The Labor Government is being urged to focus on increasing police presence in Gippsland following the release of recent crime statistics.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said that the data provided clear evidence that crime across Gippsland has been steadily rising since Labor formed government in 2014, with particular concern about South Gippsland Shire.
“The number of criminal incidents has risen across all three local governments that form my electorate since Labor came to government,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Crime in South Gippsland Shire has risen by 66.6 per cent over the past nine years while Wellington Shire has increased 11.7 per cent and Latrobe City has risen 9.7 per cent.
“In recent months I have been contacted by numerous constituents in South Gippsland with concerns about crime, including burglary, theft and hoon driving. I know local police are struggling with poor resourcing.”
Mr O’Brien said it was clear that the 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 crime figures are alarming and should send a clear message to the Government that action is needed.”
“I am regularly contacted by constituents who feel a lack of police presence in their community is leading to increased hoon driving and other anti-social behaviour.
“I have always said that our local police do a great job under significant pressure, but they are clearly stretched and it is unfortunate that the Government seems to think that these areas can be left to their own devices.
“The Government must act now to ensure our country police stations are adequately staffed and resourced to deter crime in our communities and put a stop to this concerning trend.”