Service Delivery and Police Numbers

TPAV has consistently emphasised the importance of substantially boosting police numbers as central to any comprehensive strategy to reduce crime in Victoria. This is especially important now given the state’s population is booming, particularly in Melbourne’s outer growth corridors.

In December 2016, The Police Association welcomed the State Government’s announcement that it would boost police numbers by an additional 2,729 officers over the next four years in order to bring crime under control and to enable police numbers to keep pace with Victoria’s population growth.

New police resources have been earmarked for specific allocation within Victoria Police including: family violence, general duties police stations, and backfilling vacant positions. TPAV is of the view that we must look to recruiting additional police over and above this initial allocation, as additional police will be needed for resource-intensive initiatives, that were not considered in last December’s announcement.

For instance, TPAV has identified areas such as Police Prosecutions and Road Policing where additional allocations of police are required (for reasons we specifically outline later in this document).

These additional allocations of police will also ensure that all police stations can maintain a high level of service delivery. In order to achieve this, we will require clear and specific minimum service standards to be developed and maintained into the future.

Recommendations:

  • The number of police prosecutors be boosted to enable recently-introduced bail laws, weekend and night courts to both properly function and serve their intended purpose. This situation is already critical with more pressure being placed on our police prosecutors as court sitting hours lengthen.
  • The number of officers dedicated to road policing be increased to boost our road policing capacity in order to cope with ever-increasing vehicles on our roads. This requirement has become more pressing given the recent decline in the number of Highway Patrol units patrolling our roads.
  • Clear and specfific minimum service standards be developed and maintained to ensure that all police stations can maintain a high level of service delivery to the community.