Bendigo region to receive more family violence police officers, staff to backfill parental leave roles

UPDATE 4.37pm: The 10 new police to be deployed in Bendigo will be specialists in responding to family violence.

A further seven officers will be allocated to the region to backfill parental leave roles.

Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards, and Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan, have welcomed the new positions.

“The safety of our local community is paramount and we’ve listened to police to give them everything they need – the resources, the technology and the powers – to keep the community safe,” Ms Allan said.

Police attend a family violence incident approximately every seven minutes, and responding to family violence can take up to 60 per cent of police time on shift.

“Our communities can expect to see more police on the street, more proactive patrols and even stronger enforcement over the next 12 months,” Ms Edwards said.

EARLIER: TEN more police officers will be deployed in Bendigo, Victoria Police has announced, as part of a statewide staffing boost. 

A total of 825 police will join the ranks in stations throughout Victoria in the 12 months from May.

Specialist areas of Victoria Police will receive a staffing boost.

A quarter of the 825 members to be deployed are specialist family violence police.

Victoria Police said the specialist family violence staff would enable the organisation to start the transition to Family Violence Investigation Units.

More than 90 of the 825 new police will join other specialist areas including road policing, counter terrorism, intelligence and covert support, professional standards and transit and public safety commands, and the legal services department.

The staffing boost will enable Victoria Police to expand its Air Wing.

Implementation of initiatives from the Victoria Police Community Safety Statement, released last year, will be a priority for 121 of the new staff.

Initiatives include the Police Assistance Line and Online Reporting.

Victoria Police said 103 of the 825 positions would help deliver its first Parental Leave Backfill Program.

The organisation said 300 officers would be allocated to areas most in need of policing services.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the allocation was the first of 2729 additional police to be deployed by July 2022.

“As with all further rounds, these resources have been allocated to the areas of greatest need, as determined by our Staff Allocation Model,” he said.

Mr Ashton said deployment decisions for the recruitment program would be made annually.

Reported crime, calls for police assistance, event management and traffic incidents, and the response time are among the factors taken into consideration by the Staff Allocation Model. 

The model was developed in 2016 and used for the first time last year.