INCREASED officer numbers have prompted Wimmera police to seek a second Horsham base.
Police have sought permission to establish offices for some of its personnel in Horsham’s state government offices in McLachlan Street.
The offices house Department of Human Services and Horsham Community Correctional Services staff, and the Horsham Justice Service Centre.
Horsham Police Station is in the next street to the south, Roberts Avenue.
Wimmera Superintendent Paul Margetts said the concept of moving some police was to establish an integrated family violence service delivery centre.
“I’ve started a process of asking Victoria Police to occupy some of the space available in the state government offices, that would house our family violence team,” he said.
“In the Wimmera we're being allocated additional specialist police to respond to and investigate family violence.
“We are looking to co-locate that team and the sex offender and child abuse prevention team in one location.
“That will mean they are close to the department and other support services.
“We haven’t got approval to go ahead yet, but we are continuing to advocate for it.”
Mr Margetts hopes the move can occur this year.
He said 85 police members were working out of Horsham Police Station.
More than 100 members will be based in the city by the end of next year.
Mr Margetts said there was a master plan for police offices in Horsham.
“That takes into account our facility needs for next 10 years,” he said.
“Acquiring the space in the state government offices would provide a short-term solution while we develop a more longer-term strategy for our buildings.”
The unit – which services the Horsham police service area including Horsham Rural City, West Wimmera Shire and Hindmarsh Shire – aims to keep those who have experienced family violence safe, and make perpetrators more accountable.
Unit members are specially trained to respond to family violence cases, and they work with a range of other agencies including Uniting Wimmera, Grampians Community Health, and courts.
A second team in the Northern Grampians police service area covers the Grampians and Yarriambiack Shire.