A NEW police presence in Ballarat’s ever-expanding western growth zone will see police more able to quickly and effectively respond to crime, the city’s highest ranking police officer says.
The now operational 16 hour Ballarat West police station houses uniformed police, the divisional response unit, highway patrol and proactive policing unit. Uniformed members will be overseen by highly decorated Senior Sergeant David Reither who was awarded a police star in 2015.
Superintendent Andrew Allen said police would target crime hot spots in the western area including Lucas through targeted patrols and operations.
He said this method had been effective in recent months, resulting in a number of key arrests of recidivist offenders driving down the number of aggravated burglaries.
“The major coup in this location is we have a police presence while the community is being built around us. Even with the exponential growth of Lucas, we’ve got a police station here while the rest of the residential and commercial developments take place,” Superintendent Allen said.
“It gives us a particularly good response capability in the growth areas, Lucas, Delacombe up to Yorkdale estate even out towards Ross Creek.
“It’s a really significant step to have an operating police station here.”
Highway Patrol has moved out of its Sebastopol offices to Ballarat West – giving uniformed police a greater opportunity to work with highway patrol members.
“With the increased population creates build up of traffic and increased road issues – enforce road safety throughout the police service area,” Superintendent Allen said.
The Courier understands neither Victoria Police or the state government has determined what the future use of the Sebastopol building will be, though it is unlikely to be used for operational policing.
No new police have been recruited to man the new station but Superintendent Allen remains confident Ballarat has adequate numbers to man all three of the city’s stations.
“The staffing model was always incorporated as part of the additional 1700 police from some years ago. We always knew we would be allocating police to Ballarat North and Ballarat West and that’s been part of our staffing and forward planning,” Superintendent Allen said.
“Ballarat will have three distinct response zones. Ballarat west and south, which includes Sebastopol, central which will be central and east and Ballarat north which will be Invermay Park and Wendouree and Wendouree west, it’s an even spread across the police service area.”
Senior Sergeant Reither urged those in the area to visit the police station if they needed. “I am looking forward to having a response to the Ballarat because of the distance from the town centre and am looking forward to the developments occurring out there,” he said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.