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Member for Western Victoria Region, Bev McArthur used an adjournment debate in Parliament this week to address the necessity for a stronger police presence at the Geelong Mall to ensure the safety of traders and residents in the area.

Last week, Bev McArthur and the Shadow Minister for Police, David Southwick, visited small business owners at the mall to hear their concerns regarding the unaddressed crime problem in the area.

They talked to small business people like Vanessa at Venhair Creations and Ricky at Alamarah Barbers, who expressed the difficulty for traders to do business when customers are not confident of visiting the premises for fear of intimidation by those who engage in unruly antisocial behaviour.

In January, a man in his 20s was stabbed at the bus exchange beside the mall.

Bev McArthur asked “How can businesses thrive in an environment where customers feel that their lives may be endangered should they shop at that location?”

“The problem is undoubtedly multi-faceted and needs a holistic approach to its causes.”

“However, the issues of violence in Geelong’s Mall, are often fuelled by alcohol and drug abuse and often result in unfortunate wilful damage to public property and businesses premises.”

“These problems are not new, but if Geelong is to have a thriving city centre, this particular crime issue must be solved.”

“A stronger police presence and greater visibility would act as an effective deterrent to anti-social behaviour, which is why the Minister for Police should take steps to introduce a permanent police presence at the Geelong mall,” she concluded.

16 August 2019