Rochy des­per­ate for more po­lice but top cop says we’ll have to wait

Campaspe News - - FRONT PAGE - By IVY WISE

ROCHESTER res­i­dents’ plea for more po­lice is fall­ing on deaf ears.

Al­though Vic­to­ria Po­lice is re­cruit­ing an­other 3,000 of­fi­cers, none of them will be com­ing any­where near us.

Speak­ing to Cam­paspe News on Thurs­day, Vic­to­ria Po­lice Chief Com­mis­sioner Gra­ham Ashton said al­lo­ca­tions to north­ern Vic­to­ria had not started yet.

‘‘At the mo­ment those (3,000) of­fi­cers are go­ing into the south-east and west­ern cor­ri­dors of Mel­bourne — very fast-grow­ing ar­eas as our mod­el­ling is telling us we’re well down in that area,’’ he said.

‘‘Then we’re go­ing to look at broader al­lo­ca­tions across the state, so this part of the state will be able to see what those al­lo­ca­tions look like soon.’’

Polic­ing was the num­ber one con­cern for peo­ple who took part in the re­cent Rochester Com­mu­nity House sur­vey.

It fol­lows a spike in crime in Rochester, which has seen sev­eral busi­nesses bro­ken into in the past few months.

Eigh­teen peo­ple voted that the po­lice pres­ence wasn’t enough and that a 24-hour sta­tion was needed.

‘‘We are look­ing at sta­tions in re­la­tion to 24-hour sta­tions and we haven’t made a de­ci­sion in re­la­tion to that (Rochester) sta­tion,’’ Mr Ashton said.

‘‘It’s re­ally go­ing to de­pend on our ser­vice model for how many peo­ple are on pa­trol be­cause what we want to do at the mo­ment is have highly vis­i­ble pa­trols so what we do want to avoid as much as pos­si­ble is of­fi­cers hav­ing to be in po­lice sta­tions be­hind coun­ters.

‘‘We need to pro­vide a ser­vice where peo­ple can come to talk to po­lice but, im­por­tantly, we want them out and vis­i­ble. That will be the big de­ci­sion.’’

Mr Ashton said he be­lieved there was enough man­power at Echuca po­lice sta­tion to cover smaller towns like Rochester at present.

‘‘Rochester is well served by Echuca and neigh­bour­ing sta­tions,’’ he said.

‘‘They’re very good and ex­pe­ri­enced po­lice here and they know the com­mu­nity re­ally well.

‘‘I’ve been to the (Echuca) sta­tion a num­ber of times over the past two years and they’re re­ally ex­pe­ri­enced po­lice who value and know the com­mu­nity and I think the com­mu­nity is well served by the po­lice.’’

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