The Andrews Labor Government will give police new powers to collect the DNA of suspected criminals, introduce new laws to crackdown on organised crime and drive by shootings, and establish a dedicated police assistance line for the community, as part of a comprehensive plan to keep Victorians safe.

Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, welcomed the release of Victoria’s first ever Community Safety Statement – a plan to keep Victorians safe, prevent harm in our communities and hold criminals to account.

The measures outlined in the plan are being backed by an additional $2 billion in investment, and include:

  • The recruitment of an additional 2,729 police and 100 Protective Services Officers over the next four years – the largest single police investment in Victoria Police’s 163 year history.
  • Establishing a dedicated 24-hour Police Assistance Line for non-emergency calls so that Victorians can contact police when and where they need to.
  • Rolling out state-of-the-art Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology to 220 transit police vehicles, up from six, to crack down on dangerous and unauthorised drivers.
  • Modernising and expanding the Victoria Police Air Wing by engaging three new helicopters and one fixed wing aircraft.
  • Building a new training facility for Victoria Police’s Special Operations Group, Bomb Squad, and Critical Incident Response Team.
  • $10 million in Youth Crime Prevention grants to for the community to address the cycle of youth offending and recidivism.

Gabrielle Williams said Dandenong will receive funding of up to $700,000 of direct Youth Crime Prevention investment over two years for community-led partnerships to develop and implement evidence-based and effective youth crime prevention strategies.

There will also be dedicated funding of $1.5 million for Koori Youth Crime Prevention Grants across Victoria.

More information is available at: crimeprevention.vic.gov.au/youthgrants

Ms Williams also said Dandenong had received $150,000 in funding as part of the Labor Government’s Public Safety Infrastructure Fund grants program. This will help the City of Greater Dandenong deliver the Dandenong Park Master Plan Redevelopment. Dandenong Park will be redeveloped through urban design improvements including improved lighting and a new pedestrian pathway network to address the high levels of criminal and anti-social behaviour, restore a sense of community ownership and improve perceived and actual levels of safety.

The Community Safety Statement also outlined new police powers to fight crime including:

  • Giving police the power to take DNA samples from people suspected of committing an indictable offence without a court order, increasing the number of DNA samples analysed by police from 7,000 to 70,000.
  • Introducing new laws to ban the payment of cash for scrap metal in an effort to target organised crime.
  • New laws targeting drive-by shootings, including firing into a house, building or stationary vehicle.

The Community Safety Statement recognises that all Victorians have the right to feel safe and be safe – in their homes, workplaces and businesses, on transport, in public and in their neighbourhoods.

The Government is building on the approach of other leading jurisdictions, such the Statement of Intent in New Zealand and the Mayor of London’s approach to the development of its Police and Crime Plan.

The statement will be released annually to track outcomes, improve responses and ensure Victorians are kept up to date on community safety issues into the future.

Quotes attributable to Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams

“This is a comprehensive and historic plan to keep Victorians safe.”

“We are funding thousands of additional frontline police, introducing new laws to fight crime and giving our police the latest in crime fighting capabilities.”

“We’re also working to break the cycle of youth offending in Dandenong through a targeted grants program.”

“The Government is proud to be partnering with City of Greater Dandenong to help increase public safety in the Dandenong area.”