ONE of Victoria’s top police officers says the Mornington Peninsula is a “safe place” to live despite media reports.
Mornington Peninsula Local Area Commander, Inspector Terry Rowlands gave this assurance last week (13 July) after the release of community sentiment survey results which recorded community perceptions about crime and safety.
Victorians had been asked since 31 March to report their community safety concerns, engagement preferences and experiences of local police.
The inspector said that media speculation on reporting of serious and violent criminal offending, “and more specifically the ‘sneak in’ type of home invasions”, could heighten fear in the community.
“I say with confidence that, as a whole, the Mornington Peninsula is a safe place to reside,” Rowlands said.
“This is supported by the most recent crime data reflecting the work and effort we go to as a policing service, together with our safety partners, to ensure community safety.
“In part this is achieved by targeting individuals, groups, and areas where we both see and forecast crime occurring, by implementing measures to prevent crime occurring in the first place.
“There is also a part to play by residents, and part of our safety campaign includes messaging to community about committing to their own safety and ensuring that they lock and secure their belongings as all too often and not unique to the Peninsula – opportunistic undesirables target the ‘easy wins’.
“We have fluid tasking of staff to enhance community safety on the Mornington Peninsula based on operational need, and at present we have Operation Trinity and Operation Asbo underway.
“The current operations specifically target serious and violent crime, as well as anti-social behaviour. These operations bare witness significant investment of resources between 8pm and 7am.”
Rowlands said residents in and around the peninsula may have seen the police CCTV trailer, “one of many tools in our crime, road trauma and public order response arsenal”.
“The Neighbourhood Policing program is well underway and being a back-to-basics approach, sees more engagement with community, the benefit is learning where and when the community are feeling most vulnerable so we can implement measures to allay their fears.”
Meanwhile, a survey has shown that residents in neighbouring Frankston feel less safe than those living in other Victorian municipalities.
The results of Frankston Council’s yearly community satisfaction survey by research company Metropolis, was conducted face-to-face with 801 residents in May.
The survey found that 19 per cent of respondents felt unsafe in Frankston at night, which is about eight per cent higher than the metropolitan average. The report stated those surveyed in Frankston, on average, felt eight per cent less safe at night, six per cent less safe during the day, and five per cent less safe in and around the local shopping area, and travelling on or waiting for public transport than the metropolitan Melbourne average perception of safety. This is consistent with the fact that 11 per cent of respondents in Frankston City nominated safety, policing and crime issues, more than double the metropolitan Melbourne average of five per cent”.
Liz Bell with Brodie Cowburn