Casey community crime forum
MR RICH-PHILLIPS (South Eastern Metropolitan) — Last week, along with Mrs Peulich, I was pleased to welcome shadow Minister for Police Edward O'Donohue and shadow Minister for Families and Children Georgie Crozier to Cranbourne for a community crime forum. The forum provided an opportunity for Casey residents to express their concerns about the crime crisis sweeping local suburbs.
Since the change of government in 2014, crime in Casey has blown out by more than 30 per cent; robberies have increased by 115 per cent; stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour by 57 per cent; burglary by 56 per cent; theft by 44 per cent and assault by 22 per cent — to more than 2100 occurrences. The number of first-responder police in Casey has been cut by 8 per cent. Worryingly, Cranbourne locals indicated they have stopped reporting crimes to the police because they do not believe they will get a response. Cranbourne residents live in fear of local gangs, being assaulted in the street, being carjacked and having their homes invaded. Residents identified a need for greater police resources in Casey, the need for a tough approach to low-level offending and the need for early systemic interventions to prevent young people becoming involved in drug and crime activity in the first place.
Strong criticism was also made of Labor's 2009–10 TAFE changes which saw genuine trades training and apprenticeship opportunities all but evaporate, eliminating an employment pathway for many local youth.
Casey residents have had enough. The Premier must start showing leadership and get this crime wave under control. Finally, I would like to thank local residents and councillors for their participation and congratulate local ward councillor Amanda Stapledon for convening the forum.