Letter to the Editor
Bring back local police
I am writing to take exception to a comment made by Senior Constable David Piera in the front page article, "Hoon behaviour investigated", which appeared in Friday's edition of the Warracknabeal Herald.
S/C Piera states: “However, it’s not much good ringing the police station the day after an incident. Report it to 000 immediately so the offenders can be caught”.
I have proof on my phone that I called the police station at 11.33pm the night this hoon was in action, hoping that someone was on duty.
Instead, I was transferred through to the Ararat Police Station, as our local was unmanned.
I spoke to Ararat Police for a total of four minutes, even providing a description of the vehicle and the address of where I believed the vehicle was residing.
The response from that member was that they "don’t have anybody in town", and they "will see if they have anybody in the area that can come out and have a look tonight, if not it will be followed up in the morning".
I was extremely disappointed with this, especially given all the comments in the paper recently, even comments from SC Piera, about hoon behaviour in our town.
This most recent event was happening almost right out the front of my bedroom window, and I watched as this hoon left rubber on the wrong side of the road, went totally out of control and headed towards my own vehicle which was parked out the front of my property.
Thankfully he missed it.
I also called the police station the next morning, again going through to Ararat.
I gave the exact location of the vehicle I believed was responsible for the hooning as it was parked at the address I suspected the next morning.
The police officer advised that as I did not get a number plate during the event, there was little they could do.
I did explain to that officer that “it is hard to see a numberplate when all you can see is blurred headlights whizzing around in a haze of smoke”, but I don’t think he was overly receptive to my commentary on that matter.
The member said all that he could do was email the local police station for someone to look into when it was manned.
On both the occasions I spoke to police I left my contact details.
Adding to my further disappointment of police not attending when this serious criminal matter was reported, and then effectively being dismissed by the police officer the next morning as I could not get a numberplate, at the time of writing this it is now 36 hours after the event, and I am still yet to be contacted by police to provide further information.
It is time Victoria Police stopped treating our town with contempt.
We are large enough to have a station that should be manned by four police officers, and to have vacancies for this long is not good enough.
We are not a cost saving measure for Victoria Police.
Bring back local police and man our station please before someone is killed doing this sort of thing in our town.
By being treated in this manner, and not being taken seriously, is it any wonder that people have little faith that reporting a crime to the police while it is occurring in our town is going to achieve anything anyway.
Come on Victoria Police, pull your socks up.