Eighteen new police will be on the beat in Wyndham from May as part of a statewide roll-out of 825 new police over the next year.
Wyndham will start to receive 12 general duties police and six family violence specialist police from May, while the Westgate division – which covers Wyndham, Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong – will also receive 12 divisional crime investigation officers and one divisional crime scene services officer as part of the policing boost. The full roll-out is expected to take 12 months.
The extra numbers are on top of the 27 new police announced for Wyndham in November, with the final officers from that allocation to be in place by April. Another 10 were also allocated to the Westgate division’s crime investigation unit and sexual offences and child abuse investigations teams.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said 300 of the new deployment were being allocated to areas with the highest need for policing services, including Wyndham, Geelong, Melton, Hume and Cardinia.
“Our absolute focus is on keeping people safe. To do that we need to be the best policing service we can be – agile and responsive to the needs of communities, on the front foot, preventing crime and locking up offenders,” he said.
Premier Daniel Andrews said it was the biggest roll-out of new police in Victoria’s history.
“We promised to give Victoria Police the resources, powers and technology they need to keep Victorians safe – and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
Wyndham council safer communities portfolio holder Kim McAliney welcomed the deployment.
“We’ve been lobbying extremely hard behind the scenes,” Cr McAliney said.
“In the last five years, we’ve experienced an increase of more than 50 per cent in family violence incidents, compared to a 28 per cent increase Victoria-wide.
“The crime rate in that area is just huge, so [these numbers] will help put a dint hopefully in our family crime stats.
“Police numbers are only one aspect of a justice system, and we’ve got to start pushing for our local justice precinct. While police numbers are there to assist with our local policing, the other services are critical as well.”