By Brendan Rees
A $15 million Clyde North Police Station would be built under the State Coalition if they win government in the state election next year.
Opposition leader Matthew Guy joined Shadow Minister for Police Edward O’Donohue, Member for Bass Brian Paynter and Liberal candidate for Cranbourne Ann-Marie Hermans in making the announcement at Clyde Recreation Reserve on Thursday 9 November.
Mr Guy said one in 19 homes in Clyde North was burgled in 2016, adding: “We say enough is enough.”
“Crime in Clyde North is up by more than 90 per cent since the election of this government.”
“While Daniel Andrews cuts and closes police stations, only the Liberal-Nationals will invest in a new station at Clyde North.”
Mr Guy said the new station would relieve pressure on Cranbourne and surrounding stations, as Casey’s population was expected to match Tasmania in 22 years’ time.
“It’s one of the fastest growing areas in Australia. So to ignore it is to ignore the problem.”
“This government has closed more police stations, it has reduced the hours of more police stations than any government for the last two decades in this state, and all that at a time when Victoria is going through a crime wave.”
My Paynter said the crime rate needed to be addressed “head on” with more police stations built.
“If we are to really accommodate and encourage people into new areas we need to build the infrastructure.”
He said it was important that a police station be built in Clyde North to make people “feel safe and secure in their own homes.”
Liberal candidate for Cranbourne Ann-Marie Hermans said a safer community was also needed.
“It’s very important that we can actually build a station so that we don’t have our Cranbourne police in a state where they are actually not able to cope with the increase in population.”
Casey Neighbourhood chairman Watch Rob Ward welcomed the announcement for a Clyde North police station.
“We don’t care who builds the station, we need one. We are getting daily, weekly inquiries from residents in this area concerned about their safety.”
“People are afraid in their own homes.”
Also at the announcement was Clyde North resident Anuj Haribhakti who started a community Facebook page called Circa 1886 Estate Residents, Clyde North said: “Literally every week there is a burglary in our estate.
“We use Neighbourhood Watch guidelines to try to scare the burglars off.”
A statement from Victoria Police said: “There is no forward planning by Victoria Police to build a new police station at Clyde.
“The Chief Commissioner has acknowledged that growth corridors are a priority, of which Casey is one. When the new resources are supplied to communities across the state, we will have them on the road detecting crime and keeping people safe rather than sitting at police stations,” the statement said.
Acting Minister for Police James Merlino said the State Government would provide Victoria Police the powers and resources they needed to keep Victorians safe.
“That’s why we’re recruiting 3135 additional police to be deployed across the state but especially where the population is growing, including the south-eastern areas of Melbourne like Clyde.”