Minister for Police media release 5 May 2015.
The Andrews Labor Government will return hundreds of police to the beat as part of a $226.2 million plan to keep our community safe.
The 2015-16 Victorian Budget invests $148.6 million to recruit and accommodate 400 custody officers to guard prisoners at 20 police stations across Victoria, allowing police officers to return to the front line, where they belong.
The roll out of custody officers will begin this year, with 400 more police to be released from ‘babysitting duty’ to investigate crime.
Custody officers will initially work at the following police stations: Sunshine, Dandenong, Heidelberg, Ballarat, Geelong and Broadmeadows.
The Budget also includes $11.5 million of new money to upgrade the outdated analogue regional police radio system to a secure, encrypted digital network. Victoria Police will also commit $23.8 million from its operational budget to fund this upgrade which will make country cops safer, as eavesdroppers can no longer pick up details of police operations.
The Budget also invests $15 million to build a new police station in Mernda in Melbourne’s growing outer north.
A $7.8 million investment will provide for more police to be stationed in the growing areas of Bellarine and Geelong and for longer opening hours at Drysdale, Portarlington and Queenscliff.
Ice use is gripping our suburbs and regions and ruining lives. The Labor Government has already stepped in to save lives, releasing an Ice Action Plan developed with Victoria Police.
To keep our roads safe and reduce the dangers of this insidious drug, the Budget invests $15 million for 10 new drug and booze buses. The larger fleet will let police test 100,000 people a year for drugs and take more alcohol and drug-affected people off our roads.
A further $4.5 million in funding will also help police track down and close clandestine drug labs more quickly by hiring more scientists for the Forensic Drug Branch.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police, Wade Noonan
“Police who could be on the front line catching crooks are currently stuck babysitting people in the local lock up. It’s a waste of time, skills and resources.”
“We’re taking cops off babysitting duty and putting them back on the beat where they belong. They want to keep our community safe and we’re helping them.”
“More police on the beat in our growing suburbs, more drug and booze buses on the road, and more drug scientists in the forensics lab – we’re giving police the resources they need to do their job and keep us safe.”