Casey crime prevention

13 October 2016

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — (11 832) My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Police, and it is connected to the great work of our outstanding local police in Casey. The action I seek is that the minister consider what further support could be provided to assist the great work our local police do, specifically around crime prevention grants, with a focus on young people at risk of engagement in antisocial or criminal behaviour.

We know that in Casey there are small numbers of young people involved in serious offending and that alongside the strong enforcement approach our local police have taken there needs to be a strong crime prevention strategy. We know that when we establish local partnerships with police, community leaders, school principals, youth agencies and even magistrates to tailor suitable responses, we can drive a whole-of-community approach to youth offending. This approach needs to have strong links to training and employment opportunities for young people who are marginalised and in need of help. We know that although we have got less young people offending overall, they are offending at very high rates, and sadly they are doing some really nasty things that show a complete lack of respect for other people.

We have a developing phenomenon where some young people feel disengaged from mainstream society and simply do not fear the consequences of being locked up, and once released they offend again. It is vitally important that we not only stop them from reoffending but that we also ensure that they do not offend in the first place. We must address the root causes — the reasons why a minority of our young people choose to venture down this path.

Just last month the minister joined with me in visiting the Narre Warren police station where we heard firsthand about the challenges the officers at that station face each and every day. Instead of listening to the deplorable and dishonest campaign led by the City of Casey and the opposition, we spoke with those on the front line. We on this side of the house are not going to resort to cheap political tactics. We understand that people are worried and indeed fearful, and we are committed to targeted action to ensure community safety.

The fact is that we have provided more police. We also know that additional police are coming soon and that by April of next year 406 new police officers will have been sworn in and deployed in areas of high need such as Casey. The Andrews Labor government understands that Casey is a priority, but I tell you what, we are not going to be distracted by the cheap stunts and dishonesty of desperate councillors seeking re-election, mainly members of the Liberal Party.

We will always support our local police, and we will always make sure that they have the resources they need to make their community safer. I ask the minister to ensure that our local police are assisted through consideration of youth crime prevention — —

The DEPUTY SPEAKER — Order! The honourable member’s time has expired.