Police in Cowes now have access to a bigger and better police station to help them respond to crime and keep the community safe, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Police Lisa Neville and Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing today officially opened the station on Chapel Street, that will help police meet the needs of the growing local community.
The Labor Government invested $3.2 million in the station as a part of a $36.8 million package through the Victorian Budget 2016–17 to replace or refurbish 32 regional and rural police stations and residences.
The new station is twice the size of the former station, which was built in 1990. The first Cowes police station opened in 1874 when the Cowes and Phillip Island population was just 1,000 residents.
At the time, only one First Constable worked from the station and used a bicycle for transport, with the nearest support in Hastings. The police station remained a one-member station until 1971, when the population began to grow, and the area became a tourist attraction.
The new station caters for the growing police presence in the Bass Coast Shire, with the Wonthaggi Family Violence Unit now based at Cowes.
This follows the addition of a new Detective Senior Sergeant to the Wonthaggi Family Violence Unit to further enhance the local police response to family violence.
In total, 12 new family violence specialists have been allocated to the Morwell Division, which includes the Bass Coast Police Service Area, and will be deployed by April 2019, as part of the Labor Government’s investment to deliver 3,135 new police across the state by 2021.
These new police numbers are already having an impact, with the latest independent crime statistics showing that the Bass Coast Shire crime rate went down by 19.7 per cent in the last 12 months, the largest decrease in the Eastern Region.
As stated by Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“We’ve listened to Victoria Police and given them the facilities they need – we’re focused on delivering a modern police force that has the laws, powers and resources it needs to keep the community safe.”
“We know that a police officer responds to a family violence incident every seven minutes – this station will cater for the growing police presence in the area with a dedicated family violence unit.”
As stated by Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“The new station replaces the dated facilities that our local police had outgrown and gives Cowes a modern station to support a safer community.”
“This fantastic new facility will provide more support for police as we head into another busy summer period, which will attract visitors from across the state to this wonderful part of Victoria.”