Andrews promises more front-counter cops as Guy offers a Taser tempter
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Andrews promises more front-counter cops as Guy offers a Taser tempter

The state government has promised to put at least two desk officers on duty at all times at Victoria’s round-the-clock police stations, while the opposition says police will have 4000 new Tasers.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy both used a gathering of Police Association delegates in East Melbourne on Wednesday to burnish their law-and-order credentials with promises ahead of November's state election.

Daniel Andrews at Wednesday's conference.

Daniel Andrews at Wednesday's conference.Credit:Eddie Jim

The Premier said a re-elected Labor government would introduce new minimum service standards, including better public access to all 108 of the state’s 24-hour police stations by providing two officers for counter service at all times.

There will also be minimum requirements for the number of officers on the road and available to respond to emergency calls, the government says.

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The Premier is also promising minimum standards for crime prevention and local community engagement activity, custody management and “operational safety frameworks” to improve officer welfare.

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Details on what the promised standards will mean in practice were scant on Wednesday morning but the Premier received a warm response from the gathering of the police union, which has often been critical of his government.

Mr Andrews promised that the new standards would be developed in consultation with the Police Association.

“We will sit down with the association and with police command, work through the issues and agree a set of minimum service standards,” the Premier said.

Mr Andrews also promised new technology allowing police to “triage” non-urgent calls and help the force get to the most serious situations more quickly.

“That will ... make sure that when you’re called to a job, it’s a job that you are an appropriate response to,” the Premier said.

Later on Wednesday, Mr Guy told the conference that law and order was the ‘‘number one issue’’ for many Victorians.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy

Opposition Leader Matthew GuyCredit:Daniel Pockett

If the Coalition wins the November election, Mr Guy said police would gain an extra 4000 Tasers to better deal with violent confrontations.

Mr Guy said the Taser promise would include training for officers at an overall cost of $29 million.

‘‘If I am elected premier we will increase frontline police numbers and give them more resources like Tasers and we are going to introduce tougher sentences and make bail and parole harder to get,’’ Mr Guy said.

Police stations operating 24 hours a day will be the first to get the Tasers under the ‘‘phased rollout’’. However, stations with just one officer will also receive the Tasers.