Cracking down on crime to protect Victorians

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Police are targeting violent crime and making more arrests with the latest quarterly crime statistics revealing a focus on family violence, aggravated burglary and motor vehicle theft.

Minister for Police Lisa Neville on June 16 joined the Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton for a tour of the Victoria Police Academy in Glen Waverley, and praised police for their tough response to significant law and order challenges and dedication to keeping Victorians safe.

“These statistics clearly show Victoria Police are targeting more crime, making more arrests and charging more offenders to protect the Victorian community. We face a number of complex law and order challenges – including the scourge of family violence, the need to crack down on gangs and gun crime – which is why this Government continues to give Victoria Police the people, technology and infrastructure they need to keep our community safe, now and well into the future,” said Neville.

The Crime Statistics Agency’s latest release shows the crime rate per 100,000 population has increased by more than 10 per cent in the year to 31 March 2016. Police responded to more than 10 per cent more family violence incidents in the same period.

Family violence continues to be Victoria’s number one law and order issue, and these statistics reflect the community’s willingness to speak up and report cases to police. The Andrews Labor Government is working to fix our broken family violence system by implementing the Royal Commission’s 227 recommendations.

The data also highlights increases in aggravated burglary and motor vehicle theft, with police forming special teams of officers including Taskforce Tense and Taskforce Cosmas to smash gangs and target violent crime.

A stronger focus on firearm regulation has helped drive an increase in firearms offences, and Victoria Police continues to crack down on illicit firearms and gang activity. Tough new laws introduced last year have given police more powers to get illegal guns off the streets.

The Victorian Budget 2016/17 delivered a huge boost to police resources, with funding for an extra 406 sworn police and 52 support personnel as part of a $596 million Public Safety Package. This includes 30 new officers for the anti-gang and illicit trafficking squads.

The Government continues to deliver a modern and responsive police force to keep the community safe, with funding for new police intelligence systems, mobile technology, bodyworn cameras and a 24/7 Monitoring and Assessment Centre.

Since November 2014, the Government has funded more than 1150 police personnel, including 300 general duties police, 106 specialist officers and 400 custody officers. (TIW)