Police presence needed in Keysborough South

A sign featured on Perry Rd in Keysborough cautions drivers. Picture: Hayley McKenna

By Hayley McKenna

A greater police presence is needed in Keysborough South to combat the growing amount of crime in the area, says a Greater Dandenong Councillor.

Red Gum Ward Councillor Matthew Kirwan said that residents were giving up on reporting crimes of burglary as they were “not getting a fast reaction from police”.

He identified the difficulty of managing the situation, as incidents in Keysborough South had been sporadic, where in Dandenong crime had been “concentrated in activity areas like near railway stations and shopping strips”, Mr Kirwan said.

“Here we’ve got a case of the new estates of Keysborough where the crime isn’t concentrated in a particular hotspot, it’s throughout the Somerfield estate and it’s no longer just where homes are being built,” he said.

Mr Kirwan urged residents to directly notify the police about criminal and suspicious activity.

“Police resources actually do go where the number of reported incidents occur.”

Crimes of burglary and breaking and entering had risen to 198 accounts in 2014 to 246 in 2016 within the suburb of Keysborough.

Resident Noelleen Kiprillis said she thought there was theft within the new estates and sites under construction in Keysborough South.

“We’ve got houses being built behind us and I think there were people stealing some stuff there, probably a few weekends ago, a Saturday night, because our dog was barking,” she said.

“You could see a torchlight, but you turn on the lights and you can’t really see anything.”

Ms Kiprillis acknowledged that these burglaries were not a surprise to residents.

“There would be massive amounts of crime, I think it’s just known,” she said.

Many local residents expressed their concern on social media platforms such as The Keysborough Residents Page on Facebook.

Mr Kirwan understood the fear that was expressed through social media.

“I think that one of the reasons there’s that element of fear, there’s also an element of anger, is that they felt that they spent a lot of money buying into an area where safety for a young family was going to be almost guaranteed,” he said.