Station hours ‘not safe’: Cr

Zoe Moffatt

As the calendar ticks over to begin a new year, the Sunbury police station has officially wound back the hours its reception counter is open.

The move, which was criticised at the time of its announcement by the Sunbury Residents Association (SRA) president, has also concerned Hume councillor Jack Medcraft.

Cr Medcraft said the reduction in hours came into play on January 14, and puts the safety of all residents in Sunbury at risk.

“I just don’t think a closed station is safe. I think the community is owed proper protection, and I don’t think we’re getting it,” he said.

“If people need police at the station for a particular reason… there’s no one there.

“What does someone do? Ring triple-0 and stand there and wait for them to turn up?”

Cr Medcraft said he is also worried about the travel time to alternative 24 hour reception police stations, and said he thinks it’s going to be an ongoing issue.

“We’re 30 minutes away from Craigieburn and Broadmeadows…That’s the problem. Unless they’re gonna use the helicopter and get out here.

“Apparently we will have a patrol car on the road from those hours of 11pm to 7pm. But as I said if they get called out to a domestic dispute, you can kiss two or three hours goodbye.”

A Victoria Police spokesperson said police will still be based at the Sunbury station and will conduct 24/7 patrols of the Sunbury community.

“Please be assured the temporary closure of Sunbury police station’s reception counter does not mean the actual police station is closing,” they said.

“The temporary reception closure will occur during off-peak periods and means we will be able to maintain having police out in the community preventing crime, rather than sitting behind a desk when rarely anyone attends.

“Sunbury polices ongoing commitment to keeping their community safe has led to overall crime in Sunbury dropping by 23 per cent since pre-pandemic.”

The spokesperson said anyone who needs to attend a police station overnight can attend Broadmeadows, Craigieburn or Melton police stations which will be open 24 hours.

Kyneton station has also had its reception hours reduced from 24 to 16 hours a day.