Twenty new police custody officers will soon head to Shepparton, as part of a Victorian Government initiative to ease pressure on police.
This week more than 400 PCOs will be deployed at police stations across Victoria to release police officers from custody duties so they can focus on keeping the community safe.
A PCO’s role is to manage prisoners in cells, support police, supervise offenders and transport them to and from court.
Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville said the PCOs would be of significant benefit to communities.
‘‘With so many PCOs now in place, we’re seeing a huge reduction in the number of police officers carrying out custody shifts and more opportunity for police to get out onto the frontline,’’ Ms Neville said.
‘‘We have been clear that we will give Victoria Police the resources and the laws they need to tackle crime with the recruitment of an additional 3315 new police hitting the streets.’’
The number of police officers performing custody shifts at police station jails has dropped by more than 90percent.
The government has aimed to address that issue by delivering $148.6million in funding to place PCOs in areas across Melbourne and regional Victoria, including Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton, Sale, Mildura, Bairnsdale and Wangaratta