Oakleigh – Monash Leader

Posted on 12. Apr, 2010 in Letters to the Editor

I refer to the letter 23 March by Liberal MP Gordon Rich-Phillips who wildly asserted that police officers are only available to Monash two days per year. His letter clearly shows that he is part of an Opposition that is lazy and does not understand modern policing methods.

Mr Rich-Phillips failed to mention that what he was referring to was the new specialist unit of highly-trained police which was announced last year in a $47 million boost to create the Operational Response Unit and its extra 120 police officers.

This unit is made up of police officers specifically recruited and trained to undertake targeted law-enforcement operations in known hotspots across Victoria. It is expected to grow to 220 members by the end of the year and will significantly boost police capacity to crack down on assaults, the use of weapons and alcohol related crime.

On 5 March another 51 recruits graduated from the Victoria Police Academy, part of the 470 extra police being added to our streets during this term of government. This is on top of the 1400 extra police the Brumby Labor Government has added since 1999.

Mr Rich-Phillips also conveniently failed to mention that the Liberal Party promised to add an additional 1000 police when in government in the 90s, but actually turned around and cut 800. 

Residents visiting the Clayton area this week would have noticed regular foot patrols, motorcycle police and officers educating members of the public on jaywalking dangerously in Clayton Road around the shopping centre area. Operations such as these have helped drive down the crime rate in Monash, which was 29.2 per cent lower in 2008-09 than what it was in 2000-01.

Victoria Police received a record budget of $1.9 billion in 2009-10, its largest budget ever, and the Brumby Labor Government is committed to working with police to deliver the resources they need to keep our community safe.

Yours faithfully,

Hong Lim MP

Member for Clayton

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