Cops call for 24/7 station

Published by Sunbury & Macedon Ranges Star Weekly on April 23, 2019

The police union is calling for all police stations across the Macedon Ranges to open 24/7 following the discovery of a 61-year-old Gisborne man’s body on Rodney Street on April 14.

Homicide squad detectives charged a 55-year-old Gisborne man with one count of murder last week.

Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt said the accused man tried to turn himself in at Gisborne police station on Sunday night but the station was closed.

Mr Gatt said that when the alleged killer approached the police station, the doors were locked and there was only a single divisional patrol officer on duty.

He said the accused man pressed a buzzer, which goes through to the Kyneton police station. It is understood that police at Kyneton then notified the divisional patrol officer in Gisborne.

“He [the Gisborne officer] then came out the front of the police station alone,” Mr Gatt said.

He said the events “highlighted a whole range of issues” that were putting police and the public in danger.

“He was rostered to work alone, which is a problem within itself – it points to a lack of resources.

“It’s a Sunday night at 7pm … it is a 100 per cent unsafe work practice to be put in a position like that. It’s a fluke that he was at the station.”

Mr Gatt said Gisborne police had been calling for the town’s station to be open 24 hours a day since 2012, but had been unable to do so.

“Police within the local community have been calling for additional resources,” he said. “They [Gisborne] need two additional sergeants and 10 troops.

“Woodend station has been closed for two years and the Macedon police station will be closed for some time in the future.

“This is pointing to a situation which would do one of two things – put members at risk or reduce in a significant way the services available to the local community.”

The accused killer appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday, April 15 and was remanded in custody until August 20.