11th October 2019

How good is this?

The Community Advocacy Alliance (CAA) is a strong advocate for building positive relationships between the Police and the community, and we are always looking for new initiatives, but his one is a standout.

Since the introduction of Random Breath Testing (RBT) and the ubiquitous Booze Bus many years ago, the concept has not changed. Although a very effective tool in driver compliance. Nobody it would seem has had a look at the quantitative approach of the maximum throughput of drivers to a more qualitative outcome for the resource commitment.

Although it is recognised that the Bus’s high visibility presence does of itself provide a deterrent, it has taken Senior Sergeant  Bruce Peel of Queensland Police to have a look at the traditional RBT strategy and apply some lateral and creative thought to this process.

Senior Sergeant Peel, working with the University of Queensland, developed a program entitled PACT.

The PACT initiative, (P) Purpose of engagement with the driver, (A) Acknowledgement of good habits, (C) Delivering an anti-Crime message, (T)Thanking the driver for the engagement.

The anti-Crime message is importantly relevant to the locality and can involve asking the community for assistance.

All this only takes thirty-nine seconds of additional time over a traditional test, but what a powerful message opportunity with the full attention of the driver.

The six month trial of PACT is currently underway, with the resources of Queensland University applied to measure the impact and effectiveness of this strategy. Early signs are that it is having a positive effect on crime and driver compliance alike.

It has been long acknowledged anecdotally at least, that crime and alcohol or drug non-compliance are interrelated. PACT addresses both and therefore when target areas are identified, the crime levels can be part of the targeting considerations.

We would encourage Victoria Police to follow this initiative.

There is, however, a beautiful irony that is not lost on the CAA.

The PACT program is very much in line with the traditional policing principles that have stood the test of time.

The Principles were penned by British Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel in the 1820s; we would have to wonder whether Senior Sergeant Peel is related.

Innovative Law enforcement is perhaps in the genes.

Ivan Ray