Concern for safety with non-24 hour police station

A burglary in a quiet Daylesford street last fortnight has some residents questioning resources at the Daylesford Police Station.  

Police from Trentham arrived at the scene of the break-in at Queensberry Street in Daylesford around 30 minutes after the incident on Saturday, November 11. 

Daylesford Police Station is a non-24 hour station. Response times to incidents in Daylesford vary when the Daylesford Police Station is unattended, with officers either responding from Trentham, Bacchus Marsh or the nearest police unit. 

Daylesford resident Dr Robin Stanley said he was concerned the Daylesford Police Station was not manned 24 hours because residents had to rely on officers from other areas. 

“A town the size of Daylesford should have a permanently manned station. I was horrified at the burglary in my street,” he said. 

Trentham police Sergeant Nathan Gardiner said the Trentham unit worked closely with Daylesford and rosters were prepared for maximised coverage. 

Victoria Police local area commander Inspector Brendan McCory said he wanted to reassure Daylesford community they do have a 24-hour police response by calling triple zero. 

“Victoria Police is constantly reviewing police numbers, level of offending and peak times when police are required,” Inspector McCory said.

“It is more effective to have our members mobile - investigating and attending scenes of crime rather than sitting behind a desk at a police station,” Inspector McCory said. 

“Police management in Daylesford plan well in advance for the influx of visitors during busy holiday periods. Local police are confident that planning is sufficient and they are providing an effective policing response to the community as they do every day of the year.

“Workload data shows no demonstrated demand for Daylesford to operate as a 24 hour station however this is continually reviewed.”

Crime Statistics Agency data shows the crime rate in Daylesford has stayed relatively stable over the past five years. Whilst there was a slight rise in the overall number of crimes reported in Daylesford, there was only an average of one offence reported every 1.7 days in the past year.

Crimes against the person in Daylesford decreased by 43 per cent from 2016 to 2017, while property and deception offences increased 34.7 per cent.

On a Facebook comment, Hepburn Springs resident Shelley Rowe said she felt fortunate to have a police station in town but thought it should be manned much more than it currently is. 

“I have been there several times in need in the past and had to call police from other major towns that at 45 minutes away... not great in an emergency. This has been worse over the last four years. Before that, there were a lot more police in town,” she wrote. 

Daylesford resident Lesley Thompson wrote on Facebook: “scary to know that if someone broke in to my home at night with my children inside that I would be waiting for at least 45 minutes for police assistance.”