Matthew Guy, Herald Sun, 28 March 2017
Time to tackle crime and make Victoria safe again
CAR-jackings, home invasions, drugs, brazen daylight robberies: it sounds like the plot of a Hollywood thriller, but it has become a frightening reality of daily life in our community.
Victoria is now a significantly less safe place to live, work and raise a family than it was two years ago.
Independent crime statistics confirm what we see on the news, hear from friends and neighbours and what too many Victorians now experience first-hand isn’t anecdotal, it is an epidemic.
Over the past two years, assaults have jumped by 31 per cent, aggravated robbery is up 31 per cent, aggravated burglaries are up 64 per cent and car thefts have risen 44 per cent and resisting or hindering police officers has spiked by almost 200 per cent.
These are sobering numbers.
Serious and violent crimes are being committed in our community at unprecedented rates. But we have a Premier who is indifferent to the crisis.
Daniel Andrews has proven he does not consider community safety to be a priority. He weakened bail laws, putting more dangerous offenders out on our streets, he cut frontline police numbers and then he sat around for the past two years while a crime tsunami engulfed our state.
If I am Premier, I won’t be a spectator while crime and violence engulfs our community.
The Liberal Nationals have developed practical policies to make Victoria safe again.
This year we have already announced that we would shut the revolving-door bail system in Victoria so violent criminals are not repeatedly released back on to our streets to reoffend.
A Liberal Nationals government would also reverse the current presumption of bail for violent offences, so if you commit a violent crime you will be held in custody unless police say you are not a danger to others.
We will also introduce a “one strike and you’re out” policy for anyone breaching bail. For too long, breaching bail has carried no consequences. If you are on bail and you breach the conditions of bail, you will face remand and won’t be bailed out again.
Last year, the Andrews Government repealed the law that made it an offence for juvenile offenders, including members of the Apex gang, to breach their bail. We will bring it back.
One of the fundamental problems with Victoria’s justice system is a lack of respect for the law. That is why I will make it an offence to disrupt court and openly disobey a judge’s rulings. Why would violent offenders think
they need to respect the law on our streets if they don’t even have to in a courtroom?
We will also put the rights of victims before those of violent criminals. Last year, a government-commissioned review found that victims of crime have no genuine rights in the justice system.
Mr Andrews buried the report in his bottom drawer and refuses to talk about it. I have released a full response and accepted its findings.
Victims deserve more say and influence and if I am Premier that is exactly what they’ll get.
Under a Liberal Nationals government, there will be no more second chances, no more excuses, and no more freedom for violent offenders who break the law without any fear of the consequences or regard for human life.
These are just the start of our solutions to rebuild Victoria’s broken justice system.
Over the next two years we will announce more policies to make the community safe again.
Mr Andrews has proven he is incapable of fixing the lawlessness that has taken hold in Victoria. He isn’t governing for all of us, he’s too busy picking fights and helping his friends. Victorians deserve better than this.
If I am Premier, making Victoria safe again will be my first, second and third priority.
Matthew Guy is Victorian Opposition leader