Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has called on Police Minister Lisa Neville to provide a written guarantee that the Whittlesea Police Station will not close and that police numbers at the station will remain at its authorised strength, amid community concerns members will be moved to staff the soon to be opened Mernda Police Station.
Speaking during an adjournment debate in Parliament recently, Ms Lovell said there is evidence to suggest staffing at Whittlesea Police Station is being decreased in order to staff the new police complex and the community had every right to be angry.
“The authorised staffing numbers at Whittlesea Police Station is one senior sergeant, two sergeants and 12 senior constables or constables but already we have seen four vacancies at the station remain unfilled with reports that they will be reassigned to the new station at Mernda,” Ms Lovell said.
“This situation is exactly the opposite of what the Andrews Government promised when plans for the Mernda Police Station were unveiled.”
Ms Lovell said both the Member for Yan Yean and local police command had given assurances that Mernda would be staffed by 45 additional police and that no members would be taken from Whittlesea or other nearby stations.
“This was confirmed in Parliament by the Police Minister earlier this year but now we see a reduction of four constables at Whittlesea Police Station and hear of plans to reduce numbers even further in the future to one sergeant and four or five members, Ms Lovell said.
“The Whittlesea community are outraged by this blatant deception by the Andrews Labor Government and are worried about the impact reduced police numbers will have on community safety in the Whittlesea township and surrounding areas,” Ms Lovell said.
“I share their concerns and that is why I have asked the Police Minister for a written guarantee that the Whittlesea Police Station will remain open and that staffing levels will remain at the authorised strength of one senior sergeant, two sergeants and 12 senior constables or constables.”