Melton’s top cop has categorically ruled out extending the opening hours of the Caroline Springs police station, even though the area will receive an extra 16 police officers in the next 12 months.
Inspector Kathy Rudkins said any extension to the hours of the police station would come at a cost to frontline policing, which she described as being “far better” for community safety.
Inspector Rudkins’ comments follow calls from the state opposition to have the doors of the Caroline Springs police station open 24 hours.
Opposition police spokesman Edward O’Donohue told Star Weekly many concerned locals continued to contact him about the station’s opening hours.
With the extra police being deployed to the Melton police service area, Mr O’Donohue said there would be room to extend the opening hours of the Caroline Springs station without compromising frontline policing.
“Just going back to the history of Caroline Springs, there’s been quite a lot of citizen patrols gaining traction and calls for extended hours of the police station,” he said. “There’s no doubt police stations serve an important function as a sanctuary [for victims of crime].
“I think the community wants to see the police station open [for longer hours], as well as more foot patrols and a more visible police presence.”
Inspector Rudkins said victims of crime were never encouraged to attend a police station if they were in danger. Instead, she said, they should call triple-0 and wait for the nearest police car to be dispatched.
“If we have more cars out on the roads, instead of having police manning stations, we’ll have a better chance of responding in a timely manner,” she said.
“Even with the addition of the 16 police officers, the hours of the Caroline Springs station will not be extended.”
Inspector Rudkins said she was in the process of organising a community safety forum for later this month, at which people will be invited to raise their concerns and speak with local police officers about the hours of the Caroline Springs police station.