Do we need more police officers?
MANSFIELD Shire Council in conjunction with Mansfield District Business Association (MDBA) and other local organisations will investigate the need for more police personnel in the region.
Arising from a public meeting held last week into security for businesses, the question was asked why Mansfield did not have enough police officers to respond quickly to calls for help, particularly during the night.
Mark Poole, owner and operator of the Bonnie Doon Central Roadhouse said when they were the victims of smash and grab burglaries recently it took police far too long to respond.
The first incident took police 51 minutes to reach their premises and came from Benalla, and the second time more than two hours.
However, Mr Poole did say that he understood the rules and regulations imposed on police, more so the recent policy of police attending ‘two up’ only.
“But this doesn’t help when you call 000 and report a burglary in process,” Mr Poole said.
“Faster response may have caught these crooks before they got away,” he said.
Mansfield’s Senior Sergeant Lyn Holland said she could not comment on the current status of staffing at the station.
But, she did say she understood the frustrations of the public.
At the meeting Mansfield Shire mayor Marg Attley suggested it was something perhaps council could take up with the ministers for local government and police.
“We could work together with others to see what can be done,” she said.
President of the MDBA Pam Zierk-Mahoney suggested that the business association could work with council and invite others who held concerns on police numbers to band together and make a community push to improve matters.
“With the thousands of visitors to this region all year round, we need more police to keep this community safe,” she said.
Statistics on visitor numbers and recent crimes in the area will be gathered to present to Victoria Police commissioners and ministers to push for more police presence in the area.