The Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has called for an Andrews Labor Government commitment to maintain uniform member numbers at the Shepparton Police Station, amid community concerns up to ten member positions are to removed and given to other stations in the policing division.
In an adjournment debate directed to the Police Minister in State Parliament recently, Ms Lovell said the community concerns only reaffirmed the perennial problem of inadequate uniform police resources at the Shepparton Police Station.
“The Shepparton Police Station has a proud and distinguished history of servicing the policing needs of the Shepparton community and our local members have always done a wonderful job with the resources they are given,” Ms Lovell said.
“Unfortunately the strain of providing additional members to other nearby stations and units impacts the operation of the local uniform section.”
As the sole local 24-hour station, Shepparton Police Station is responsible for providing members to backfill positions at the other four stations in the police service area when members are on leave or on secondment to other units. Shepparton uniform members are also called upon to help staff other units within the complex.
Ms Lovell said the 2017 crime statistics released two weeks ago saw Shepparton record the fourth highest criminal incident rate and recorded offence rate in Victoria and that it was interesting that Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, three policing areas with historically more police members than Shepparton, did not make the top five highest crime areas last year.
“The recent announcement of 20 new police custody officers coming to Shepparton has raised community concerns that Victoria Police will remove up to ten uniform members from Shepparton Police and place them at other stations in Division 3,” Ms Lovell said.
“That is why I have asked the Police Minister for a commitment that no police numbers or vacant positions will be removed from the Shepparton Police Station and distributed to other stations in Eastern Region, Division 3.”