TWENTY police stations across the Wimmera and Grampians will close their front desks to the public in a bid to protect police members from exposure to COVID-19.
While the stations will still be operational, members of the public will not be able to attend them in person.
Instead, for non-urgent matters, people are being encouraged to call the stations, contact Crime Stoppers by phone or online, or contact the Police Assistance Line.
For urgent matters people should still call Triple Zero.
The stations affected include: Rainbow, Jeparit, Natimuk, Harrow, Goroke, Apsley, Edenhope, Kaniva, Dimboola, Hopetoun, Murtoa, Minyip, Rupanyup, Beulah, Speed, Woomelang, Halls Gap, Elmhurst, Willaura and Lake Bolac.
Horsham, Stawell, Ararat, Nhill, Warracknabeal and St Arnaud station receptions will remain open but signs have been placed at the front doors before entering that request people maintain a 1.5 metre distance from the reception counter.
"We want to maintain our safety and ensure we're able to come to work and provide that service," Western Region Senior Sergeant Rob Weppner said.
Senior Sergeant Weppner also said there will be no reduction in the number of police members on duty.
"It's business as usual," he said.
"They (police) are still accessible to members of the public. If you need the police we are here to answer calls or to respond to jobs. We're still on the phone, still patrolling, we're just keeping our distance.
"Ideally if you don't have to attend a police station, don't. You can report your non-urgent crimes as we still have the Police Assistance Line, Crime Stoppers and Triple Zero."
To report non-urgent crimes and events please contact the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or visit the site at https://www.police.vic.gov.au/palolr.
For Crime Stoppers, call 1800 333 000 or make an online report at https://www.crimestoppersvic.com.au/.
For COVID-19 related questions call the Department of Health and Human Services hotline on 1800 675 398.
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