THE Liberal Nationals are continuing to push the law and order message in Torquay, promising the town’s police station will be open 24 hours and the installation of CCTV in three beach car parks if they win next month’s state election.
South Barwon MP Andrew Katos and Shadow Minister for Police Edward O’Donohue met with members of the Torquay Jan Juc Neighbourhood Watch outside the Torquay police station on Monday to make the announcement.
Mr Katos said growth in Torquay and Armstrong Creek, the extension of the tourism season, and the area that the Torquay station had to cover justified keeping the station open all the time.
“The station was opened in 2007, it’s been here 11 years, it has the capacity to be a 24-hour station – if you look inside, there are rooms that are empty and are not being used.”
Mr O’Donohue said he agreed with comments by former Police Association of Victoria secretary and now Community Safety Trustee Ron Iddles that 24-hour stations were “places of sanctuary and safety, particularly for family violence victims”.
CCTV would be installed at the car parks of Point Danger, the Torquay surf beach and at Bells Beach, with the feed to be monitored at the Torquay police station.
The state government cannot unilaterally decide that a particular police station should be open 24 hours a day, but Mr O’Donohue said the Liberals “would work with Force Command to achieve the objective as soon as possible”.
The Liberal Nationals’ law and order message is not universally popular in Torquay, however, as a motorist passing by Monday’s announcement yelled out “Crime stats are down!”
According to the Crime Statistics Agency figures for the year ending June 30, there were 1,128 recorded offences in the Surf Coast Shire – down from the 1,303 recorded in 2017 and down again from the 1,532 recorded in 2016.