Police | December 21, 2015

Kealy blames Labor for crime increase

Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy blames the Labor Government’s failure to fill police vacancies and cuts to the number of sworn police officers in Victoria with the increased crime statistics across the Yarriambiack Shire Council area.

This comes after a rise in crime statistics for the year to September 30 released by the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency, revealing that crime in the Yarriambiack local government area had increased by 45.4%.

Emma Kealy MP said that the increase in crime in the Yarriambiack area was directly related to reduced police numbers and station operating hours in the region over the past 12 months.

“There has been no officer in Minyip for over 12 months and the Warracknabeal station hours have been reduced significantly.

“Our local police are working extremely hard with the limited amount of resources being made available to them; however Labor is failing country Victoria by cutting overall police numbers and not recruiting to vacant police positions.

“It is very disappointing, particularly for the people of Minyip that after a year a police officer has still not been appointed to fill the vacancy at the station, despite promises the station would be re-opened by August 2015,” she said.

Originally it was planned that the Minyip station have reduced operating hours and be manned with police based at Warracknabeal. Emma Kealy MP attended a community meeting earlier this year where locals strongly supported the Minyip police station to remain open and be staffed by a resident police officer.

“Locals in the Minyip, Murtoa, Rupanyup and Warracknabeal areas are concerned and disappointed that this position has still not been filled. These concerns are now exacerbated by the news that crime has increased by 45.4%.

“There is also concern within local communities that the failure to recruit is a deliberate strategy to ensure the station is not officially closed, but in reality is not an operational station. Surely it is time for the Minister to intervene to resolve this matter and fulfil his commitment that no police station will close.

“It is also important to note there are fewer sworn police officers in Victoria than when the Andrews Labor government was elected. We are now seeing the impact of these reduced police numbers on rural Victoria under a Labor government.

Emma Kealy MP raised concerns about local police numbers in Parliament again last week.

“I have called on the Minister for Police to urgently intervene and guarantee that the Minyip police station will be opened as soon as possible, manned by a resident police officer,” Ms Kealy said.

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