Baillieu fails again as crime jumps for the first time in over 10 years

The Baillieu Government is failing on crime prevention with new figures showing crime has risen for the first time in over a decade, Deputy Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Police James Merlino said today.

Mr Merlino said the Baillieu Government’s law and order policy was in tatters with family violence, kidnapping, assaults, rape and homicide on the rise.

Under the Baillieu Government there were 391,325 offences recorded last financial year, an increase of 8.2 per cent on the previous year.

Victoria Police statistics show crime against the person increased 11.8 per cent to 54,454, with family violence-related crime climbing by 39.9 per cent.

Homicide offences increased 14.6 per cent, rape offences increased 11.8 per cent, and drug offences jumped 22.8 per cent.

“In less than two years Premier Ted Baillieu and Deputy Leader and Minister for Police Peter Ryan have managed to unravel 10 years of crime reduction under Labor,” Mr.Merlino said.

“These statistics are further evidence that the Baillieu Government has walked away from tackling crime inVictoria.

“Mr Ryan has been too absorbed in his own internal crisis and undermining police command rather than dealing with these serious issues confronting Victorian families.

“These figures confirm what the public suspect. The ‘no action’ Baillieu Government’s tough talk on crime isn’t worth the paper it is written on.

“Mr Baillieu promised to get tough on crime but today’s crime statistics show he has walked away from community safety.”

The crime figures follow the release of documents obtained under Freedom of Information earlier this year that showed police numbers had not kept up with population growth in 15 of the 21 divisional police areas acrossVictoria.

“The Baillieu Government cut $65 million from Victoria Police, slashed 480 jobs from the Department of Justice and 350 jobs from Victoria Police as crime has increased,” Mr Merlino said.

“The Government is implementing its bungled PSO policy which has blown out by more than $60 million and is behind schedule while it is cutting police resources and not reducing crime.

“With police stuck behind desks and an admission from Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay that family violence is contributing to the increase in overall crime stats, the Baillieu Government is failing to not only address the issue but give police the resources to tackle it.”