Victoria’s first state-wide 24-hour Police Assistance Line will be based in Ballarat – creating around 250 new jobs in the area and giving all Victorians better access to police and emergency services.
The Andrews Labor Government has provided $210 million to fund the creation and operation of the hotline and a new online police reporting portal, to give the community faster access to non-emergency police reporting.
The establishment of the 24-hour Police Assistance Line was a key action from the Labor Government’s Community Safety Statement. It will ensure people can contact Victoria Police in non-emergency situations to report a crime or suspected criminal activity, or make general enquiries.
Types of enquiries could include reports of neighbourhood disputes, noise complaints or party registrations, among other things. This will help free up Triple Zero (000) for urgent and life-threatening situations, ensuring police or emergency service workers can respond as quickly as possible.
New South Wales has had a Police Assistance Line, which has played a vital role in recording crimes that don’t require immediate police assistance. It is estimated that the productivity gains are equivalent to 200 extra police officers doing proactive policing.
Victoria Police released its tender for an operator for the call centre and online portal, to be based in Ballarat. Under the new system, calls to the new police hotline will be answered and triaged by a contact centre, run by police personnel.
Both the Police Assistance Line and the online reporting portal will be operational in 2019.
The Labor Government is delivering a technology revolution to the police force, funding mobile devices for frontline officers, automatic numberplate recognition technology, and a 24-hour state-of-the-art Monitoring and Assessment Centre.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“We’re making record investments and getting things done to deliver a world class police force for the Victorian community. This will provide another outlet for people to report crime and suspicious behaviour.”
“For too long previous Governments have ignored the need for a Police Assistance Line, while other states invested in the infrastructure. We’re getting on with the job and delivering the resources needed to keep Victorians safe.”
Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight
“Ballarat is booming and the new Police Assistance Line will continue to boost the city’s profile with 250 new jobs for the region.”
Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard
“Not only will this initiative provide jobs for the region, Ballarat will be doing its bit to support police services across Victoria.”