By Brendan Rees
City of Casey has been left hanging dry after missing out on the latest round of police officers to be deployed across the state.
Victoria Police announced 825 police recruits will be rolled out over a 12 month period starting in May – but Casey will receive none.
Calls for a new 24-hour seven day a week police station in Clyde North have reignited from the State Opposition.
Leader of the Opposition Matthew Guy visited Clyde North on Tuesday, 13 March, promising to keep residents safe.
“There areas of Casey and Cardinia where crime is up 100 per cent under this Government – it’s unacceptable,” he said.
Mr Guy said the Government had failed at its first responsibility to keep the community safe.
“We’ll keep Cardinia and Casey safe. Our primary concern will be to give the police the resources and to reform the justice system so when people are caught they face punishment, not a slap on the wrist.”
Opposition Police Minister Edward O’Donoghue said Cranbourne and Narre Warren police stations were at capacity and only faced greater demand as the population surged.
“There’s going to be about an extra 100,000 people to 2041 through this southern part of Casey,” he said.
He added: “You can’t put them (police) in an invisible building; you’ve got to put them in a police station.”
It comes as Casey councillors voted at a 6 March council meeting, calling on the State Government to announce more police officers for the City of Casey.
“I take my hat off to police who do an amazing job under the most trying of circumstances but a key element in fighting crime is visibility of police as a deterrence,” said Cr Sam Aziz.
“I trust the Premier will hear our message and make an appropriate announcement before the election,” he said.
Police Association of Victoria Brendan Roberts said Casey missed out on police this time as it was given new police officers in the last roll out phase.
Minister for Police Lisa Neville said Casey received 31 new police in the past year.
“An additional 14 family violence specialists have been allocated to the division, which will mean those staffing the family violence unit can return to Casey.”
“Once again, the Liberal Party is undermining the staffing allocation model – it’s not about funding officers in marginal seats or in election times but based on where we need them most,” she said.
Cardinia will receive six officers and Dandenong will get 32 additional police.
Neighbourhood Watch Chairman Rob Ward said residents would like to see more police in their area.
“The key with police is not to have them sitting behind desks in building but rather have them out on the road.”