Last week, the crime figures for the past twelve months were released.
Across the state, crime was up 10 per on the previous year. That figure translated to the Geelong region.
And these are only the reported crimes.
The numbers look a little like this – rates of offending are up 188.3 per cent in South Geelong, 122.5 per cent in Armstrong Creek and 61.7 per cent in Drysdale.
In Corio, the figure is 12.5 per cent. But this includes a 109 per cent increase in drug dealing and trafficking.
It is a crime surge of scary proportions.
Yet without a human face, these are just numbers. Lots of them.
But I ask you to make them real – put to them the people you know who have been impacted: a neighbour whose home has been broken into? A friend whose son has started buying drugs? A workmate who has had her car stolen? Perhaps you – left injured from a car crash caused by a drug affected driver out on bail?
These crimes go to our sense of safety. They affect how we walk down the street and with whom we’re game to make eye contact.
It’s why I spoke in the Victorian Parliament last August about the impact of police station closures in the region including Portarlington, Drysdale and Queenscliff.
It makes you angry when you know that the Government rejected funding applications to have Closed Circuit Television cameras installed in crime hot-spots in these areas
These are big crime numbers and big problems – none bigger than the capacity of the Police Minister, Lisa Neville, to deal them.
Trouble is, she’s also a Geelong local who should understand.
The Minister is clearly not across her portfolio. For our sakes, she should step down.