Today I have urgently raised concerns with the Chief Commissioner about a recent decision to change counter hours at the Waurn Ponds Police Station.
Myself and senior members of Victoria Police were unaware these changes had been made until yesterday.
There is a clear process within Victoria Police about how changes to operations are authorised. All changes to counter hours must be approved by executive police command.
This process requires police to consult with the community and show evidence that policing will be improved – this process was not followed.
As a result, police are now convening a community forum this Friday to address these issues.
They have indicated to me that the decision to reduce counter hours has enabled them to now have 24-hour, seven-day-a-week patrols running out of Waurn Ponds. This is an improved model than what was previously available – where a 16-hour counter service was available with few visitations.
The changes are also allowing for improved proactive policing.
My expectation, however, is that any changes to counter hours be made in consultation with local residents – with police explaining how local police operations best serve the community.
I now expect Victoria Police to work closely with the Waurn Ponds community to ensure they are meeting community expectations.
First and foremost – I want communities to feel safe. I will continue to work with Victoria Police and local communities to make sure that happens.
Reviewed 19 August 2020