Crime data reflects city focus

The Andrews Labor Government is being urged to focus on reducing crime in rural and regional areas as the latest crime statistics show a concerning increase of crime in Gippsland.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said he was concerned that crime in the Gippsland South electorate had again risen in the year to June 2020 with the number of offences in Wellington Shire rising almost 8 per cent and 5.4 per cent in South Gippsland Shire.

The number of criminal incidents in South Gippsland rose by 13.4 per cent and in Wellington by 10.2 per cent.

Mr O’Brien said he was concerned that the Andrews Labor Government’s continued focus on the city was coming at the expense of community safety in country areas.

“I’ve been campaigning for some time for better police presence in our communities and have joined with community members in places such as Loch, Korumburra and Mirboo North to advocate for better staffing of our local stations.

“These figures for both Wellington and South Gippsland Shire are concerning and have been rising consistently in the six years the Andrews Labor Government has been in power.

“Indeed, since the end of June 2014 the number of offences in South Gippsland has risen 46 per cent and in Wellington by 12 per cent. This is far and above any increase in population in these areas in that time.”

Mr O’Brien said the Andrews Government had made a lot of noise about employing extra police and giving them better resources, but much of that was focused on the city.

“Our local police do a great job under significant pressure and they are a valued part of our community, but they are clearly stretched and it’s unfortunate that the Government seems to think that low crime areas can be left to their own devices.

“That is one of the reasons I believe we are seeing an increase of offences in Gippsland and it’s time the Government broadened its focus beyond the tram tracks.”

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien urges the Andrews Labor Government to focus on reducing crime in rural and regional areas.

 

25 September 2020

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