LOCAL POLICE LEFT TO GUARD PRISONERS INSTEAD OF TACKLING CRIME UNDER NAPTHINE

Local crime rates could increase further under the Napthine Government as Victoria
Police are forced off the frontline to guard prisoners, State Member for Narre Warren South, Ms Judith Graley said.

Ms Graley said this was a state-wide crisis caused by the Napthine Government’s failure to tackle crime, for cutting $100 million from the Victoria Police budget and the sacking of 400 police staff.

Ms Graley said senior police estimate 500 police state-wide were being used daily to babysit prisoners in overcrowded police station cells.

“Now we have the ludicrous situation of fontline police officers babysitting prisoners in police cells and senior Victoria Police members raising concerns that riots could ensue,” Ms Graley, said.

Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay told ABC that: “We need to make sure we have got the right number of police there to protect our members and keep the prisoners safe”.

“This situation has been created by Denis Napthine because of his Government’s
failure to tackle the causes of crime and address the prevention of crime on our streets,” Ms Graley said.

“Taking police officers off the beat to babysit prisoners will not stop crime let alone
reduce crime rates which have increased each and every year for the first time in more than a decade under Denis Napthine.”

Ms Graley said Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay had admitted the situation has become so bad some prisoners were missing court appointments because prison cells are full
and it could be another 12 months before Corrections Victoria can accommodate more inmates.

Victoria Police Association Secretary Greg Davies warned police were not trained to be prison wardens.

Mr Davies told the Shepparton News – “the day is about here that the police force has to put up a ‘full house’ sign and say to Corrections ‘I don’t care how crowded you are, you can’t keep them here’.”

“Denis Napthine needs to explain to Narre Warren South why he has failed to reduce crime in the last three years, why he has failed to ensure police have the resources to
tackle and reduce crime and why he believes it is local police officers job to babysit prisoners instead of catching criminals,” Ms Graley said.

Ms Graley said Victoria Police statistics for Casey showed assault up 5.5%, crime against the person up 4.2%, theft from a motor vehicle up 8.1% and total crime up 6.4% in the past year.

“Narre Warren South families should be concerned that the Napthine Government is failing to make their suburbs safer unravelling 10 years of reduced crime rates under Labor in less than three years,” Ms Graley said.