A Liberal Nationals government would re-introduce a program designed to tackle youth violence and build respect in Victoria’s schools, according to Member for Euroa Steph Ryan.
Under the Liberal Nationals plan, 100 new police will be funded to work as school resource officers, complementing the existing Victoria Police youth resource officers.
Ms Ryan said all primary schools in the Euroa electorate would have the opportunity to opt-in to the program.
‘‘Returning police to schools will give young people, particularly those at risk, more support early in their lives,’’ she said.
‘‘Our plan will assist police better engage young Victorians who are still at school, and will restore respect for police and the community.
‘‘As trusted members of the school community, police will be available to students and their families to seek advice about a range of policing issues, including family violence.
‘‘The plan will also help people understand the importance of police within the community and to grow up respecting their important role.’’
Ms Ryan said Victoria was currently the only state in Australia that did not have a Police in Schools program.
‘‘The original Police in Schools program was axed in 2005, despite a Monash University study which found it was effective,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘This program will give our communities a greater level of engagement with Victoria Police to allow children and their families to interact with local police and learn about the role they play in keeping us all safe.’’
Shadow Police Minister Edward O’Donohue said preventative measures were as important as the tougher sentencing policies the Liberals and The Nationals had already announced.
‘‘Tougher sentencing, bail and parole are all important but we are also focused on proactive policies to prevent kids from going down a path of crime,’’ he said.
‘‘This program will help school children have a stronger understanding and respect for police and help break the cycle of youth crime.’’