Media Release

15 February 2017

O’Donohue: Ashton confirms police numbers cut

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Ashton confirms police numbers cut

It has been confirmed at Parliament’s Estimates Hearings that Daniel Andrews dropped the ball on community safety and failed to make recruiting police a priority.

Victoria’s top cop, Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton, confirmed that during the 2015/16 the number of police per capita was cut, increasing by just 159 members.

The Chief Commissioner relayed his members’ frustration with the bail system, being forced to arrest and rearrest the same alleged offenders again and again after being let back onto the streets.

The Chief Commissioner expressed his support for the important work undertaken by bail justices.

In further evidence of the chaos in the justice system, the Committee was advised that:

Taxpayers in 2015/16 were slugged with cost orders of $194,000 for Daniel Andrews’ failure to present prisoners to court;

26 WorkCover claims were lodged by prison staff following the worst prison riot in Victoria’s history at the MRC on 30 June 2015, with 17 claims still active today;

On 239 days during 15/16, Victoria’s police cells held 200 or more prisoners at the 7am count, despite a target of no more than 100, taking already stretched police off the beat catching criminals to babysitting criminals;

Meanwhile, Committee Member and Daniel Andrews’ Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Services clearly doesn’t understand the recent deal her boss has done with Peter Marshall and the UFU, when the question was asked, how many CFA personnel work in ‘difficult to fill’ areas, she replied “What does that mean?”

It’s no wonder crime is out of control with Daniel Andrews asleep at the wheel on law and order.