Crimes surge

Police Minister Lisa Neville, right, with then Acting Inspector Jackie Poida. 159867

CRIME in Ocean Grove increased by 9.2 per cent during the last financial year.
Crime figures across the entire Bellarine Peninsula surged, but State Police Minister and Bellarine MP Lisa Neville said the figures needed to be judged in context.
“The biggest increase relates to justice procedure offences,” Ms Neville said.
“Once again, this is the result of police work. Prosecuting people who have breached family violence intervention orders and bail conditions. Property relates mainly to theft of motor vehicles without any confrontation with any individual. So largely thefts where doors were left unlocked or keys left in cars.”
Family violence remains a massive issue on the peninsula. The release of the latest Crime Statistics Agency data for 2015/16 revealed that you are more likely to be a victim of a crime in your own home, perpetrated by someone you know, than a complete stranger on the street.
Western Victoria Region MP Simon Ramsay said the figures were disturbing.
“The State Government’s announcement this year for more frontline police has made no improvement for the concerned residents forced to start up Neighbourhood Watch programs in Drysdale, Clifton Springs, Barwon Heads and Queenscliff,” he said.
“Despite the Minister for Police Lisa Neville making an election promise to open the Queenscliff Police Station for 16 hours a day, it is still open for just 24 hours each week. Daniel Andrews even came out and made an assuring promise that he would honour that commitment, but it’s now been two years with no sign that it will ever happen. I am distributing a crime survey to Bellarine residents this week, which aims to keep pressuring the Minister for Police and the Premier to honour their promise to the community.”
Ms Neville said the government provided $7.8 million to deliver 15 additional sworn police officers in the region, which has given police extra resources to increase patrols across the Bellarine Peninsula.
“The Bellarine Community Safety Group continues to work across the whole of the Bellarine to identify ways to reduce crime and improve community safety,” Ms Neville said.