Chelsea Police Station

Mr RICHARDSON (Mordialloc) — I raise a matter for the Minister for Police. The action I seek is that the minister visit the Chelsea police station to hear from local police officers and get an update on some of the priorities in my local area.

Victoria Police officers do an incredible job of protecting our community and keeping our local communities safe each and every day. Sometimes it is a thankless task, with officers placed in unpredictable and dangerous situations. On many occasions they are present at the lowest point in people’s lives, whether it is the loss of a loved one or attendance at frequent family violence incidents.

National Police Remembrance Day was held on 29 September. It was a privilege to join locals in the Frankston region to remember and commemorate the service of police officers who have been killed in the line of duty, to reflect on their sacrifices and on the toll this sacrifice has taken on their loved ones. National Police Remembrance Day was also an opportunity to recognise and reflect upon the risks our police officers face all the time, which we must always appreciate and consider. Recently there have been several reminders of just how unpredictable the job can be. A little over a year ago Victoria Police officers were under attack at the Endeavour Hills police station, and only a few months ago Constable Ben Ashmole was shot as he attempted to pull over a car.

Recent reports have also told us of the mental health toll on police officers over the past two decades and the need to provide more support services to the 13 000-strong officer force. I am pleased that the Minister for Police has been very active in this space to date.

In addition to these challenges facing police, there is no doubt that the impact of family violence is widespread in our community, including in the City of Kingston. Tragically each and every week a woman is killed by her current or former partner. We know that family violence is the leading contributor to death, injury and disability for Victorian women aged under 45 years. In 2014 more than 68 000 incidents of family violence were reported to Victoria Police, with so many more going unreported. As a community we should be ashamed of these terrible statistics and do all we can to support the work of the Royal Commission into Family Violence and various agencies, including our dedicated Victorian police force. After all, on so many occasions it is Victoria Police officers who each and every day confront these horrors and are overwhelmed by trying to deal with these systemic challenges and protecting the most vulnerable — the women and children in our community.

In conclusion, I ask the Minister for Police to visit our local police station in Chelsea to get an update on these priorities and hear directly about the challenges facing Victoria Police.