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Vic police boosts numbers to tackle crime

AAP logoAAP 3/12/2016 Melissa Meehan and Jacqueline Le

Victoria's police force will recruit almost 3000 extra officers as part of a $2 billion recruitment drive, the largest ever in the state's history.

Victoria Police has been given more than $2 billion to recruit another 2729 officers over the next four years, build new police stations and expand their specialist units.

The funding announcement will see the force grow 20 per cent by 2021.

"Sadly, many in our community do not feel safe at this time," Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Sunday.

"We have seen crime rise and we have seen the need to do more, and not more of the same."

Chief Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said crime statistics have risen in the past six years - mostly relating to family violence, car thefts and carjackings.

"The increase in theft of motor car and associated offences has really stretched police resources in dealing with that crime because it has been high in volume," Mr Ashton said.

"It's often quite violent crime as well, so it's been challenging for police."

The additional funding, combined with the 406 new officers included in this year's budget, will increase the total number of police recruitment to 3135.

That number is just shy of the police union's push for 3301 new officers to help relieve short-staffed stations.

The latest investment will include 415 specialist family violence officers and 42 youth specialist officers.

The premier says "business as usual won't cut it anymore" and police and the government are changing the way they allocate resources thanks to a new model developed with the police union.

"Recent events, and recent trends, have demonstrated to us that the boom and bust cycle of police recruitment is not the way to fight crime and keep our community safe," he said.

Police Association secretary Ron Iddles said the new staff allocation model guarantees a long-term approach to policing.

"Every member of the Victorian community will benefit from this, regardless of what political persuasion you are," he said.

Opposition leader Matthew Guy slammed the government for "gloating" about hiring more police "when their own weak bail and sentencing laws created this law and order crisis".

Where the $2 billion investment will go?

* 2729 new police

* 415 frontline and specialist family violence officers

* 42 new youth specialist officers

* Metro police stations at Wyndham, Altona North, Reservoir and South Melbourne to be replaced

* Regional police stations at Warracknabeal, Rutherglen, Wedderburn, Alexandra, Wycheproof and Tangambalanga to be replaced

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