A south-west police officer says the launch of a new 24-hour assistance line will bring faster results to reports of non-urgent crimes.
Terang police Sergeant Danny Brown said the new Police Assistance Line (PAL) would take reports and provide advice at any time on matters of a non-urgent nature, including property damage, lost or found property, theft and noise complaints.
"The benefit of this new initiative is that members of the public are going to get instant results for those particular inquires," he said.
"They'll no longer be calling the watch house, such as Warrnambool where they're really flat out and the phone just keeps ringing out.
"Instead, they'll speak to someone immediately, meaning they can kick off their insurance claims, ask about a lost item or get a van straight out onto the road.
"It also frees up our members. It's a win-win for everybody."
The Police Assistance Line calls are taken by civilian staff at a contact centre in Ballarat, under the supervision of police officers.
Sergeant Brown said the phone line could also be used to submit absence from residence forms.
"In Corangamite you used to have to wait for the local station to be open before you could fill out that form," he said.
"Now, you can just call up with the relevant information and that will be sent out to the appropriate stations to be put on our tasking sheets. It's great for the older members of our community who want to get out in their caravans and report an absence from their home straight away, instead of waiting."
The PAL contact number is 131 444.
The 000 number for police, fire and ambulance remains, and should be used if immediate attendance from these agencies is critical such as a threat to life or a crime occurring.
"If you need someone there straight away, ring 000" Sergeant Brown said.
"And as beneficial as this new line is, there is nothing better than face-to-face contact. So if the door is open, please come in. We love talking to and meeting our members of the community."
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