Wyndham misses out


Esther Lauaki

Western metropolitan MP Bernie Finn says the state government has “absolutely missed the mark” after Wyndham Police were allocated one extra officer in a recent deployment.

Police minister Lisa Neville last week announced 580 police will be added to the frontline in total, with more than 350 of them headed towards regional centres

The Westgate division, which services Wyndham, Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong, was allocated seven officers with one of them to serve in Wyndham.

“I have to say today’s announcement is somewhat bewildering,” Mr Finn told Star Weekly.

“I think [the government] has absolutely missed the mark.

“We need a lot of police in an area as big as Wyndham.

“Given the street crime that occurs in Wyndham … I think that this is something that needs to be addressed.

“There are people on the wrong side of the law who will take full advantage of this need for more police. ”

The number of crimes recorded in Wyndham during the 12-month period to January rose by more than 14 per cent driven by increases in aggravated robberies and aggravated burglaries.

Latest figures from the Crime Statistics Agency showed that between September 2018 and September last year, 16,201 offences were reported to Wyndham police

Last week’s allocation was a marked decrease from a year ago when 12 frontline police for Wyndham were added to the beat joined by additional specialist family violence and criminal investigation officers.

In 2018, 41 new police were allocated to the Westgate Division, including 27 frontline police for Wyndham.

Deputy commissioner Rick Nugent said more police would be on the beat across the state than ever before.

“Our unwavering focus remains on tackling high harm offending which can often have traumatic and life-changing consequences for victims,” Deputy commissioner Nugent said.

“The extra resources will also give police more time to focus on reducing crime that causes wide-spread harm across the community, such as drugs related offences.

“The influx of officers in regional areas will also assist us in enhancing our ability to provide immediate assistance when state disasters occur, such as bushfires or floods.”

He said several factors are taken into consideration when allocating new resources, such as calls for assistance, reported crime, event management and traffic incidents, and the time required to provide these services.