Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

By NICHOLAS NAKOS

Victoria Police has announced the deployment of 13 additional officers for the Bendigo and Macedon Ranges service areas.

The new officers are part of a statewide increase in force numbers that will see 709 new officers deployed during the next 12 months, commencing in May.

In Bendigo, six new officers will be tasked with general duties, while a new divisional highway patrol member and five divisional family violence specialists will be working across the Bendigo and Macedon Ranges divisions.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Paul Naylor said the Bendigo and Macedon Ranges communities would greatly benefit from the additional resources.

“These new officers will be out in the community working hard to prevent crime, lock up offenders and keep everyone safe,” Mr Naylor said.

Crime statistics drawn from Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency reveal that crime in Bendigo has increased in the 12 months to December, 2018.

Crime against the person such as assault, robbery and stalking have increased 11.9 per cent, with public order and security offences up nearly 25 per cent.

“We know the importance of having a visible police presence and this boost to our numbers will help us keep our officers mobile and responding to incidents in the areas where they are most needed,” Mr Naylor said.

A police spokesperson said that every day and night Bendigo Police are working hard to keep people safe.

“We know that in order to do that we need to be visible in the community, with police out in vans providing a mobile and agile response to incidents that occur,” the spokesperson said.

The additional staff are part of Victoria Police’s staff allocation model, which was developed in 2016 to ensure that additional officers are deployed to areas of highest need.