My adjournment this evening is for the Minister for Police, and the action I seek is that the minister visit my electorate and meet with concerned residents regarding police resourcing.
A number of my constituents say they are yet again faced with closed doors at their local police stations and rarely see a police officer or a police vehicle patrolling the area.
After I raised these issues in Parliament late last year public meetings were held in Mooroopna and Tatura, where residents were able to air their concerns directly to the local inspector. Recently my office received a call from a constituent in Tatura. She said there was a notable presence of highway patrol vehicles in Tatura following the public meeting. However, it is four months later, and that has ceased, she said. She tells me she has contacted Shepparton police, and it is back to the same message my constituents received initially: call 000 in the case of an emergency.
In the meantime our crime rate is continuing to climb. The latest statistics show an overall increase of 9.4 per cent of reported crimes since 2015 in the Greater Shepparton area. Drug offences have risen 9.7 per cent. I refer to just one incident, which occurred on Sunday. Police are searching for two men, who they say are responsible for multiple assaults and a crime spree in Mooroopna in the early hours of Sunday morning which involved damage to property and burglaries in two different streets.
Police safety is of course of utmost importance; however, the two-up rule has decimated resources at our regional police stations. If this rule is to persist, there must be adequate resourcing at our country stations to compensate for the policy. While our police members have a right to feel safe, so too do we have a right to feel safe in our homes and in our streets. We must be able to have confidence in knowing when we pick up the phone or go to the station that an officer will be there when we need them most.