The Victorian Liberal Nationals are pleased that Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton has listened to our repeated calls to re-establish a Police in Schools program.
Properly resourced and comprehensive Police in Schools programs are a key crime prevention measure by building stronger relationships between Victoria Police, students and school communities.
Earlier this year, Acting Premier and Education Minister James Merlino stated that the dumped Police in Schools program simply wasn’t needed, despite cases of violent crimes against the person committed by 15-19 year-olds rising more than 28 per cent over the last five years.
In recent months the Andrews Labor Government’s COVID-19 enforcement measures has cast a shadow over the reputation of Victoria Police. Now is the time to reset and build a positive engagement with the Victorian community and young people.
The Victorian Liberal Nationals have consistently supported calls for the re-establishment of a Victoria Police program, following a policy position targeting at-risk students at the 2018 State Election.
The Andrews Labor Government must back this positive step forward by Victoria Police, ensure this program is fully resourced and that genuine opportunities exist for police veterans to be involved.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Crime Prevention, David Southwick:
“The Victorian Liberal Nationals support action to prevent crime and address youth offending and welcome the re-establishment of a Police in Schools program.
“Unfortunately recent interactions between many young people and police have been negative with fines and strict COVID enforcement, and now is the time to rebuild trust with our youth so they choose the right path.
“The Andrews Labor Government must now get on board with this essential program, and ensure it is fully resourced as a measure to tackle worsening youth offending across Victoria.”