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Community Safety Statement 2017

Community Safety Statement 2017

Under this plan, Victoria Police will have everything they've asked for to stop crime and reduce harm.

More police, more laws and more resources. But it won’t stop there.

Penalties will be increased, bail will be strengthened, and courts will have more power than ever.

Because enough is enough. Victorians deserve to feel safe.

The Community Safety Statement 2017 is our line in the sand.

Overview

Every Victorian deserves to feel safe. Right now, they don’t.

A rising crime rate over the past six years, family violence, serious youth offending, carjackings and home invasions, and the devastating impact of drugs like ‘ice’ has taken its toll.

It’s time to take a stand, because ‘business as usual’ just won’t cut it any more.

In this Community Safety Statement 2017, the Victorian Government sets out a clear law and order plan for our state. And for the first time ever, it’s been developed with Victoria Police.

There will be no more tinkering around the edges. This is the comprehensive strategy and historic change we need.

Together, we’ll deliver new police, new laws and a tough new approach.

Together, we’ll end the harm and make our state safer.

Download the Community Safety Statement 2017 (PDF, 994KB)

The difference we want to make

The Community Safety Statement is a comprehensive package to fight crime and make our state safer.

It means more police to catch criminals, tough new laws to hold criminals to account, and the change we need to prevent crime before it happens.

This statement and future statements will include a set of priorities – so that our targets are clear and our progress is laid bare.

The five priorities for Victoria Police are:

  1. Reducing harm – so threats are identified and prevented, and Victorians are safe from crime
  2. Increasing connection to the community – so communities’ concerns are listened to and acted on, and police have a highly visible presence on our streets
  3. Putting victims first – so victims are at the heart of policing, and women and children live free from family violence
  4. Holding offenders to account – so offenders are punished and do not reoffend
  5. Improving Victoria Police capability, culture and technology – so the police force has everything it needs to fight crime and keep our state safe.

No more 'business as usual'

It’s simple. Our police are working harder than ever.

But for years, politicians have been making decisions about how many police we have on our streets. Now, for the first time ever, we’re giving that power to the police. They are, after all, the experts when it comes to smashing crime.

Victoria Police has developed an advanced new Staff Allocation Model (SAM) to determine what and where police resources are needed.

Using the SAM, Victoria Police have told us they need 2,729 new police to meet Victoria’s needs until 2021. We’re delivering on that request in full with over $2 billion in new investment.

This is the single largest investment in police since the force was established.

It ends the boom and bust cycles of funding police. It will provide more police for a growing Victoria - in stations, on our streets and in specialist crime fighting units.

It comes on top of the 406 additional police we have already funded who are starting to hit our streets.

It means that in the next five years, our state will have an extra 3,135 sworn police.

More police means more frontline work, more patrols and more police out in the community. It also means more criminals will be caught, and more arrests will be made.

And because we back our police to make the right decisions, we will continue to develop the SAM so it can be used over the long term.

In short: it means our state will always have enough police.

Priority 1: Reducing harm

Victoria Police will continue to target crime, with renewed focus on violent and sexual crime, family violence, terrorism, gang-related violence and dangerous driving.

To support Victoria Police, the Government is:

  • putting an additional 3,135 police on the frontline over the next five years
  • keeping our current PSO model and adding 100 additional PSOs to form mobile patrols to cover hotspots on major train stations, buses and trams
  • delivering targeted prevention programs to stop crime before it happens
  • developing extra tools and data to measure crime and the harm it causes, so we can better target our response and measure progress to reduce harm..

Priority 2: Increasing connection to the community

Victorians expect our police force to respond to crime quickly. That’s how it should be.

Key priorities for the Victorian Government are making sure police stations are open, that police spend more time in the community, and that regional and rural Victorians have a visible local police presence, including single-person stations.

Victoria Police will continue to listen to communities on decisions about local police services. It means smarter policing and safer communities.

So Victoria Police can deliver on this priority, the Government is:

  • launching a Police Assistance Line and online reporting portal to sit alongside Triple 000 to ensure Victorians can contact police when and where they need to, so they receive an appropriate police response
  • replacing more stations across the state. This includes stations at Alexandra, Altona North, Reservoir, Rutherglen, South Melbourne, Tangambalanga, Warracknabeal, Wedderburn, Wycheproof and Wyndham
  • recruiting 42 new Youth Resource officers to work in local communities and divert young people from a life of crime
  • creating forums for community engagement and providing additional support for Neighbourhood Watch, giving Victorians more opportunities than ever to engage with the Government and Victoria Police about community safety, including the implementation of this statement and future Community Safety Statements.

Priority 3: Putting victims first

Victims must be our priority. That means preventing crime from happening in the first place – but if it does, listening to victims and treating them with the dignity they deserve.

The Family Violence Royal Commission made it clear that we need to do a better job in supporting family violence victims. Like all of the Commission’s recommendations, we’ll be implementing these changes in full. We’ll give victims a safe place to sleep, and cowards will have nowhere to hide.

The Government is supporting Victoria Police to deliver further on this priority by:

  • transforming the frontline response to family violence by recruiting 415 dedicated police officers, rolling out mobile devices and body-worn cameras, and establishing a Family Violence Centre of Learning
  • establishing community safety networks across Victoria to prevent crime before it happens and give victims a say in our response
  • providing victims of crime with better access to legal information including an upgrade to the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal website, so people with disabilities, including visual and physical impairments, now have access
  • delivering on every single recommendation from the review of Victoria’s witness protection scheme, conducted by the Honourable Frank Vincent AO QC.

Priority 4: Holding offenders to account

There are no excuses when it comes to crime.

We need to punish offenders for their actions, and come down hard on those who keep offending.

The Government is backing Victoria Police with the tools, powers and laws it needs to hold offenders to account and keep Victorians safe.

Reforms across Government include:

  • addressing youth crime to make sure serious young offenders face meaningful consequences. This includes:
    • tougher penalties including longer maximum sentences for serious and violent offences
    • new laws targeting those who encourage young people to commit serious offences, so our kids are protected from the influence of serious and organised crime
    • more intensive supervision and monitoring arrangements, as requested by Victoria Police, including curfews, tougher reporting requirements, restrictions on who people can associate with, and requirements to remain in school, work or training.
  • new laws to target carjacking and home invasion, as well as tough new measures for serious sex and violent offenders
  • giving police new powers to take DNA samples from any individual charged with an indictable offence. It will allow police to identify serious and repeat criminals using DNA matching. Currently, a court order is required
  • providing funding so that police can analyse up to 10 times as many DNA samples as they do currently
  • banning the use of cash to pay for scrap metal to end the trade in stolen cars, by stopping criminals selling them to scrap metal dealers. We’re also introducing new technology to reduce number plate theft
  • investing in Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology for the Highway Patrol fleet, allowing police to detect unauthorised and dangerous drivers
  • doubling the number of roadside drug tests, creating new offences for refusing a roadside drug test, introducing tougher penalties for drug driving, drink driving, unlicensed driving and extending the use of interlocks for convicted dangerous drivers
  • creating new laws to target drive-by shootings, including firing at a house, building or stationary vehicle
  • strengthening the management of serious sex and violent offenders, expanding Victoria Police’s counter terrorism capability and tightening restrictions for violent young offenders.

Priority 5: Improving Victoria Police

We’re giving Victoria Police the tools, technology and support they need to fight crime, including:

  • a new training facility for the Police Special Operations Group, Bomb Squad and Critical Incident Response team
  • modernising and expanding the Victoria Police Air Wing by engaging three new helicopters and one fixed wing aircraft
  • establishing two New Regional Forensics Hubs, so criminals in the regions face the full force of justice
  • additional investment in mobile technology
  • providing extra support for Victoria Police staff to manage mental health and wellbeing. This will enable Victoria Police to build the foundations required to make future mental health initiatives effective
  • enable Victoria Police to build a more flexible and diverse workforce, including backfilling officers on parental leave.

Media releases

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