Hundreds of jobs are on their way to Ballarat thanks to the Andrews Labor Government, with Victoria’s new Police Assistance Line (PAL) one step closer to setting up shop to assist Victorians across the state.
The Labor Government has provided $210 million to set up and operate the assistance line, part of its record investment in Victoria Police and community safety. The centre also includes a new online police reporting portal, to give the community faster access to non-emergency police reporting.
Victoria Police today announced Serco Citizen Services as the successful tenderer to set up and run the new centre.
Minister for Police Lisa Neville visited Ballarat Police Station today to mark the major milestone with the investment to create more than 200 new jobs in Ballarat.
The new 24-hour Police Assistance Line will ensure people can contact Victoria Police in non-emergency situations to report a crime or suspected criminal activity, or make general enquiries, which will help free up Triple Zero (000) for urgent and life-threatening situations.
Under the new system, calls to the new police assistance line will be answered and triaged by a contact centre, run by sworn police officers and staff who will take reports of theft, property damage, neighbourhood disputes, noise complaints or party registrations, among others.
The creation of a dedicated assistance line brings Victoria in line with all other states and territories, who have call centres for non-emergencies, with Triple Zero reserved for crimes where urgent assistance is required.
The online reporting portal will also provide another outlet for reporting crime, with a secure website to report non-urgent crime. Both services will be operating by 2019.
The Labor Government has funded a record 3,135 new police, with 14 new police due to rollout across the Ballarat Police Division by the middle of next year, including frontline police, family violence specialists and one officer for the crime investigation unit.
The first of these new family violence specialists have just been deployed in Ballarat to better support women and children and police in the region with their knowledge and expertise.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“This will give all Victorians – no matter where they live – another way to engage with police, report crime, suspicious behaviour or make general policing enquiries, to keep communities safe.”
Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight
“We’re another step closer to delivering a world-class police and emergencies services hub in Ballarat, which will support hundreds of jobs and drive investment in the region.”
Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard
“The first of our 14 new police are starting to be deployed in Ballarat – including dedicated family violence officers – which will make a real difference to local communities as we tackle the harm caused by family violence.”