On Wednesday 12 April 2017 our club had the pleasure of being address by Divisional Commender Stuart Bateson. Stuart gave our members and guests a great insight into the challenges of the local police and what is currently happening in Wyndham> Here is a summary of what Stuart had to say.
- Stuart is the Divisional Commander for the Wyndham, Hobsons bay and marigyrnong Local Government Areas.
- Stuart says that the crime rate per 100,000 residents is quite low for the Wyndham area compare to other local government areas.
- Victoria Police will be employing 3100 new personnel marked for front line duties and being deployed to growth areas in and around Melbourne.
- A multi-disciplinary facility is being built next door to the Mercy Werribee Hospital which will house: police, Department of Health and Human Services, Child Protection Services, CASA, and medical personnel.
- A new Police Station is also being built right next to the existing facility on Princes Highway which will house approximately 500 police, including: front line staff, detectives, taskforce groups, highway patrol, prosecutors, etc. This facility will also have meeting rooms that community groups will be able to use so that it encourages better community liaison with local police.
- Altona North will also be having a new police station built as it is beyond repairing now, very old, and not able to meet the needs of the local community and the policing staff..
- Family violence is one of the biggest issues taking approximately 50% of police resources in Wyndham.
- Women usually experience domestic violence about six times before they contact the Police for assistance.
- The major challenges the police face are:
- Mental health of police officers – an example of the impact of policing was given.
- Youth issues – aggravated robbery and car hacking the major issues.
- Drugs – Ice is a major issue now and the impact of the drugs is a concern. Many people taking Ice experience Psychosis and increased strength which does make it hard for police to contain.
- Wyndham City Council is very support to the police in the area and work with the police to address community issues.
- Police are trying to improve their image to the public by getting out into the community and engaging with the locals. Examples of this includes:
- Soccer games today with the Sudanese community where over 200 people turned up to play and support the activity.
- 32 local officers participated in the Oxfam 100km walk on the weekend completing the course in just over 23 hours. Stuart is sporting the blisters and uneasy walk to prove this.
- The Kokoda trail for teens at risk training and completing the trails. This has been done in previous years (every second year) and is due to occur this year. The youth involved are required to attend regular training sessions, help fundraise to pay for the experience, etc.
President Elect, David thanked Stuart for his insightful presentation and reiterated our club;s commitment to support our local police in whatever capacity possible. The future is looking bright with the resources being invested in Wyndham and the dedication of our local police. Thank you to all our local police officer who work hard to ensure our community is a safer place.by