A Landmark, Victorian-First Plan To Keep People Safe

The Andrews Labor Government will give police new powers to collect the DNA of suspected criminals, introduce new laws to crackdown on organised crime and drive by shootings, and establish a dedicated police assistance line for the community as part of a comprehensive plan to keep Victorians safe.

Premier Daniel Andrews, Minister for Police Lisa Neville and Attorney General Martin Pakula today joined the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Graham Ashton to release Victoria’s first ever Community Safety Statement – a plan to keep Victorians safe, prevent harm in our communities and hold criminals to account.

The measures outlined in the plan are being backed by an additional $2 billion in investment, and include:

  • The recruitment of an additional 2,729 police and 100 Protective Services Officers over the next four years – the largest single police investment in Victoria Police’s 163 year history
  • A dedicated 24-hour Police Assistance Line for non-emergency calls and a reporting website so that Victorians can contact police when and where they need to
  • Rolling out Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology to 220 Highway Patrol vehicles, up from six, to crack down on dangerous and unauthorised drivers
  • Modernising and expanding the Victoria Police Air Wing with three new helicopters and one fixed wing aircraft
  • Building a new training facility for Victoria Police’s Special Operations Group, Bomb Squad, and Critical Incident Response Team
  • $10 million worth of Youth Crime Prevention grants and an expansion of the Victoria Police Kokoda youth engagement program.

Police will also have new powers to fight crime including:

  • Giving police the power to take DNA samples from people suspected of committing an indictable offence without a court order, increasing the number of DNA samples analysed by police from 7,000 to 70,000
  • Introducing new laws to ban the payment of cash for scrap metal in an effort to target organised crime
  • New laws targeting drive-by shootings, including firing into a house, building or stationary vehicle.

The Community Safety Statement recognises that all Victorians have the right to feel safe and be safe – in their homes, workplaces and businesses, on transport, in public and in their neighbourhoods.

The Government is building on the approach of other leading jurisdictions, such as the Statement of Intent in New Zealand and the Mayor of London’s approach to the development of its Police and Crime Plan.

The Community Safety Statement will be released annually to track outcomes and improve government responses.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“This a comprehensive and historic plan to keep Victorians safe. Business as usual won’t cut it anymore – that’s why we’re delivering new police, new laws and a tough new approach.”

“All Victorians have the right to be safe and feel safe in their communities, and we will continue to give police the resources and powers they need to protect the community and reduce harm.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville

“We’re delivering the single largest investment police investment in Victorian history to protect the community.”

“We’ve listened to Victoria Police and are giving them the resources and powers they need to keep the community safe.”

Quotes attributable to Attorney General Martin Pakula

“For the first time, police will have the power to take DNA from someone who they suspect may have committed a crime, without a court order.”

“It will help police to identify criminals, save critical time during investigations and potentially help solve cold cases.”