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Police numbers cut

State Liberal Member for Eildon Cindy McLeish MP has raised concerns about police numbers following revelations made by Victoria’s Chief Police Commissioner.

“Victoria’s crime wave is not just confined to the city and suburbs. Crime is rising across the state and many local residents are telling me they do not feel that police are able to protect them anymore.”

“It is little wonder given police numbers are failing to keep up with Victoria’s booming population,” Ms McLeish said.

Fronting Parliament’s Estimates Hearings, Victoria’s top cop, Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, confirmed that during the 2015/16 the number of police per capita was cut, increasing by just 159 members.

“Daniel Andrews has dropped the ball on community safety and has failed to make recruiting police a priority,” Ms McLeish said.

The Chief Commissioner relayed his members’ frustration with the bail system, being forced to arrest and rearrest the same alleged offenders again and again after being let back onto the streets.

In further evidence of the chaos in the justice system, the Committee was advised that:

  • Taxpayers in 2015/16 were slugged with cost orders of $194,000 for Daniel Andrews’ failure to present prisoners to court;

  • 26 WorkCover claims were lodged by prison staff following the worst prison riot in Victoria’s history at the MRC on 30 June 2015, with 17 claims still active today;

  • On 239 days during 15/16, Victoria’s police cells held 200 or more prisoners at the 7am count, despite a target of no more than 100, taking already stretched police off the beat catching criminals to babysit criminals;

“It’s no wonder crime is out of control with Daniel Andrews asleep at the wheel on law and order,” Ms McLeish concluded.

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