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South Barwon MP Andrew Katos says the time has come to keep Torquay’s police station open 24 hours a day.
In Parliament last week, Mr Katos asked Acting Police Minister Robin Scott to increase the number of police at the station on the Surf Coast Highway -which is generally only open during daylight hours – and make it a 24-hour station.
The deployment of police is the responsibility of the Chief Commissioner of Police, but Mr Katos said this should not be an issue given the state government’s 2015 budget specifically included funding for 15 new police officers in Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula.
“I’ve never seen that happen before,” Mr Katos told the Surf Coast Times yesterday (Wednesday).
“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. You can’t on one hand direct the Chief Commissioner to increase resources in a marginal Labor seat, and not do the same in the neighbouring seat.”
Mr Katos is running a petition on his website calling for increased police numbers in the South Barwon electorate.
He said the high level of growth in Torquay meant the town’s police station was “very much on the threshold” of needing to be upgraded, and that a 24-hour station would allow police to run extra patrols along the Great Ocean Road towards Lorne and into the hinterland. “Torquay’s not the sleepy community town it once was.
“The police are doing a fantastic job with the resources they have, but they are not being resourced adequately.”
Offences in the 3228 postcode increased 6.6 per cent in 2015 compared to the previous year.
In Parliament last week, Mr Scott said there had been no cuts to frontline police or sworn services and “police resources are in fact being increased under this government”.