THE latest crime statistics have been released and it’s not good news for the Campaspe region.
New figures from the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency show crime across the council area increased to 3,545 offences in the year to September 2017 – an increase of 19.9 per cent.
It’s not good news in Rochester either, with offences increasing by 55.2 per cent or 45 incidents over the same time period.
Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said: “For the Minister (Police Minister Lisa Neville) to be self-congratulating herself and patting herself on the back in parliament this week gone just shows she hasn’t drilled down the numbers.
“She hasn’t particularly looked in the local government areas because there is still a real issue in the Campaspe policing district.’’
Mr Walsh said that of the small number of police who have been allocated across the state, none are going to the Campaspe policing district.
“It is about getting more support for the police that are here,” he said.
“It’s not a criticism to our police that are here, it’s support with more numbers but it’s also support from the court system.”
He said people who reoffend or offend when they are on bail or on parole must suffer the consequences.
“Bail and parole are a privilege not a right and in my view if people reoffend while they’re on either they lose that privilege,” he said.
Regarding Rochester, the conversation of having more police in the area will now rear its head again,
“The very clear reason we set out this journey to have the petition is to constantly raise the issue,” Mr Walsh said.
“We were told that the statistics need to be there to justify more police.
“People were told to ring triple zero rather than report it to the local police station for that very same reason to make sure the statistics are there.
“The statistics are now there and my message to the Rochester people is let’s make sure the minister actually hears it loudly and clearly and actually gives us more police in Rochester and in the district.”
It’s a similar story in smaller towns around the district.
In Bamawm, there have been seven more incidents in 2017. In Nanneella, there have been eight more incidents and a further seven in Timmering.
There has been some good news, with Echuca recording a 10.7 per cent reduction while in Corop there have been six fewer incidents.
“I understand the Echuca number is a result of a couple of particular perpetrators being caught and put away,” Mr Walsh said.
“We just need to see more of that.”
He said some stores in Rochester have been burgled multiple times.
“They’ve had enough,” he said.
“I will be continuing to fight for additional police in the local area and support for those police that are here.”