You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Support in place to fight crime: Vic cops

AAP logoAAP 25/07/2016 By Kaitlyn Offer

Victoria Police says extra resources are in place to handle a wave of home invasions and car jackings despite criticisms of the number of cops on the beat.

A spike in violent home invasions and car jackings has hit the state in recent months, prompting Victoria Police to create a taskforce, Operation Cosmas, in response.

In a newspaper opinion piece on Monday, former assistant commissioner Gary Jamieson argued there were too few local police on patrol to tackle increasing lawlessness and meet public demand for safety.

"It is not that police numbers are grossly insufficient. What is lacking is a clear plan that makes operations police the priority," he wrote.

Mr Jamieson says successive governments and police leadership have "abandoned" front line policing, there was no strategy to increase it and officers were spending "valuable time" doing administrative tasks.

However Deputy Commissioner Andrew Crisp said taskforces were included in frontline policing.

"They're operational members, but they just happen to be working as part of a taskforce," he told reporters.

"Those members themselves actually work out of police stations, so they are there, very much on the frontline.

"We're putting on extra hours of the airwing - the helicopter - to be able to support our frontline troops."

Mr Crisp also told people starting their own street patrols or chasing after robbers to reconsider because "that's taking that to a whole new level that potentially creates a lot of risk".

He suggested they set up a meeting with their local senior sergeant before taking matters into their own hands.

Premier Daniel Andrews said he acted on advice from Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton.

"What I have said, what I have delivered on, is the chief commissioner will have the powers and resources that he needs to fight crime and keep our communities safe," Mr Andrews said.

He said Mr Ashton had been involved in the last budget process "like no chief commissioner has ever been", resulting in nearly $600 million funding for new equipment and uniformed police.

The Police Association Victoria has called for a review of the number of task forces in place.

"The pendulum has swung too far in favour of taking members off the front line and into task forces," association secretary Ron Iddles said in a statement.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon