Benalla police station is Victoria Police’s highest priority, according to senior sources within the force.
The revelation comes a day after the release of the state’s crime statistics showed a 51.6 per cent increase in crime across Benalla in the past 12 months.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said a high-ranking officer from outside the region had revealed the Benalla Police Station is in such dire need of an upgrade it is bordering on inoperable.
‘‘Benalla is at the top of the list for funding yet the Andrews Government continues to ignore it,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘The Andrews Government is not allocating capital funding based on need or the priorities of Victoria Police.
‘‘Local police are stretched for resources on the ground and they are working in an environment in which their own safety is in jeopardy.’’
Ms Ryan said the increase in crime in Benalla during the past 12 months was 4.5 times that of the increase across the state.
‘‘Theft has increased by a staggering 92.3 per cent, burglary and breaking and entering by 85.1 per cent and crimes against the person by 36.2 per cent,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘Landholders are telling me that anything that’s not nailed down is being stolen.
‘‘Unfortunately the Benalla community isn’t immune to the crime wave sweeping the rest of the state under Daniel Andrews.’’