Victoria Police is getting another 300 frontline officers and 106 specialist officers as part of a $596 million package to tackle gang violence, drugs, terrorist threats as well as gun violence across the state.
The investment was announced by Victoria premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday who said that “hundreds more police and new state-of-the-art technology will mean those already on the front line have the support they need”.
Earlier last month, crime statistics from the Victorian government revealed that the number of recorded offences increased by 8.1% in the year to 31 December 2015, from 459,681 to 497,116.
The categories which saw the biggest upward spike during the first year of the Andrews government included assault, drug dealing and trafficking as well as weapons and explosives offences.
The budget package will see a range of changes including “two new forensic hubs that will be set up in regional Victoria to enable police to fast-track investigations into ice and other drugs trafficking”, “30 new officers and two support personnel for the anti-gang and illicit trafficking teams” and 20 additional officers to “respond to high risk incidents, including terrorist incidents”.
In addition, police will always be equipped with the latest technology including bulletproof vehicles, bomb robots, night vision, body-worn cameras and anti-ballistic vests.
“We are giving police the officers, the equipment, and powers to respond to some of the most serious issues facing our community today including family violence, gun crime and the scourge of ice,” said acting police minister Robin Scott.
The 2016-17 Victorian State Budget will be handed down on April 27.
We said we’d give Victoria police the resources they need and that’s exactly what we’re doing. https://t.co/RXqN1egs9K
— Maree Edwards MP (@mareeedwardsmp) April 17, 2016
Crime up over 8%, gang riots, fam violence + closed stations, Daniel Andrews extra police r a drop in the ocean of what is needed. #springst
— Edward O’Donohue (@ODonohueMLC) April 16, 2016
— Jill Hennessy MP (@JillHennessyMP) April 16, 2016