A MOIRA councillor has ignited a campaign for the Cobram police station to be open 24 hours each day.
Deputy mayor Wendy Buck was successful with a notice of motion this week requesting the council lobby the Victorian government and Police Minister Kim Wells for the station to become the first in the shire to be open 24/7.
The station only opens until midnight on weeknights and 3am on weekends.
Cr Buck said criminals were taking advantage of the operating hours.
“Police are being called out more and more after midnight and are still expected to start their shift in the morning,” she said.
“The criminals are more than aware of the police hours and find this more than opportune as they are sure not to get caught.
“Country police have the added burden of the tyranny of distance and response times depend on the time it takes to travel across vast distances, unlike city police.
“Overnight burglaries, public disorder and drug driving are all up.”
Cr Buck’s call comes in the same week a local man was charged with one count of committing an indecent act on a child under 16 in Cobram.
It is alleged Samuel Boxsell followed a mother and daughter into a Cobram supermarket on Easter Monday and indecently touched the seven-year-old girl.
Cr Buck is the councillor representative on the Moira local safety committee.
“I have been approached by many members of the public to lobby for a 24/7 police station in Cobram which would increase community safety, service delivery, improve response times and provide a stronger visual presence,” she said.
An attempt to have a station somewhere in the shire upgraded to 24 hours was made a decade ago.
Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy recently spoke with Mr Wells about a 24-hour station at either Cobram or Yarrawonga.
“My discussions with the minister involved the point 24-hour doesn’t necessarily mean someone manning the station 24 hours,” he said.
“You want people in cars out and about for 24 hours.”
Mr McCurdy lives in Cobram.
Cobram’s population is exp-ected to grow to 6941 people by 2021, but Yarrawonga is tipped to hit the 10,000 mark by the same time.