Visit Chelsea police, MP asks minister

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MORDIALLOC Labor MP Tim Richardson has asked the Minister for Police to visit Chelsea Police Station “to hear from local police officers and get an update on some of the priorities in my local area”.

This comes after the National Police Remembrance Day on 29 September, and also after the release of reports highlighting the mental health toll on police.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Richardson told the minister, Wade Noonan, that police do “an incredible job of protecting our community and keeping our local communities safe”.

“Sometimes it is a thankless task, with officers placed in unpredictable and dangerous situations,” he said.

“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.”

He said reports told of the mental health toll on police over the past two decades and the need to provide more support services to the 13,000-strong force.

“In addition to these challenges, 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 of death, injury and disability for Victorian women aged under 45 years.”

Last year, more than 68,000 incidents of family violence were reported to Victoria Police, with 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,” Mr Richardson said.

“After all, on so many occasions it is the police who 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.

“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.”

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 28 October 2015

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