Victoria Police: Report 2011 -12

Written on the 28 November 2012

I am pleased to rise to speak on the Victoria Police annual report 2011-12. As my colleague Mr Elsbury pointed out, this report goes a long way towards supporting Victoria Police right across the state. I would like to endorse the tremendous work the police undertake for the Victorian community on a daily basis. I am pleased to say that in his opening comments Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said that the focus of the police force and its core mission is to continue to deliver a 'safe, secure and orderly society for all Victorians'.


Mr Finn -- He is a very good chief commissioner.


Ms CROZIER -- He is a very good chief commissioner. Mr Finn is absolutely right.


In those opening remarks, Mr Lay said that the focus on community engagement and improving service delivery has increased, and confidence amongst community members who have been surveyed has also increased. That says a lot about his leadership and what he is doing in relation to leading the Victorian police force. He is certainly instilling confidence in members of the force, but also, importantly, in the Victorian community.


As we all know, it is very important that we live in a civil society, and we are very fortunate that we do. Unfortunately at times there are issues that our police have to address, and one of those issues that is highlighted in this report is the road safety statistics. Looking at the report, I am pleased to note that the number of both fatalities and injuries has decreased over the past few years. There is a bipartisan approach to improving road safety and statistics, and I think governments of all persuasions are very much supportive of that, but nevertheless the statistics are very encouraging.


Fatalities have decreased from 301 in 2008-09 to 270 in 2011-12 -- a decrease of 10.3 per cent. With injuries, there were 19 151 in 2008-09, and then 18 739 in 2011-12 -- a decrease of 2.2 per cent. These improvements are significant. They are still far too high, obviously, but they are significant in relation to the work undertaken.


In Southern Metropolitan Region, the electorate I represent, Operation Halo operated in the Boroondara, Stonnington and Port Phillip local government areas. That operation was very successful. It aimed to change road user behaviour by providing a sustained enforcement strategy during the month of February this year. Anything we can do, such as those initiatives, is a good thing if it reduces our road toll, especially as we are coming into the festive season. We hope those numbers will continue to decrease and not increase.


Obviously law and order was a huge platform for the coalition government coming into the last election, and as Mr Elsbury highlighted, we are on track to recruit additional police officers and the very important protective services officers (PSOs), who are doing a tremendous amount of work on our rail stations in providing increased safety to commuters. That is becoming evident. It is highlighted in this report. The report states, 'Victoria Police deployed an additional 644 front-line police across Victoria and 88 PSOs', and it is on track to continue deployment up until 2014.


There is one element that is on the increase, and that is family violence. I know that the responsible minister, the Minister for Community Services, Mary Wooldridge, is doing an enormous amount of work on that.


It was a coalition commitment to look at that issue, and in September this year a new funding package of $16 million over four years was provided to tackle family violence by expanding services and work with agencies such as Victoria Police to ensure that our communities remain safe. Family violence is a complex issue and unfortunately those statistics have risen, but that can also be attributed to an increase in the reporting of violence. People are feeling more confident about reporting family violence and that is showing up in the statistics. I again commend Victoria Police.

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