A Mornington Peninsula is set to be without the option of face-to-face interactions between public and police.
The Somerville station, which was originally proposed by the previous Victorian Government, was advertised as a face-to-face station for the public to use but plans have since changed.
Victoria Police has announced that they have no plans to run a counter service out of the station, deciding that resources would be better used patrolling the streets.
This means Somerville residents will still be required to travel to Mornington or Hastings to make face-to-face enquiries.
State Liberal MP Neale Burgess expressed his disappointment in the developments.
“Daniel Andrews and Police Minister Wade Noonan will go down in history as the first-ever politicians to open a police station with zero uniform police.”
Mr Burgess said the area has waited for a face-to-face police station for over a decade.
Somerville Community Centre coordinator Kay Hocking, told The Newsroom that the community has been upset by the news. “The general vibe is that people are very disappointed that the police station won’t be face-to-face,” she said.
“At this stage it’s not about what the community wants, it is what the police want. A community fight-back isn’t the way to go, the police will only change the decision if the statistics show that they should.”
Ms Hocking said the Community Centre would like the station open to the public but also understands why the decision has been made. “We would prefer it to be open to the public so the community could report crimes face-to-face but keeping a police presence on the streets is important too.”
The station is set to be completed in late September. – Jake Benoiton
Top photo taken by James Davis.