga will be replaced.

New metropolitan stations will also replace outdated facilities in Wyndham, Altona North, Reservoir and South Melbourne.

No specific funding has yet been announced to support police within the Cardinia Shire region, but Minister for Police Lisa Neville has confirmed that the government would be funding “thousands” of additional police in growth areas.

Originally published at Pakenham Officer News.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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