The announcement by the Andrews Labor Government of a new crime reporting hotline will come as little comfort to rural Victorians struggling to get police to respond when they need it most.
Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said the Andrews Labor Government has spent $212 million to provide a new police assistance line and online portal to which all Victorians will report non- urgent crimes.
“This new central police contact centre based in Ballarat will do nothing to give regional and rural people confidence that their communities are any safer,” Mr Walsh said.
“It is abundantly clear in all of our regional and rural communities that the number of operational police is inadequate to provide a satisfactory level of policing despite the best efforts of the existing officers.
“When people call for assistance they need someone who will be there to help them, not just answer the phone and leave them to fend for themselves.
“Their call is only effective if there are sufficient frontline officers in their area who are ready and able to respond.”
Mr Walsh said that what we need is more full time police who are resident in regional and rural townships and allocated to stations permanently.
“Daniel Andrews must do more to ensure Victoria Police have enough resources in regional and rural areas so when people call for assistance police will be there to attend, not just answer a phone.”