South Gippsland a soft target for criminals
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has raised concerns about police presence in South Gippsland in State Parliament.
Mr O’Brien has called on the Andrews Labor Government to increase police numbers across the South Gippsland and Bass Coast regions after a spate of high profile crimes and rising crime statistics in the region.
“The latest crime statistics released in December showed crime in South Gippsland Shire increased 17.8 per cent year on year. This is consistent with the trend over the last three or four years and the Andrews Labor Government seems to be doing nothing about it,” Mr O’Brien said.
“We’ve had a number of high profile burglaries or aggravated burglaries in the last couple of weeks and there are indications that criminals are taking advantage of lack of police presence.
“It concerns me greatly that on most weeknights there are just two divisional vans and one other car operating in the region stretching from Phillip Island to Welshpool. Over such a great area there is obviously potential for crime to be committed and police to be at least half an hour away.”
Mr O’Brien said he’s met with businesses and residents from throughout the region recently who have raised concern about the lack of visible police presence and availability overnight.
“Our local police do a great job but there is simply not enough of them. While we are generally a peaceful and low crime area there are unfortunately criminals who are taking advantage of that fact,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Many of them appear to be coming in from the outer south eastern suburbs and hitting soft targets in places like Korumburra and Poowong.
“It’s been estimated since the introduction of the ‘two-up’ policy that the number of police shifts has fallen by as much as 30 per cent in South Gippsland Shire and the government has done nothing to make up for the short fall.
“The Andrews Labor Government seems to think that crime isn’t really an issue – it’s played down the extent of gang crime in Melbourne’s outer suburbs and it’s done little about growing juvenile crime or to address our weak bail and sentencing laws.”
“I’m calling on the Andrews Labor Government to increase numbers of police in our region to ensure a visible presence, including at night, in our communities and on our roads.”