Budget Delivers More Police, Targets High-Risk Offenders To Keep Victorians Safe

Overview

Acting Minister for Police and Corrections media release 27 April 2016.


More than 400 police, a detention facility to manage serious sex offenders and an expanded community corrections system are at the heart of a $1 billion package to crack down on crime and target high-risk offenders.

A $596 million Public Safety Package delivers on the Andrews Labor Government’s promise to give police the resources they need to respond to gang-related crime, gun crime, terrorist threats, and family violence.

The 2016-17 Victorian Budget includes funding for 300 frontline police who will be deployed across Victoria; while a further 106 specialist police officers and 52 support personnel will be trained, including:

  • 30 new officers and two support personnel for the anti-gang and illicit trafficking teams
  • 40 new Public Order Response Team (PORT) officers and four support personnel to increase capacity to rapidly respond to incidents involving hostile crowds
  • 20 new Special Operations Group (SOG) officers increasing the capacity of Victoria Police to respond to high risk incidents, including terrorist incidents
  • 26 specialist police and support personnel to operate a new 24/7 Victoria Police Monitoring and Assessment Centre. This will mean police can monitor and assess information immediately and quickly respond to major incidents
  • 24 additional forensic officers and staff for two new forensic hubs that will be set up in regional Victoria to enable police to fast-track investigations into ice and other drug trafficking
  • 10 new fingerprint experts, technicians and support staff to allow police to better identify and target repeat offenders
  • A heavy armoured vehicle, three bulletproof vehicles and bomb robots for Victoria Police’s specialist units, as well as the first stage of a new special operations training facility
  • New mobile technology and body-worn cameras to give our police the tools they need to keep the community safe, and improve responses to family violence incidents

The Public Safety Package also includes $36.8 million to replace and refurbish police stations across regional Victoria and includes:

  • Funding to replace outdated facilities at Colac, Murtoa, Bright, Warburton, Mallacoota, Cowes and Corryong
  • $2.94 million to refurbish 15 police stations at Bacchus Marsh, Bairnsdale, Benalla, Churchill, Cobden, Geelong, Lakes Entrance, Maffra, Moe, Mount Buller, Portland, Rosebud, Sorrento, Warragul and Warrnambool
  • $3.9 million to replace and refurbish 10 police residences across Victoria

The package will also deliver $19.4 million in funding for the Community Crime Prevention Program to help target the root causes of crime in local communities, while additional police prosecutors will support the extension of the drug courts.

A further $500,000 will provide more mental health and wellbeing support for police.

The investment brings the total number of new police personnel funded by the Andrews Labor Government to 1156.

The Budget also delivers $401 million for Corrections Victoria to better protect the community from high-risk offenders, respond to growth in the number of offenders and reduce reoffending, and upgrade the Metropolitan Remand Centre to full functionality.

An extra $84 million will be committed over four years to strengthen the management of serious sex offenders and respond to recommendations set out in the Harper Review. This includes:

  • A new 20-bed secure specialist facility to treat and manage serious sex offenders on supervision orders
  • An accommodation facility for serious sex offenders with a cognitive disability or acquired brain injury
  • Strengthened mental health services for high risk serious sex offenders, transitional programs and a threat assessment tool
  • The development of a new model to oversee the post-sentence scheme for serious sex offenders

Community Correctional Services will be bolstered, with $233.4 million in funding to provide:

  • Extra staff to respond to the growth in community correction orders and deliver stronger case management to reduce repeat offending
  • Specialised staff to provide court advice on order conditions and prosecute offenders who breach their orders

The Budget also responds to the significant growth in remand prisoners, providing $95.3 million  towards improvements and infrastructure upgrades at the Metropolitan Remand Centre.

Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Police and Corrections Robin Scott

“There’s nothing more important than community safety. We are delivering hundreds more police to respond to gang-related crime, gun crime, terrorist threats, and family violence.”

“We are investing in advanced technology and equipment to give our crime fighters the resources they need.”

“We promised we would fix the management of serious offenders, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”