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March 30, 2011

“The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment make Victoria safer with 16 new front line police to be allocated to the Latrobe Valley by June 30,” Nationals Member for Morwell Russell Northe said today.

Mr Northe said Morwell was included in the 46 Police Service Areas (PSAs) across the state identified by Victoria Police as needing additional resources to tackle violent crime and anti-social behaviour.

“11 years of neglect by the former Labor Government has left Victoria with the fewest frontline police per person and the least spending on police resourcing per person than any other state in Australia,” Mr Northe said.

“The Coalition Government is committed to reversing Labor’s appalling legacy and making Victoria safer.

“Today’s announcement proves we’re getting on with the job of delivering 1,700 more police during our first term of government.”

Mr Northe said he was fiercely committed to improving law and order in the Latrobe Valley which is why he had campaigned strongly for more police on local streets.

“Community safety is a huge concern for community members, especially in and around our night time entertainment precincts,” Mr Northe said.

Mr Northe said today’s announcement by Victoria Police would be followed by the rollout of further police during the next four years.

“Victoria Police is best placed to decide where to allocate resources, based on their analysis of where the highest demand is for new members.

“The demand-based model that Victoria Police uses considers factors such as population, crime to population ratio and the level of road accidents to population ratio.”

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said moving police back onto the front line in the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland would help to make local streets safer.

“There’s no question that increasing the number of police on the beat and having a high visible presence is the most effective way to prevent crime and improve community safety,” Mr Chester said.

“I welcome the government’s decision to move police away from desk jobs and onto the front line in the Latrobe Valley and throughout Gippsland.

“Improving community safety is a key issue for local residents and recruiting additional police will be welcomed across the region.”

Mr Northe said the allocation model formed part of Victoria Police’s Building Operational Capacity and Capability project, which would deploy the 1,700 new recruits effectively during the next four years.

“The project will be reviewed and tested every year to make sure resources are being allocated effectively and accurately reflect the demand for police services across the state,” he said.

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