Posted on 10. Nov, 2010 in Election Media Release, News

A future Labor Government will put a record number of frontline police on Victoria’s streets, trains and trams, upgrade police training facilities, provide more technology and police equipment and a more accessible court system.

Joined today by Police Minister James Merlino and Mount Waverley Labor MP Maxine Morand to announce Labor’s community safety policy, Premier John Brumby said it would build on the Government’s funding of the biggest police numbers boost in the State’s history.

“Our Government has already begun delivering a further 1,966 frontline police officers, because you cannot compromise on community safety,” Mr Brumby said.

“Today I can announce that our Government will boost this record frontline police recruitment by an additional 100 new transit police.

“Today’s announcement means that, if elected, Labor will recruit and deploy 2066 additional frontline police over the next term of Government – the biggest boost to police numbers in the State’s history.

“We understand that some people do not always feel safe on public transport. That’s why we want to recruit an additional 100 transit police. This comes on top of the funding our Government delivered Victoria Police to deploy 50 additional transit police.

“We are increasing our recruitment to a record 2066 additional frontline police because you just cannot compromise on community safety.

“Today’s community safety package builds on our record police recruitment and the 160 police stations and residences Labor has built or rebuilt since 1999 – the biggest police building program in Victorian history.”

Mr Brumby said Labor had a proud track record of delivering on our promises to boost frontline police.

“Labor has boosted frontline police in Victoria by almost 2000. We have also provided police with the tough new powers they need to do their job, like random weapons searches,” Mr Brumby said.

“But we know that there is more to do. While the most recent Victoria Police crime statistics show we are beginning to turn the corner in relation alcohol related crime in the CBD, I want to see more progress so that our community can be and feel safer.”

“We will continue to do the hard work and take the tough decisions required to ensure our system of law and order can meet the challenges of the future.

Mr Brumby said Labor’s community safety package included:

  • Employing an extra 100 transit police to help patrol every metropolitan train line every night – in addition to the 1,966 frontline police we are delivering over the next five years;
  • $61 million for upgraded police training facilities, including the largest ever upgrade of the Glen Waverley Police Academy, a new virtual simulation firing range, and regional training centre upgrades in Wangaratta, Gippsland and Ballarat;
  • A $10.1 million boost to facial recognition technology to make it available in 260 police stations across Victoria, up from 10;
  • $7.3 million for expanded graffiti removal programs, building on existing partnerships with local councils and forcing offenders to clean up community assets as punishment;
  • $5.2 million for a new Community Safety and Graffiti Grants program for local governments and community groups to fund community safety initiatives such as CCTV;
  • Expanded manual labour options to put offenders to work in repaying community debt;
  • New specialist police equipment including breathing apparatus for Special Operations Group officers and a new 24-metre search and rescue boat; and
  • Further opening up Victoria’s courts to the public by webcasting proceedings from courtrooms across metropolitan and regional Victoria.


Mr Merlino said Labor had delivered on its promises by boosting frontline police by almost 2000 police – and was rolling out tough new police powers including random weapon searches.

“Labor has the right plans – fully costed and deliverable – to make our communities safer,” he said.

“With so many police being recruited, we also need the best facilities to train them.”

A central component of the package is the upgrade of the iconic Victoria Police Academy at Glen Waverley and the upgrade to major regional training facilities at Wangaratta, Gippsland and Ballarat to ensure the record number of frontline police can maintain modern training techniques.

Mr Merlino said the $10.1 million commitment to deliver state-of-the-art facial recognition technology across Victoria, would allow police to electronically identify suspects within minutes using computerised mugshots.

“We are delivering police the best and latest equipment, with this technology to improve the ability of police to identify and process offenders, look through mug shots and quickly identify suspects and missing persons,” he said.

“Currently, 22 per cent of offenders are able to be run through the iFace system – with this investment it will be increased to 99 per cent.”

Mr Merlino said today’s law and order package was in addition to the recently announced 270 additional police vehicles and 150 extra corrections staff as part of Labor’s abolition of suspended sentences for serious offences.

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