MORE POLICE ON THE BEAT IN GIPPSLAND THANKS TO NEW CUSTODY OFFICERS
Monday, 5 February, 2018
The Andrews Labor Government has delivered on its election promise to deploy 400 Police Custody Officers (PCOs) at police stations across Victoria to free up police to return to the frontline and protect the community.
Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing has welcomed the news that all PCOs are now in position at Bairnsdale, Sale and Morwell.
The final PCOs graduated on Friday, with the number of police officers performing custody shifts at police station jails dropping by more than 90 per cent at the 22 stations where PCOs are stationed.
At Bairnsdale, Sale and Morwell, PCOs have delivered 2374, 1538 and 5051 shifts respectively since January 2016, helping to release police officers from custody duties so they can focus on catching criminals and targeting their attention on keeping our community safe.
The Labor Government invested $148.6 million in the Victorian Budget 2015/16 with PCOs now in place in areas across Melbourne and regional Victoria.
PCOs and Supervising PCOs have become a valued and skilled part of some of Victoria’s busiest police stations, managing prisoners in cells, supporting police, supervising offenders and transporting them to and from court.
The Police Custody Officer position has also been a valuable employment opportunity for our Gippsland community, giving people experience in policing and the justice system.
The Government announced a new Supervising PCO role early last year, with 56 now in place across the state, leading a team of PCOs and further freeing up police time to prioritise frontline duties.
The safety of the community is the Labor Government’s highest priority with an additional 3,135 new frontline police to be delivered on top of attrition over the coming years. This is in contrast to the Liberals who cut front-line police when they were in government.
The first 300 police have already been allocated to Victoria’s booming growth areas with more police officers to be allocated when and where they’re needed most.
The Labor Government is delivering a massive community safety boost through it historic $2 billion Community Safety Statement, including more resources, tough new laws and police powers, improved mobile technology, new and upgraded police stations and training facilities.
Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing:
“Our PCOs play a vital role in managing prisoners in police stations and they also free up more police so they can focus on what they do best – preventing crime, catching criminals, reducing harm and keeping the Gippsland community safe.”
“With PCOs now in place at Bairnsdale, Sale and Morwell, we’re seeing a huge reduction in the number of police officers carrying out custody shifts and more opportunity for police to get out into our community.”
”We promised we would deliver these additional Police Custody Officers here in Gippsland and we’ve done just that.”