As crime in Cobram increased by 30 per cent in the past year, Victorian Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy has called on the government to ensure Cobram’s police station is open 24 hours.
Mr McCurdy tabled his Cobram police station concerns in Parliament last Wednesday and said there still was not a 24-hour police station in the Moira Shire.
“I’m absolutely keen to push for the station, it’s well overdue” Mr McCurdy said.
“There were more break-ins again last sitting week – a big spate through Cobram businesses.
“It’s apparent that crooks know we don’t have 24-hour police services in our town and they’ve got to come from Wangaratta or Shepparton, an hour is a long way away.
“The crime rate has increased by 30 per cent in the past year and, coming up to budget time, resourcing and police numbers is something the Cobram police station needs.
Cobram retiree Ray Fitzpatrick, along with business owner Fred Mustica, started a petition to fund Cobram's station for 24 hour operational capacity - it has already gained around 1600 signatures.
Mr Fitzpatrick said people in Cobram were under the impression the station was 24 hours, but “it’s not”.
“Crime has increased so much it’s not funny; there’s no 24-hour police stations in the Moira Shire – which has 22 towns in total.
“We’re trying to get State Police Minister Lisa Neville to come to Cobram.”
Recently, the government announced 19 more officers would be deployed in Victoria’s north-east; however those officers went only to the Shepparton and Wangaratta stations.
Mr McCurdy said Cobram locals would be under more financial pressure during the coronavirus crisis, which could lead to “domestic arguments” and crime.
“There will be a greater calling on keeping stability in our community; the crime rate is going up, so we need to match it.”