Wednesday,13 June, 2018

Gippsland locals and police will have a new specialist forensic hub in Morwell giving regional investigators faster access to information at major crime scenes, thanks to an investment from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Police Lisa Neville and Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing today announced the location of the new facility in Morwell.

The Labor Government has contributed $11.6 million for two regional hubs in the Latrobe Valley and Ballarat.

The new hub located at Saskia Way, Morwell will mean that police in Gippsland won’t have to travel to Melbourne to test evidence and forensic material.

It follows the announcement of three new $2 million mobile specialist forensic vehicles that can be deployed to regional areas across the state and will help police analyse forensic material at crime scenes or bushfires.

The new vehicles will help police analyse chemical and biological evidence, process CCTV footage and fingerprints, examine burnt or damaged documents and provide a command centre on the ground.

Previously, evidence needed to be taken from crime scenes and transported back to the forensic headquarters in Macleod before they were tested, slowing down investigations.

The new Morwell hub will allow police to process evidence collected from crime scenes locally, further freeing up police time and resources.

The construction of the hub will also bring construction jobs to the local community as well as 11 ongoing forensic officer jobs. The hub is expected to be operational by mid-2019.

Victoria Police’s Forensic Services Department plays a critical role in investigations and prosecutions, examining more than 55,000 exhibits every year.

This state-of-the-art technology adds to the Labor Government’s biggest police recruitment drive in the state’s history with 3,135 new police being delivered to communities across the state.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville

“The new high-tech forensic hub in Morwell is a major investment in Gippsland, which will give police the tools and resources they need to better detect and analyse evidence to help catch criminals.”

“These new vehicles can travel to communities like Gippsland, assisting at crime scenes or bushfires and giving police fast and accurate access to information, to assess and secure a crime scene.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“Regional police should not have to travel to Melbourne to access the services they need to do their jobs — this facility will boost jobs locally, improve technology and help to cut down investigation time for police officers.”