THE population of Wilsons Promontory National Park will swell as thousands of people descend on the Prom for the peak holiday season.
Despite the expected influx, Victoria Police will be stationing only one police officer at the Prom.
In previous years at least two officers have been stationed at the popular holiday spot.
‘The Mirror’ sought an explanation from the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Peter Ryan, who is also the Member for Gippsland South.
A spokesman for Mr Ryan said that decisions around the appropriate deployment of police resources were an operational matter for police command, but he added: “Eastern Region 5, which includes the Bass Coast PSA, will have an extra 55 frontline police members allocated by June next year, as part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s commitment to keep communities safe.
“We are delivering the largest boost to frontline police resources in a single term of government in Victoria’s history, with 1,700 additional frontline police members to be allocated across Victoria by November 2014.”
Inspector Graeme Sprague of Victoria Police asserted: “Holidaymakers in Victoria’s coastal destinations will see more police out and about protecting the community this Christmas and New Year thanks to a new rostering and deployment approach agreed by Victoria Police.
“After detailed analysis as to when and where the public requested policing services it was determined that putting members into specific stations or areas, as per historical practices, was not always the most efficient model.
“In order to increase the flexibility of police to respond to incidents, patrol units will be tasked from Foster Police Station, whilst still maintaining a small dedicated presence at Tidal River. This will ensure that police stations with neighbouring response areas are rostered in the most efficient manner to maximise service delivery.
“We will continue to supply an increased police presence during the New Year’s Eve celebrations.”
Andrew Marshall, Regional Director East, commented on behalf of Parks Victoria. He said: “Parks Victoria rangers and support staff are busily preparing Wilsons Promontory National Park for visitors this peak holiday season.
“As always rangers will increase patrols over the summer period and continue to work closely with emergency services.
”We ask day visitors and campers to respect their fellow park visitors, stay safe, and familiarise themselves with the park regulations.”