By Nick Sinis

GOING back to basics is the aim for a new police initiative as part of a grassroots approach to tackle crime and support community safety.

Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Shane Patton recently announced the new neighbourhood policing initiative, which will see police working more closely with communities to identify and address local concerns.

The rollout of the statewide neighbourhood policing initiative will see police compile a register of issues concerning their community and partner with councils, community groups and government agencies to address local issues, before reporting back to residents on what’s been done.

Bass Coast Inspector Chris Goldrick said the initiative was all about creating a consistent approach to policing across the state.

“Building on a number of pilots across the state, we finalised this program which is what the Chief Commissioner issued,” Insp Goldrick said.

“We will adopt that consistent process and program, which is essentially going to be formalised engagement with a local safety committee.

“We’re in discussion with the shire on how that structure is going to be set up and what members of the community are best suited to be on that committee.

“The purpose of the committee is to discuss the broader range of issues across the
police service area.”

Insp Goldrick said police will also use established connections to improve community relationships.

“We have very strong relationships with Orange Door and service providers in that area,” he said.

“Likewise, our Highway Patrol have strong liaisons with VicRoads and council’s road safety committee.

“We’ll use those to gain information from community sectors into the local safety committee, which will come to a coordinator, which is a senior sergeant at our local station.

“They will triage issues that come to their attention as to whether police can manage it within our own resources, or whether we need to engage with other partners to resolve the issues more broadly.”

When queried on the issue of police resources highlighted by the community in recent times, Insp Goldrick said the community can be assured that there will always be a policing response to all incidents.

“When there’s a surge of population, we do get a lot of resourcing support from our Eastern Region Headquarters,” he said.

“We move police to the need, so we can continue our normal policing response in those areas, so they (community) still get the same service they’ve been accustomed to.

“We are very conscious that there are police in the area to meet whatever demand.”

Victoria Police is also undertaking a sentiment survey covering every local government area within the state.

To complete the survey, visit bit.ly/3NTDJRt.