The weekend crime spree by three Geelong men has highlighted the impact the current lawlessness is having on the community.
Member for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay, has congratulated the police for their efforts in capturing the alleged offenders.
“These men have travelled across the region breaking into shops in Ballan, Bacchus Marsh, Drysdale and Bannockburn.
“Their efforts have impacted on numerous businesses which now have to deal with the cost of repairs, loss of trade, increased insurance premiums and frightened staff and customers,” Mr Ramsay said.
The three men will appear in court today.
“What is pleasing about this particular incident was the police effort to catch these offenders. The police now need the courts to handle them in a way that matches community expectations.
“Without consequence, these behaviours just go on unabated. Victoria has a recidivism rate of more than 41 per cent within two years,” said Mr Ramsay.
Today’s headlines follow disturbing figures over the weekend of an increase in gun thefts from farms and licensed gun owners in the last twelve months.
“I can only hope that today’s announcement from the Andrews Government of new squads to target organised crime gangs will be effective.
“I welcome the news, but can only be left wishing it had been done two years ago – before overall crime figures escalated by 20 per cent and more than 24 per cent in the Greater Geelong region.
“The car jackings – including those along the Princess Freeway – are a frightening example of the madness that Victoria Police is trying to deal with.
“Tackling crime at the local level is pivotal to community safety. Dealing with offenders with tougher sentencing, penalties, bail and parole conditions just has to happen,” he said.
Mr Ramsay is hosting a Law and Order Forum at Drysdale on Thursday evening at the SpringDale Community Neighbourhood Centre at 5.30pm.
The Shadow Minister for Police, Edward O’Donohue, Shadow Attorney-General John Pesutto and the Shadow Minister for Prevention of Family Violence, Georgie Crozier, will be attending the forum.