G-TAG AND THE PRIVACY DEBATE

G-TAG AND THE PRIVACY DEBATE

Autonomous vehicles and connected vehicles are on the horizon. That technology will have the capacity to take control of vehicles away from drivers. Currently in the advanced stage of trials, which seem rather benign; nevertheless, the impact of this technology will be profound.

Touted as a Road safety initiative, the cost is going to be horrendous and will end up being a cost-benefit tragedy. The G-Tag will be a fraction of the cost and a motorist may only need to spend less than $150 to upgrade their current vehicle as opposed to many thousands for autonomous upgrades, if they are at all possible, forcing people to upgrade their vehicles. Their current vehicle will be valued based on recoverable scrap value.

As annoying as that might be, the bigger problem is that an initiative that transmits or receives data creates a risk of being compromised and used for illicit purposes.

As anticipated, the proposal of a G-Tag https://caainc.org.au/the-g-tag-that-can-save-lives/ has faced a mixed reaction. Although supported by most, several people have expressed unease about the privacy aspect of the proposal, ironically a view we share.

We are cognisant that the development of this initiative will take some work, not only the development of the program’s infrastructure but also the management of the Privacy issue.

The key to privacy issues is to restrict the use of data to strictly defined purposes.

The G-Tag takes on a new priority of late, given the alleged staffing issues of Victoria Police. Using Police resources more efficiently becomes a very high priority.

Technology can reduce risks to Police as well as increase efficiency.

People being better informed will see the advantages of a properly managed G-Tag system far outweigh the risks.

To bring perspective to the privacy issue, we must look back to 1981 when Melbourne hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the first international meeting of this type in Australia.

Initially, over twenty (20) CCTV cameras were installed and monitored by the Police; terrorism was a very real threat at that time.

After the event, and based on the issue of privacy, all but five (5) cameras were removed, and the control of the cameras was moved from the Police to Melbourne City Council to appease objections.

Currently, there are well over twelve (12) thousand in the City of Melbourne, and that is not counting cameras privately commercially operated. These cameras generally operate with no accountability for what is done with the data collected. Is this a matter of ignorance or something else entirely?

https://www.comparitech.com/vpn-privacy/the-worlds-most-surveilled-cities/

As with CCTV Cameras, the operation of the G-Tag has no adverse effect on privacy per se; the raw data is benign, the issue is how the data accumulated is used.

The G-Tag does not take pictures but is designed to locate and monitor target vehicles. Showing their location on maps gives the direction of travel and previous travel for a predetermined period.  Police would have the capacity to shut the vehicle down if it posed a threat to the community.

Logically, stolen vehicles could be located when they were reported, increasing the chances of recovering the vehicle immediately and perhaps catching the perpetrator.

Using this system to protect the community from random attacks using vehicles could be minimised.

The very recent murder of criminal heavyweight Gavin ‘Capable’ Preston as he sat having breakfast involved no less than three cars used by the assailants and possibly more.  At least two of them were reported to Police prior to the hit.
A G-Tag system operating on a relevant algorithm could have identified a pattern, of stolen car locations and given police a heads-up, something was happening.
Additionally, the perpetrators would have an uncomfortable shock returning to their planned getaway car to find it is immobilised.
We should be very concerned over this killing as the chances of a criminal War is very real, it was only good luck that an innocent patron of the café was not killed or maimed.

To protect privacy, every vehicle that is tagged or prompts a response, irrespective of the nature of the vehicle’s behaviour, must be recorded with the justification included for any future reference.

The use of cameras and other monitoring tools has become widespread, albeit with minimal impact on privacy. It is essential to establish strict regulations around data management to mitigate any negative consequences and promote transparency. This will instil trust among the public that the system is acting in its best interest, will not cause harm, and is accountable for its actions.

The real harm of these technologies is not the action of collecting data so much, but how that data is used and how it is stored and retrieved. Essentially, encryption of the data will protect it from Hackers and misuse or other unauthorised access for nefarious reasons.

Cameras have come a long way and are a part of life. https://www.theage.com.au/national/every-step-you-take-20050726-ge0kta.html

But cameras are not the only intrusion that we have accepted.

Anybody who,

  • Owns a computer.
  • Shops at a Supermarket.
  • A car
    • Owns, leases or hires.
    • Uses freeways, tollways or major highways.
    • Parks in a major shopping mall.
    • Uses a commercial car park.
    • Insures or registers a car.
  • Uses a card, either loyalty, credit, or other card functions.
  • Has a bank account.
  • Uses medical services.
    • Has Private Health Insurance
    • Has Medicare
    • Any social service interaction.
    • Employment
      • Union Membership.
      • Payee Taxation
    • Has a passport
    • Travels on public transport
    • Any interaction with the Tax Office
    • Interacts with Local Governments
    • Uses services utilities.
    • Attends any educational institutions.
    • Plays sport.
    • Belongs to any social or sporting club.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it shows that just living in a modern society comes with some privacy baggage.

What is important to realise is that, by and large, most of the data collected is benign, and it is largely unregulated, but the collection of this data is not the issue; it is the use of the data that is where things can come undone.

In the design and development of the G-Tag system, as much care must be applied to protecting privacy as goes into designing the operations.

The G-Tag is capable of monitoring any vehicle on our roads, and that is what causes some angst, but your individual privacy is assured by the following safeguards.

  • There are over five million vehicles in Victoria, so the best system could only track targeted vehicles, so the average motorist has nothing to fear.
  • Vehicle tracking must have an expiry date, and the tracking justification must be retained securely.
  • The unauthorised release of data collected by the system needs to be a criminal offence.
  • A vehicle driver, either a missing person or an overdue traveller, would, in many cases, use the G-Tag system. Police can safely intercept them to check their welfare. It would be up to the driver whether their details are passed to those who made the original report. This will avoid obvious misuse of the system.
  • Only sworn Police can operate the system or access data. (Police are the most accountable and suitable for the task).
  • All data must be encrypted to avoid hacking.
  • An independent Board including Police executives, Government representatives and an equal number of non-aligned members of the public to provide a monitoring and evaluation function.

If, however, you own or drive a car that is ten years old or younger, the chances are that you are already being monitored by the manufacturer, and the Limp Home Mode function or the capacity to shut a vehicle down already exists in vast numbers of the Victorian fleet.

The question posed is, would you rather be covered by a transparent authorised function in Victoria or the unregulated actions of overseas manufacturers and perhaps dealerships?

Today, most transport fleet operators, hire car firms, and many Government departments and authorities install tracking devices in their vehicles, often unbeknown to the driver.

Although, that data is managed in Australia, how do you feel about using a car that transmits unregulated data to another country? Probably not an issue with friendly countries, but what of the countries that are not?

It raises concerns for national security that a foreign power could potentially track and shut down large portions of the vehicle fleet or individually targeted vehicles in the country as an act of aggression or terrorism.

With all the risks we are exposed to, the G-Tag proposal is somewhat innocuous.

G-Tag   A NEW PARADIGM IN COMMUNITY SAFETY

G-Tag A NEW PARADIGM IN COMMUNITY SAFETY

29th October 2022 First Published 9th Feb 2016

‘It was claimed by Victoria Police that the G-Tag proposal submitted in 2016 was assessed and  piloted, however, the pilot was not of this proposal but a proposal with similarities that seemed suspiciously like a cover for a feasibility assessment for a commercial venture.

The G-tag has a far wider application, and the pilot did not facilitate testing of the concept.

Police at the time did not have the capacity to grasp the concept and to their discredit never bothered to check with the authors for clarity.

The current administration of VicPol seems more adroit than past administrations, and we hope for the benefit of all Victorians that they seriously consider this proposal.’

 – The G-Tag

Save Lives                                                                                                                                                          Reduce crime                                                                                                                                                         Cost positive and                                                                                                                                           Make Victoria a leader as an innovative State.

Introduction

For many people, their car is their most important and valued asset, and to have it stolen is devastating. Unfortunately, motor cars, whether stolen or not, are also commonly associated with crimes including hit-run, robbery, drugs, rape, murder, domestic violence and now Terrorism.

The relatively new experience of motor vehicles being used as a weapon either against Police or as a weapon of mass destruction, terror-related or not, is a recent phenomenon. However, the introduction of this new level of violence In the West has brought a new urgency to the G-Tag.

The G-Tag, when fully implemented, is the only stratagem that will stop vehicles from being used as weapons.

The Bourke Street massacre should be justification alone for introducing the G-Tag. Unless you live under a rock, we know that it will only be a matter of time before we experience the devastation of truck or car bombs, as is all too common elsewhere in the world.

The multiple killings, countless injuries, millions of dollars of theft and massive damage is caused because current legislation is focused exclusively on the driver, not the vehicle. Until that changes, the vehicles available to drivers will continue to wreak havoc.

The most creative solution dreamed up thus far by Government and Police in Melbourne is strategically placed bollards and reinforced concrete planters. A little underwhelming. They will create safe areas (but only from cars). Still, the vulnerability of people will then be focused on the areas unable to be protected, including every intersection in Melbourne at peak pedestrian times when pedestrians in large numbers cross are exposed.

There were 4,567,314 vehicles (ABS Data and includes all vehicles) Registered in Victoria in 2015 – a huge and valuable state asset that needs to be protected.

The traditional view is the risks posed by the motor car should be managed by legislation focusing on the driver. Unfortunately, the success of this approach is problematic at best, with very limited success.

‘The best way to reduce any crime is to increase in the perpetrators’ mind the likelihood that they will get caught – penalties in themselves have limited impact because the perpetrator does not commit the act to get caught and never expects to get caught.

When the probability of being caught fails to dissuade, we need the ability to intervene to minimise the impact of the behaviour.

Authorities (Police) should be able to safely slow down or stop particular vehicles in the interests of public safety and/or law enforcement,’

Without diminishing the current Law and Order response, there is a need to think through and discuss alternatives – that alternative is the vehicle.

GPS Tracking

GPS tracking is widely used in the community; the devices record and re-transmit their own location to a satellite-based global positioning system. These re-transmitted signals allow the identification of the vehicle, location, and route it has and is taking. It also communicates the vehicles speed.

That route can be recorded for days or weeks, and capable of identifying which vehicle was driven in a particular location at a previous time. This ability will allow Police to identify the vehicle used in a crime. As important as the current location of the vehicle, is the historical routes the vehicle has taken, which perhaps has more investigative value.

An example, and there are many, would be a drive-by shooting in the early hours. Witnesses can usually supply the time of the shots; with a G-Tag, the Police could identify which vehicles were driven in that location at the time given.

Central to this proposal will be the fitting of tracking devices to every vehicle. Although this forms part of the first stage of this proposal, it needs to be seen through the prism of advantages to the community, a safety and Crime Prevention/Minimisation strategy, albeit that an economic case may be produced for the system raising alternative revenue streams for the Government, a user pays system for registration. The latter is the most equitable method of raising revenue.

Setting the case for part one of this proposal – the G-Tag

The advantages of developing a GPS locating system, or G-Tag, for the entire Victorian road fleet will be no small feat; however, the return will be enormous.

Theft of Motor vehicles and machinery

With a G-Tag, stolen vehicles can be located quickly; the focus is on the property, not the perpetrator, which will serendipitously lead to perpetrators being detected rapidly. This will lead to a reduction in insurance costs. This would also reduce the demand for Police time and assist in arresting perpetrators.

G-Tags will influence the perpetrators knowing the chances of getting caught have escalated and may dissuade many would-be offenders.

In Australia, 49 vehicles are stolen and processed for scrap metal a week and one in four cars stolen are never recovered – $103 Million estimated value of cars never recovered. In addition, there are estimated to be 5 million cars on Australian roads that do not have immobilising technology. (Source -National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.).

In Victoria, 14366 vehicle thefts were reported according to VicPol statistics – in 2014. In 2015 that number increased to 17090, an increase of 19%. The National average of vehicles not recovered is 31% (This figure could be substantially higher when including vehicles recovered damaged beyond repair – burnt out etc.) so extrapolating those figures to Victoria, over 5000 vehicles disappear every year, or nearly 100 every week.

What the statistics do not show is the hardship caused and the danger posed to the community

Community safety – a G-Tag will assist

  1. Victims of Domestic violence-. They can be better protected by tagging perpetrators’ vehicles in the G-Tag system to warn Police of the perpetrator heading toward the victim. In addition, using postcodes to quarantine victims will enable Police to intervene when postcode boundaries are crossed by perpetrators breaching a Family Violence Order—alerting Police to reduce the risk to the victim.
  2. Missing Persons-. G-Tags can locate vehicles of missing persons before self-harm. Suicidal victims are generally found after their demise when the family have contacted Police over concerns, but Police driving around searching every nook and cranny has historically been demonstrated as ineffective and usually does not end in locating the individual before it is too late.

G-Tags will have the ability to save lives with the chance of getting professional help to desperate people.

Rural application-                                                                                                                                             The application in Rural and remote Victoria is very sound; consider being able to locate a tractor on a large remote property or a driver overdue to destinations, particularly in times of natural disaster. This will also reduce the number of unnecessary searches.

The applications of G-Tag technology can be extended to include watercraft and recreational vehicles.

Technology instead of human resources.                                                                                                      The thousands of man-hours expended by emergency services, particularly Police, can be dramatically reduced in multiple circumstances by the G-Tag Policing will become more efficient and effective, reducing pressure on Police resources.

Criminal activity –                                                                                                                                        Terrorism Investigations would have the advantage of monitoring vehicles with G-Tags without intrusion to better understand the risks posed by suspects.

The use of vehicles as a weapon in Terrorism is commonplace in the current war zones. It is likely to appear in Australia at some stage and being prepared will save lives.

  1. Criminal Behaviour –There is a current spate of home invasions where perpetrators physically confront victims in their homes by forced entry to gain access to keys to steal high-end motor vehicles. This type of activity (home invasion) is on the rise; there is a substantial risk of serious harm, if not the death of a victim. The ability to track these vehicles by G-Tag and immobilise them is very attractive to the victims and Police.
  2. Illicit Drugs must be transported in vehicles at some stage. Access to G-Tag technology will provide invaluable assistance in managing the importation and trafficking of drugs.
  3. Hoon drivers –can be monitored and removed from our roads. Known hoons’ vehicles can be tagged in the G-Tag system, and an alarm indicating when like tagged vehicles are identified by the system to be congregating can give Police the opportunity to intervene before the dangers escalate.
  4. Police Pursuits – This technology virtually eliminates the need for pursuits, and G-Tag disabling the car by G-Tag reduces risk to the Community, the Police and even the offender.
  5. Emergency vehicles – can easily and reliably be located and managed when civil emergencies occur. E.g. incident managers could recognise the precise locations of fire appliances during bushfire outbreaks to direct them to where they are most needed – or away from impending danger.
  6. Arial surveillance – Currently undertaken by the Police Airwing, there are limitations with availability and response times. The G-Tag will not replace the need for Arial Surveillance as a Policing tool. Still, the G-Tag will significantly enhance the effectiveness of the Air Wing, reducing operating costs.
  7. Legal implications – The data recorded in the G-Tag system has evidentiary value, as do E-Tags and Security Cameras. The potential for the improved data available from G-Tags will provide data of strong evidentiary value for Prosecution and Defence in equal benefit, further improving our judicial system.
  8. Revenue streams

The advantage of this system is it would allow the Government to use this mechanism to charge registrations on a user-pay basis, the most equitable mechanism. In addition, implementing part two of this proposal would eliminate the need for enforcement of recalcitrant individuals by placing the vehicle in ‘limp home’ mode until the financial liabilities are met. This capacity could also be extended to other civil liabilities related to traffic.

Setting the case for Part 2 of this proposal using G-Tag.

The first part of this proposal using converted E-Tag’s will only reach a percentage of the Victorian fleet unless a case can be presented for voluntary take-up of G-Tags based on the E-Tag system, although not totally limiting will reduce the overall potential of the program. However, the advantage of converting E-Tags to G-Tags will ensure a rapid introduction to the program.

Part 2 introduces more sophisticated G-Tags (technology is currently available) that are hard-wired into the vehicle’s electronics and fitted where they cannot be easily removed or interfered with. This technology adds a new layer where the vehicle’s electronics can be activated remotely to put the vehicle into limp home mode (reducing its top speed to 80KPH) before activating the engine immobiliser to halt the vehicle. The only limitations will be that certain vehicles do not have the limp home mode and would be stopped at a safe place or shut down when stationary.

The upgraded G-Tags would need to be fitted to all new vehicles, pre-delivery (amending Vehicle Standards)and second-hand vehicles as part of the roadworthy process. In addition, a moratorium would be required to set a reasonable time that all vehicles must comply, similar to other safety initiatives, including seat belt introduction.

Stage 2 will allow Police to intervene to stop the commission or continuance of a crime, which is the primary role of the Police.

The issue of re-establishing the vehicle’s functionality when recovered, or is no longer a threat, is again a technical issue that should not prove insurmountable. If it can be switched off, it can be switched back on; it is just a matter of protocols.

The cost debate

There is a cost, but as this is an innovation, the technology development costs of G-Tag would be well offset by marketing the initiative interstate and overseas. In addition, a fee for service arrangement, assisting set up and a fee for intellectual property would generate substantial income.

Part of the development costs could be covered by the Insurance Industry and TAC, who both stand to gain considerably. In addition, there would be nominal cost recovery from the users in installing a device into the existing fleet – manufacturers would be required to fit the device pre-delivery on all new vehicles.

An offset to the toll operator’s contribution (modifying E-Tags)will be the income generated when tracking devices are fitted to the Victorian fleet to include the E-Tag function in the G-Tag, effectively the E-Tag would be redundant.

With savings achieved to the State economy, the overall cost will be well offset. In addition, recurring fees would be partly recovered by beneficiaries, namely Insurance companies, Toll operators, TAC and the user.

Car owners will have to bear some costs, subsidised for Welfare recipients, but the price should not be prohibitive, somewhere under $200.

The proposal to introduce a pay-as-you-use system for registration, third-party and comprehensive Insurance and fuel excise currently avoided by the increased uptake of Electric Vehicles will contribute to the setup and recurring cost of the system.

The system could, therefore, potentially protect innocent victims from financial hardship due to vehicle damage – Potentially, the initiative could be cost-positive.

Technology

Anybody who owns a smartphone or has a Satellite navigation device is acutely aware of the power and application of technology.

Currently advertised on the internet for $35 is a tracking device that can be attached to a vehicle and linked to a smartphone. The technology exists and is small and relatively cheap.

With the increasing sophistication of motor vehicles and their reliance on computers to manage their engines, an opportunity exists to intervene in a vehicle’s performance. A large part (and increasing) of the Victorian fleet are vehicles that have an inbuilt “Limp Home Mode” in their computer systems designed to protect the engine from further damage should a fault be detected

It is a matter of connecting the dots.

  • If we can identify a vehicle using GPS locating technology by a G-Tag, we only need to develop a mechanism to access the vehicle’s computer via the G-Tag to activate the “Limp Home Mode” or the vehicle” Immobilisation technology”. A SIM card is the solution.
  • By designing and fitting an aftermarket, G-Tag to attach to the vehicle’s electronics, the vehicle’s function can be remotely managed.
  • The power supply for the G-Tag is then secured for the vehicle’s life.
  • The simplest method to communicate with vehicle electronics is by a SIM card in the device using the mobile network to communicate with the car’s computer.

 The Issue of Privacy

In the 1980s, a very vocal minority saw themselves as the keepers of our privacy, objecting to installing the eight CCTV cameras for a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Melbourne. They vocalised on the prying eyes and the abuse that would occur should the cameras not be removed immediately after the conference was finished- “It’s a Police State” was the group’s mantra.

Their plaintive cries are now somewhat humorous when we look around at the number of cameras that watch us daily, but there is no community concern as it has been demonstrated that they serve the greater good, and law-abiding citizens do not care if they are watched. Indeed, governments actively encourage more expansive use of CCTV in public places, and the take-up of private CCTV systems – including those monitoring public spaces – is impressive.

This initiative has a distinct advantage over CCTV cameras. The Cameras have a deterrent effect and assist with identifying perpetrators, but they cannot stop or prevent the continuation of a crime – the G-Tag can.

Anybody worried about the movement of their vehicle being monitored should realise there are over 5 million vehicles in Victoria, so nobody would have the time, the resources or the interest to monitor every vehicle – it will be enough just monitoring vehicles that are of particular interest- law-abiding citizens just hide in the crowd.

Furthermore, although not common knowledge, most high-end vehicles sold in recent years already have this technology and are used as part of the aftermarket service provided by the manufacturers as a mechanism to update electronics and identify the need for roadside assistance.

Effectively a reasonable percentage of the population drive around oblivious that their movements are being or are capable of being monitored by a third part.

Impact on Judicial processes.

Implementing this system will provide the Judiciary with an alternative to sentencing offenders (by regulating vehicle use), particularly for the less serious traffic infringements and criminal activity in some cases.
Currently, lives are ruined financially and otherwise by fines and driving restrictions that cause offenders to lose employment and the capacity to pay fines.

Unintended double jeopardy can ruin many young people’s lives. Correcting bad behaviour by bad outcomes lessens, and in certain circumstances destroys the chance of future compliance. Instead, in desperation, it can lead, particularly young people, towards crime and drugs to escape what they see as a hopeless situation from which they see no escape.

The G-Tag system can be used to manage the use of a vehicle to certain roads and/or times to allow Offenders to continue in employment, enabling them to pay the fines but still having their mobility curtailed to serve as a punishment.

We are not suggesting this facility become run-of-the-mill but for cases where a driver may exceed .05 after a reading shows residual alcohol or drugs in the low range. Or where breaches of Licence offences and registration matters can be managed without ruining lives.

The increase in penalty recovery would justify offenders retaining employment and avoid forcing people onto welfare and damaging the States productivity.

Recovery of Civil compliance fines could also be improved. For example, a vehicle disabled by G-Tag would rapidly encourage compliance.

System Security

There will need to be legislation that includes safeguards for privacy and safeguards against tampering with the system, either the physical equipment or any signal emitted.

Conclusion

The G-Tag is a proactive and novel proposal, but there is a myriad of far more radical ideas that once seemed farfetched that are now accepted as the mainstream norm, world wide web, television and the telephone!

We now accept security cameras as a way of life and the dreaded speed cameras as an acceptable inconvenience that serves the greater good.

It will take leadership and innovative thought to implement this proposal; however, the advantages to the community make it a worthwhile project.

This is an innovation that will save lives commensurate with its implementation,

  • Minimise Police pursuits by number and duration.
  • Enable the arrest of mobile criminals safely.
  • Monitor criminal activity.
  • Determine the identity of perpetrators when the crime was not witnessed, but a vehicle was involved (historical footage of the scene)
  • Tag domestic violence perpetrators and protect victims with an electronic shield.
  • Reducing a criminal’s ability to use a vehicle in committing a crime.
  • Reducing criminals’ ability to burn stolen vehicles to hide DNA.
  • Locate missing people intent on self-harm.
  • Increase revenue through greater enforcement of civil compliance.
  • Locate and save people in natural disasters.
  • Reduce police resources in trying to locate missing persons.

“I have worked hard to own my car, and if it gets stolen, I would be very happy that it could be located and disabled as soon as it is reported (minimising damage to it). It would be a bonus that the low life that did it was caught.”

A view that the overwhelming majority of Victorians would share.

An additional attraction of this technology is that it will allow a user-pays system to be developed in lieu of registration and other taxes as a reliable and equitable mechanism to tax road users.

Recommendation

That VicPol and Government establish a working party to prepare the business case for this proposal, including the fiscal imperatives that will make this proposal not only practical but cost positive. An approach ANZPAA and Standards Australia should be considered as well as drafting legislation to establish a G-Tag Authority to develop the technology and design the model for the ongoing management and operation of the system.

Ivan W. Ray

Chief Executive Officer

Community Advocacy Alliance Inc

G-TAG A new paradigm in community safety

G-TAG A new paradigm in community safety

 – The G-Tag Vehicle Global Positioning System will

Save Lives

Reduce crime

Cost positive and

Make Victoria a leader as an innovative State.

 

Introduction

For most people, their car is their most important and valued asset, and to have it stolen is devastating. However, motor cars, whether stolen or not, are also commonly associated with crimes including, hit-and-run, robbery, drugs, rape, murder and domestic violence and now terrorism.

The relatively new experience of motor vehicles being used as a weapon either against Police or as a weapon of mass destruction, terror-related or not, is a new phenomenon. The introduction of this new level of violence In the West has brought a new urgency to the G-Tag.

The G-Tag, when fully implemented, is the only stratagem that will stop vehicles being used as weapons.

The Bourke Street massacre should be justification alone to introduce the G-Tag, and unless you live under a rock, we know that it will only be a matter of time before we experience the devastation of a truck or car bombs as is all too common elsewhere in the world. The possibility of IS fighters and or their children returning to Australia from these areas will no doubt bring with it skills used in that place.

The multiple killings, countless injuries, millions of dollars of theft and massive damage bills caused because current legislation is focused exclusively on the driver, not the vehicle and until that changes the vehicles and their drivers will continue to wreak havoc.

The most creative solution dreamed up thus far by Government and police in Melbourne is strategically placed bollards and reinforced concrete planters. A little underwhelming. They will create safe areas (behind their protection and then only from cars), but the vulnerability of people will then be focused on the areas unable to be protected including every intersection in Melbourne at peak pedestrian times when pedestrians in large numbers cross are exposed.

There were 4,567,314 vehicles (ABS Data and includes all vehicles) Registered in Victoria in 2015 – a vast and valuable state asset that needs to be protected.

The traditional view that the risks posed by the motor car should be managed by legislation which focuses on the driver, clearly has had only limited success.

– To further reduce the risks, we need to focus on the vehicle.

The best way to reduce any crime is to increase in the perpetrators’ mind the likelihood that they will get caught – penalties in themselves have limited impact because the perpetrator does not commit the act to get caught and never expects to get caught.

When the probability of being caught fails to dissuade, we need the ability to intervene to minimise the impact of the behaviour.

Authorities (Police) should be able to safely slow down or stop particular vehicles in the interests of public safety and lawenforcement

Without diminishing the current Law and Order response there is a need to think through and discuss alternatives – that alternative is the vehicle.

GPS Tracking

GPS tracking is widely used in the community, the devices record and re-transmit its own location to a satellite-based global positioning system.  These re-transmitted signals allows the identification of the vehicle, the vehicles location and the route it has and is taking. It also communicates the vehicle speed.

That route can be recorded for days or weeks therefore capable of identifying which vehicle was driven in a particular location at a previous time. This ability will allow Police to identify the vehicle used in crime and as important as the current location of the vehicle is the historical routes the vehicle has taken which perhaps have more investigative value.

An example and there are many, would be a drive-by shooting in the early hours. Witnesses can usually supply time of the shots, with a G-Tag the police could identify which vehicles were driven in that location at the time given.

Central to this proposal will be the fitting of tracking devices to every vehicle, and although this forms part of the first stage of this proposal, it needs to be seen through the prism of advantages to the community, a safety and Crime Prevention/Minimisation strategy, albeit that an economic case may be produced for the system raising alternative revenue streams for the Government.

Setting the case for part one of this proposal – the G-Tag

The advantages of developing a GPS locating system, or G-Tag, for the entire Victorian road fleet will be no small feat; however the return will be enormous.

  1. Theft of Motor vehicles and machinery

With a G-Tag stolen vehicles can be located quickly, the focus is on the property, not the perpetrator, however that will lead to perpetrators being detected rapidly. This will lead to a reduction in insurance costs. G-Tags. This would also reduce the demand on Police time and assist in arresting perpetrators.

 

G-Tags will influence the perpetrators knowing the chances of getting caught have escalated and may dissuade many would-be’s.

 

In Australia 49 vehicles a week are stolen and processed for scrap metal – one in four cars stolen are never recovered – $103 Million estimated value of cars never recovered.  There are expected to be 5 million cars on Australian roads that do not have immobilising technology. (Source -National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.).

In Victoria, 14366 vehicle thefts were reported according to VicPol statistics – in 2014. In 2015 that number increased to 17090, an increase of 19%. The National average of vehicles not recovered is 31%,(This figure could be substantially higher when including vehicles recovered damaged beyond repair – burnt out etc.) so extrapolating those figures to Victoria, in excess of 5000 vehicles disappear every year, or nearly 100 every week.

 

What the statistics do not show is the hardship caused, and the danger posed to the community

 

  1. Community safety – a G-Tag will assist

 

  1. Victims of Domestic violence-. They can be better protected by tagging perpetrators vehicles in the G-Tag system to warn Police of the perpetrator heading toward the victim. The use of postcodes to quarantine victims will enable Police to intervene when postcode boundaries are crossed by perpetrators breaching a Family Violence Orders alerting Police to reduce the risk to the victim.
  2. Missing Persons-. G-Tags can locate vehicles of missing persons before self-harm. Suicidal victims are generally found after their demise when the family have contacted Police over concerns but Police driving around searching every nook and cranny has historically been demonstrated as ineffective and an utter waste of time.

G-Tags will save lives with the chance of getting professional help to a desperate person.

For a variety of reasons, people disappear in their cars, from murder victims to abductions to the mentally ill. To be able to locate their car using G-Tag will lead to interventions that will save lives.

 

  1. Rural application- The application in Rural and remote Victoria is very sound, consider being able to locate a tractor on a large remote property, or a driver overdue to destinations particularly in times of natural disaster. This will also reduce the number of unnecessary searches.

The applications of G-Tag technology can be extended to include watercraft and recreational vehicles.

  1. Technology instead of manpower. The thousands of man hours expended by emergency services, particularly Police, can be dramatically reduced in multiple circumstances by the G-Tag Policing will become more efficient and effective, reducing pressure on Police resources.

 

  1. Criminal activity
  2. Terrorism Investigations would have the advantage of monitoring vehicles with G-Tag’s without intrusion to better understand the risks posed by suspects.

The use of vehicles as a weapon in Terrorism is commonplace in the current war zones and is likely to appear in Australia when Daesh fighters and or their families return bringing that knowledge with them.

  1. Criminal Behaviour –There is a current spate of home invasions where perpetrators physically confront victims in their homes by forced entry to gain access to keys to steal high-end motor vehicles. This type of activity is on the rise; there is a substantial risk that serious harm if not the death of a victim. The ability to track these vehicles by G-Tag and immobilise them is very attractive to the victims and Police.
  2. Illicit Drugs must be transported in vehicles at some stage. Access to G-Tag technology will provide invaluable assistance in managing the importation and trafficking of drugs.

 

  1. Hoon drivers –can be monitored and removed from our roads. Known hoons’ vehicles can be tagged in the G-Tag system and an alarm indicating when like tagged vehicles are identified by the system to be congregating can give Police the opportunity to intervene before the dangers escalate.

 

  1. Police Pursuits – This technology virtually eliminates the need for pursuit and the disabling of the car by G-Tag reduces risk to the Community, the Police and even the offender.

 

  1. Emergency vehicles – can easily and reliably be located and managed when civil emergencies occur. g. incident managers could recognise the precise locations of fire appliances during bushfire outbreaks, to direct them to where they are most needed – or away from impending danger.
  2. Arial surveillance – Currently undertaken by the Police Airwing, there are limitations with availability and response times. The G-Tag will not replace the need for Arial Surveillance as a Policing tool but the G-Tag will significantly enhance the effectiveness of the Air Wing reducing operating costs.

 

  1. Legal implications – The data recorded in the G-Tag system has evidentiary value as does E-Tags and Security Cameras; however the potential for the improved data available from G-Tags will provide strong data of evidentiary value for Prosecution and Defence in equal benefit, further improving our judicial system.

 

 

Setting the case for Part 2 of this proposal using G-Tag.

The first part of this proposal using a converted E-Tag’s will only reach a percentage of the Victorian fleet and unless a case can be presented for voluntary take up of G-Tags based on the E-Tag system the limitations although not totally limiting will reduce the overall potential of the program. The advantage of converting E-Tags to G-Tags will ensure a rapid introduction of the program.

Part 2 is the introduction of more sophisticated G-Tag’s (technology is currently available) that are hard-wired into the vehicle’s electronics and fitted where they cannot be easily removed or interfered with. This technology adds a new layer where the vehicle’s electronics can be activated remotely to put the vehicle into a limp-home mode (reducing its top speed to 80KPH) before activating the engine immobiliser to halt the vehicle. The only limitations will be that certain vehicles do not have the limp home mode and would be stopped at a safe place.

The upgraded G-Tags would need to be fitted to all new vehicles including trucks pre-delivery and fitted to all cars as part of the roadworthy process. A moratorium would be required to set a reasonable time that all vehicles must comply, similar to other safety initiatives including seat belt introduction.

Stage 2 will allow Police to intervene to stop the commission or continuance of a crime the primary role of Police.

The issue of re-establishing the functionality of the vehicle when recovered, or is no longer a threat, is again a technical issue that should not prove insurmountable. If it can be switched off, it can be switched on; it is just a matter of protocols.

The cost debate

There is a cost, but as this is innovation the technology development costs of G-Tag would be well offset by marketing the initiative interstate and overseas. A fee for service arrangement, assisting set up and a fee for intellectual property would generate substantial income.

Part of the development costs could be covered by the Insurance Industry and TAC, who both stand to gain considerably. There would be nominal cost recovery from the users in the installation of a device into the existing fleet – manufacturers would be required to fit the device pre-delivery on all new vehicles.

An offset to the toll operator’s contribution will be the income generated when tracking devices are fitted to the Victorian fleet to include the E-Tag function in the G-Tag effectively the E-Tag would be redundant.

With savings achieved to the State economy, the overall cost will be well offset. Recurring costs would be in part recovered by beneficiaries, namely Insurance companies, Toll operators, TAC and the user.

Car owners will have to bear some costs, subsidised for Welfare recipients but the cost should not be prohibitive somewhere under $200.

The proposal to introduce pay as you use the system for registration, third party and comprehensive insurance will contribute to the setup and recurring cost of the system. The system could therefore potentially protect innocent victims from financial hardship as a result of vehicle damage – Potentially the initiative could be cost positive.

Technology

Anybody who owns a smartphone or has a Satellite navigation device is acutely aware of the power and application of technology.

Currently advertised on the internet for $35 is a tracking device that can be attached to a vehicle and linked to a smartphone. The technology exists and is small and relatively cheap.

With the increasing sophistication of motor vehicles and their reliance on computers to manage their engines, an opportunity exists to intervene in a vehicle’s performance. A large part (and increasing) of the Victorian fleet are vehicles that have an  inbuilt  “Limp Home Mode” in their computer systems designed, to protect the engine from further damage should a fault be detected

It is a matter of connecting the dots. If we can identify a vehicle using GPS locating technology by a G-Tag, we only need to develop a mechanism to access the vehicle’s computer via the G-Tag to activate the “Limp Home Mode” or the vehicles,” Immobilisation technology”.  A SIM card is the solution.

By designing and fitting an after-market, G-Tag to attached to the electronics of the vehicle, the function of the vehicle can be managed. The power supply for the G-Tag is then secured for the life of the vehicle. The simplest method to communicate with the vehicle electronics is by a SIM card in the device using the mobile network to communicate with the car’s computer.

 

The Issue of Privacy

In the 1980s there was a very vocal minority who saw themselves as the keepers of our privacy objecting to the installation of the eight CCTV cameras for a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Melbourne. They vocalised on the prying eyes and the abuse that would occur should the cameras not be removed immediately the conference was finished- “It’s a Police State”, was the mantra of the group.

Their plaintive cries are now fairly humorous when we look around at the number of cameras that watch us daily but there is no community concern as it has been demonstrated that they serve the greater good, and law-abiding citizens do not care if they are watched.  Indeed, governments actively encourage wider use of CCTV in public places and the take-up of private CCTV systems – including those monitoring public spaces – is impressive.

This initiative has a distinct advantage over CCTV cameras. The Cameras have a deterrent effect and assist with identifying perpetrators but they cannot stop or prevent the continuation of a crime – the G-Tag can.

For anybody worried about the movement of their vehicle being monitored then realise there are over 5 million vehicles in Victoria so nobody would have the time the resources or the interest to monitor every vehicle – it will be enough just monitoring vehicle that is of particular interest- law-abiding citizens hide in the crowd.

-there is no reason to hide if you are lawful.

 

Impact on Judicial processes.

The implementation of this system will provide the Judiciary with an alternative in the sentencing of offenders particularly for the less serious traffic infringements and in some case, other criminal activity.
Currently, lives are ruined financially and otherwise by fines and driving restrictions that cause offenders to lose employment and the capacity to pay fines and in this double jeopardy can ruin many young people’s lives. Correcting bad behaviour by adverse outcomes destroys the chance of future compliance and does not lead to future compliance but can in desperation lead particularly young people towards crime and in desperation drugs to escape what they see as a hopeless situation from which they see no escape.

The G-Tag system can be used to manage the use of a vehicle to certain roads and or times to allow Offenders to continue in employment, therefore, enabling them to pay the fines but still having their mobility curtailed dramatically to serve as a punishment.

We are not suggesting this facility become run of the mill but for cases where a driver may exceed .05 after a reading shows residual alcohol or drugs in the low range. Or where breaches of Licence offences and registration matters can be managed without ruining lives.

The increase in penalty recovery would justify offenders retaining employment and avoid forcing people onto welfare and damaging the States productivity.

 

System Security

There will need to be legislation that includes safeguards for privacy and safeguards against tampering with the system either the physical equipment or any signal emitted.

One of the best securities of the privacy of individuals is the overall size of the Victorian fleet. The agency monitoring the data will be necessarily focused on the important data, and the average law-abiding citizen will only be exposed to the system when they are a victim.

Conclusion

The G-Tag is an “out there” proposal, but there is a myriad far more extreme ideas that once seemed farfetched that are now accepted as the mainstream norm, world wide web, television and the telephone!

Anybody who has a mobile phone, shops at a supermarket or a volume traders store, has interaction with any political organisation, uses the internet, uses a financial institution, has an interaction with Health or Education systems and takes out Insurance, is part of the workforce or reliant on welfare has more detail of their lives recorded, trolled through and assessed than we care to think about but it is a price we are prepared to pay for convenience and quality of life.

We now accept security cameras as a way of life as well as the dreaded speed cameras, an acceptable inconvenience that serves the greater good.

It will take leadership and innovative thought to implement this proposal; however the advantages to the community makes it a worthwhile project.

Our Prime Minister calls for Innovation – this is an innovation that will save lives.

“I have worked hard to own my car, and if it gets stolen, I would be delighted that it could be located and disabled as soon as it is reported (minimising damage to it). It would be a bonus that the low life that did it was caught.” A view that would be shared by the overwhelming majority of Victorians.

Recommendation

That a working party be established by Government to draft the legislation to establish a G-Tag Authority with the role of developing the technology and designing the model for the ongoing management and operation of the system.

 

Ivan W. Ray

Secretary

Community Advocacy Alliance

 

 

The G-Tag – A New paradigm in community safety

The G-Tag – A New paradigm in community safety

9th February 2017

 

 – The G-Tag Vehicle Global Positioning System, will

Save lives

Reduce crime

Cost positive and

Make Victoria a leader as an innovative State.

 

Introduction

For most people, their  car is their most important and valued asset and to have it stolen is devastating. But motor cars, whether stolen or not, are also commonly associated with crimes including, hit-and-run, robbery, drugs, rape, murder and domestic violence and now terrorism.

The relatively new experience of motor vehicles being used as a weapon either against Police or as a weapon of mass destruction, terror related or not, is a new phenomenon. The introduction of this new level of violence In the West has brought a new urgency to the G-Tag.

The G-Tag when fully implemented, is the only stratagem that will stop vehicles being used as weapons.

The Bourke Street massacre should be justification alone to introduce the G-Tag and unless you live under a rock we know that it will only be a matter of time before we experience the devastation of truck or car bombs as is all too common elsewhere in the world. The possibility of IS fighters and or their children returning to Australia from these areas will no doubt bring with it skills used in that place.

The multiple killings, countless injuries, millions of dollars of theft and massive damage bills caused because current legislation is focused exclusively on the driver not the vehicle and until that changes the vehicles and their drivers will continue to wreak havoc.

The most creative solution dreamed up thus far by Government and police in Melbourne is strategically placed bollards and reinforced concrete planters. A little underwhelming. They will create safe areas (behind their protection and then only from cars) but the vulnerability of people will then be focused on the areas unable to be protected including every intersection in Melbourne at peak pedestrian times when pedestrians in large numbers cross are exposed.

There were 4,567,314 vehicles (ABS Data and includes all vehicles) Registered in Victoria in 2015 – a huge and valuable state asset that needs to be protected.

The traditional view that the risks posed by the motor car should be managed by legislation which focuses on the driver, clearly has had only limited success.

– To further reduce the risks we need to focus on the vehicle.

The best way to reduce any crime is to increase in the perpetrators’ mind the likelihood that they will get caught – penalties in themselves have limited impact because the perpetrator does not commit the act to get caught and never expects to get caught.

When the probability of being caught fails to dissuade we need the ability to intervene to minimise the impact of the behaviour.

Authorities (Police) should be able to safely slow down or stop particular vehicles in the interests of public safety and/or lawenforcement

Without diminishing the current Law and Order response there is a need to think through and discuss alternatives – that alternative is the vehicle.

GPS Tracking

GPS tracking is widely used in the community, the devices record and re-transmit its own location to a satellite-based global positioning system.  These re-transmitted signals allows the identification of the vehicle, the vehicles location and the route it has and is taking. It also communicates the vehicle speed.

That route can be recorded for days or weeks therefore capable of identifying which vehicle was driven in a particular location at a previous time. This ability will allow Police to identify vehicle used in crime and as important as the current location of the vehicle is the historical routes the vehicle has taken which perhaps have more investigative value.

An example, and there are many, would be a drive by shooting in the early hours. Witnesses can usually supply a time of the shots, with a G-Tag the police could identify which vehicles was driven in that location at the time given.

Central to this proposal will be the fitting of tracking devices to every vehicle and although this forms part of the first stage of this proposal, it needs to be seen through the prism of advantages to the community, a safety and Crime Prevention/Minimisation strategy, albeit that an economic case may be produced for the system raising alternative revenue streams for the Government.

Setting the case for part one of this proposal – the G-Tag

The advantages of developing a GPS locating system, or G-Tag, for the entire Victorian road fleet will be no small feat, however the return will be enormous.

  1. Theft of Motor vehicles and machinery

With a G-Tag stolen vehicles can be located quickly, the focus is on the property, not the perpetrator however that will lead to perpetrators being detected rapidly. This will lead to a reduction in insurance costs. G-Tags . This would also reduce the demand on Police time and assist in arresting perpetrators.

 

G-Tags will influence the perpetrators knowing the chances of getting caught have escalated and may dissuade many would-be’s.

 

In Australia 49 vehicles a week are stolen and processed for scrap metal – one in four cars stolen are never recovered – $103 Million estimated value of cars never recovered.  There are estimated to be 5 million cars on Australian roads that do not have immobilising technology. (Source -National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.).

In Victoria 14366 vehicle thefts were reported according to VicPol statistics – in 2014. In 2015 that number increased to 17090 an increase of 19%. The National average of vehicles not recovered is 31%,(This figure could be substantially higher when including vehicles recovered  damaged beyond repair – burnt out etc.) so extrapolating those figures to Victoria, in excess of 5000 vehicles disappear every year, or nearly 100 every week.

 

What the statistics do not show is the hardship caused and the danger posed to the community

 

  1. Community safety – a G-Tag will assist

 

  1. Victims of Domestic violence-. They can be better protected by tagging perpetrators vehicles in the G-Tag system to warn Police of the perpetrator heading toward the victim. The use of postcodes to quarantine victims will enable Police to intervene when postcode boundaries are crossed by perpetrators breaching a Family Violence Orders. Alerting Police to reduce the risk to the victim.
  2. Missing Persons-. G-Tags can locate vehicles of missing persons before self-harm. Suicidal victims are generally located after their demise when family have contacted Police over concerns but Police driving around searching every nook and cranny has historically been demonstrated as ineffective and an utter waste of time.

G-Tags will save lives with the chance of getting professional help to a desperate person.

For a variety of reasons people disappear in their cars, from murder victims to abductions to the mentally ill. To be able to locate their car using G-Tag will lead to interventions that will save lives.

 

  1. Rural application- The application in Rural and remote Victoria is very sound, consider being able to locate a tractor on a large remote property, or a driver overdue to destinations particularly in times of natural disaster. This will also reduce the number of unnecessary searches.

The applications of G-Tag technology can be extended to include watercraft and recreational vehicles.

  1. Technology instead of manpower. The thousands of man hours expended by emergency services, particularly Police, can be dramatically reduced in multiple circumstances by the G-Tag Policing will become more efficient and effective reducing pressure on Police resources.

 

  1. Criminal activity
  2. Terrorism Investigations would have the advantage of monitoring vehicles with G-Tag’s without intrusion to better understand the risks posed by suspects.

The use of vehicles as a weapon in Terrorism is common place in the current war zones and is likely to appear in Australia when daesh fighters and or their families return bringing that knowledge with them.

  1. Criminal Behaviour –There is a current spate of home invasions where perpetrators physically confront victims in their homes by forced entry to gain access to keys to steal high end motor vehicles. This type of activity is on the rise, there is a substantial risk that serious harm if not the death of a victim. The ability to track these vehicles by G-Tag and immobilise them is very attractive to the victims and Police.
  2. Illicit Drugs must be transported in vehicles at some stage. Access to G-Tag technology will provide invaluable assistance in managing the importation and trafficking of drugs.

 

  1. Hoon Drivers –can be monitored and removed from our roads. Known hoons’ vehicles can be tagged in the G-Tag system and an alarm indicating when like tagged vehicles are identified by the system to be congregating can give Police the opportunity to intervene before the dangers escalate.

 

  1. Police Pursuits – This technology virtually eliminates the need for a pursuit and the disabling of the car by G-Tag reduces risk to the Community, the Police and even the offender.

 

  1. Emergency vehicles – can easily and reliably be located and managed when civil emergencies occur. g. incident managers could recognise the precise locations of fire appliances during bushfire outbreaks, so as to direct them to where they are most needed – or away from impending danger.
  2. Arial surveillance – Currently undertaken by the Police Air wing there are limitations with availability and response times. The G-Tag will not replace the need for Arial Surveillance as a Policing tool but the G-Tag will greatly enhance the effectiveness of the Air Wing reducing operating costs.

 

  1. Legal implications – The data recorded in the G-Tag system has evidentiary value as does E-Tags and Security Cameras, however the potential for the improved data available from G-Tags will provide strong data of evidentiary value for Prosecution and Defence in equal benefit, further improving our judicial system.

 

 

Setting the case for Part 2 of this proposal using G-Tag.

The first part of this proposal using a converted E-Tag’s will only reach a percentage of the Victorian fleet and unless a case can be presented for voluntary take up of G-Tags based on the E-Tag system the limitations although not totally limiting will reduce the overall potential of the program. The advantage in converting E-Tags to G-Tags will ensure a rapid introduction of the program.

Part 2 is the introduction of more sophisticated G-Tag’s (technology is currently available) that are hard wired into the vehicles electronics and fitted where they cannot be easily removed or interfered with. This technology adds a new layer where the vehicles electronics can be activated remotely to put the vehicle into limp home mode (reducing its top speed to 80KPH) before activating the engine immobiliser to halt the vehicle. The only limitations will be that certain vehicles do not have the limp home mode and would be stopped at a safe place.

The upgraded G-Tags would need to be fitted to all new vehicles including trucks pre delivery and fitted to all cars as part of the roadworthy process. A moratorium would be required to set a reasonable time that all vehicles must comply, similar to other safety initiatives including seat belt introduction.

Stage 2 will allow Police to intervene to stop the commission or continuance of a crime the primary role of Police.

The issue of re-establishing the functionality of the vehicle when recovered, or is no longer a threat, is again a technical issue that should not prove insurmountable. If it can be switched off it can be switched on, it is just a matter of protocols.

The cost debate

There is a cost but as this is a new innovation the technology development costs of G-Tag would be well offset by marketing the initiative interstate and overseas. A fee for service arrangement, assisting set up and a fee for intellectual property would generate substantial income.

Part of the development costs could be covered by the Insurance Industry and TAC who both stand to gain considerably. There would be nominal cost recovery from the users in the installation of a device into the existing fleet – manufacturers would be required to fit the device pre- delivery on all new vehicles.

An offset to the toll operator’s contribution will be the income generated when tracking devices are fitted to the Victorian fleet to include the E-Tag function in the G-Tag effectively the E-Tag would be redundant.

With savings achieved to the State economy the overall cost will be well offset. Recurring costs would be in part recovered by beneficiaries, namely Insurance companies, Toll operators, TAC and the user.

Car owners will have to bear some costs, subsidised for Welfare recipients but the cost should not be prohibitive somewhere under $200.

The proposal to introduce a pay as you use system for registration, third party and comprehensive insurance will contribute to the set up and recurring cost of the system. The system could therefore potentially protect innocent victims from financial hardship as a result of vehicle damage – Potentially the initiative could be cost positive.

Technology

Anybody who own a smart phone or has a Satellite navigation device is acutely aware of the power and application of technology.

Currently advertised on the internet for $35 is a tracking device that can be attached to a vehicle and linked to a smart phone. The technology exists and is small and relatively cheap.

With the increasing sophistication of motor vehicles and their reliance on computers to manage their engines an opportunity exists to intervene in a vehicle’s performance. A large part (and increasing) of the Victorian fleet are vehicles that have an  inbuilt  “Limp Home Mode” in their computer systems designed, to protect the engine from further damage should a fault be detected

It is a matter of connecting the dots. If we can identify a vehicle using GPS locating technology by a G-Tag, we only need to develop a mechanism to access the vehicle’s computer via the G-Tag to activate the “Limp Home Mode” or the vehicles,” Immobilisation technology”.  A SIM card is the solution.

By designing and fitting an after-market G-Tag to attached to the electronics of vehicle’s the function of the vehicle can be managed. The power supply for the G-Tag is then secured for the life of the vehicle. The simplest method to communicate with the vehicle electronics is by a SIM card in the device using the Mobile network to communicate with the cars computer.

 

The Issue of Privacy

In the 1980’s there was a very vocal minority who saw themselves as the keepers of our privacy objecting to the installation of the eight CCTV cameras for a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Melbourne. They vocalised on the prying eyes and the abuse that would occur should the cameras not be removed immediately the conference was finished- “It’s a Police State”, was the mantra of the group.

Their plaintive cries are now fairly humorous, when we look around at the number of cameras that watch us on a daily basis but there is no community concern as it has been demonstrated that they serve the greater good, and law abiding citizens do not care if they are watched.  Indeed, governments actively encourage wider use of CCTV in public places and the take-up of private CCTV systems – including those monitoring public spaces – is impressive.

This initiative has a distinct advantage over the CCTV cameras. The Cameras have a deterrent effect and assist with identifying perpetrators but they cannot stop or prevent the continuation of a crime – the G-Tag can.

For anybody  worried about the movement of their vehicle being monitored then realise there is over 5 million vehicles in Victoria so nobody would have the time the resources or the interest to monitor every vehicle – it will be enough just monitoring vehicle that are of particular interest- law abiding citizens just hide in the crowd.

-there is no reason to hide if you are being lawful.

 

Impact on Judicial processes.

The implementation of this system will provide the Judiciary with and alternative in the sentencing of offenders particularly for the less serious traffic infringements and in some case other criminal activity.
Currently lives are ruined financially and otherwise by fines and driving restrictions that cause offenders to loose employment and the capacity to pay fines and in this double jeopardy can ruin many young people’s lives. Correcting bad behaviour by bad outcomes destroys the chance of future compliance and does not lead to future compliance but can in desperation lead particularly young people towards crime and in desperation drugs to escape what they see as a hopeless situation from which they see no escape.

The G-Tag system can be used to manage the use of a vehicle to certain roads and or times to allow Offenders to continue in employment therefore enabling them to pay the fines but still having their mobility curtailed dramatically to serve as a punishment.

We are not suggesting this facility become run of the mill but for cases where a driver may exceed .05 after a reading shows residual alcohol or drugs in the low range. Or where breaches of Licence offences and registration matters can be managed without ruining lives.

The increase in penalty recovery would justify offenders retaining employment and avoid forcing people onto welfare and damaging the States productivity.

 

System Security

There will need to be legislation that includes safeguards for privacy and safeguards against tampering with the system either the physical equipment or any signal emitted.

One of the best securities of the privacy of individuals is the overall size of the Victorian fleet. The agency monitoring the data will be necessarily focused on the important data and the average law abiding citizen will only be exposed to the system when they are a victim.

Conclusion

The G-Tag is an “out there” proposal but there are a myriad far more extreme ideas that once seemed farfetched that are now accepted as the mainstream norm, worldwide web, television and the telephone!

Anybody who has a mobile phone, shops at a supermarket or a volume traders store, has interaction with any political organisation, uses the internet, uses a financial institution, has an interaction with Health or Education systems and takes out Insurance, is part of the workforce or reliant on welfare has more detail of their lives recorded, trolled through and assessed than we care to think about but it is a price we are prepared to pay for convenience and quality of life.

We now accept security cameras as a way of life as well as the dreaded speed cameras, an acceptable inconvenience that serves the greater good.

It will take leadership and innovative thought to implement this proposal, however the advantages to the community makes it a worthwhile project.

Our Prime Minister calls for Innovation – this is innovation that will save lives.

“I have worked hard to own my car and if it gets stolen I would be very happy that it could be located and disabled as soon as it is reported (minimising damage to it) . It would be a bonus that the low life that did it was caught.” A view that would be shared by the overwhelming majority of Victorians.

Recommendation

That a working party be established by Government to draft the legislation to establish a G-Tag Authority with the role of developing the technology and designing the model for the ongoing management and operation of the system.

 

Ivan W. Ray

Secretary

Community Advocacy Alliance

POLICE RESORT TO INDUSTRIAL ACTION – Part 2

POLICE RESORT TO INDUSTRIAL ACTION – Part 2

The iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, built in 1250 and located on the Île de la Cité (an island in the Seine) in Paris, was gutted by fire in 2019. French President Emmanuel Macron declared at the time that the Cathedral would be completely rebuilt.

The task, starting with the foundations and everything above, is slated for reopening in 2024, six years after what was criticised as a very optimistic five-year target set by Macron.

And what relevance does this dauntless undertaking have to Victoria Police and the current industrial relations issue? Quite a lot.

Given all the challenges faced by the French, this arduous task will be one of the most outstanding achievements of all time, demonstrating that given the right goals, an unwavering focus on the result and motivation, anything can be achieved.

The critical issues required to achieve this outcome are,

  • Visionary and intellectually sound Leadership,
  • Unwavering support from the political class,
  • A committed artisan workforce who could see the goals set,
  • and an equally committed citizenry.

Each of these components is of equal value to achieve the overall goal.

Those values directly correlate with how to address the problems of Victoria Police and how the issue must be approached – the Industrial action is but a symptom of a more significant issue that needs the application of the principles adopted by the French.

The first challenge for those with executive influence over the Force is to admit shortcomings and address them head-on rather than deflect them with spin. For many problems, Industrial Relations tops the list; solutions cannot be achieved with a series of band-aids but by addressing the core issues.

While the current IR issues must be resolved, unless authentic leadership comes to the fore and restoration of this once great organisation is undertaken to be the benchmark for policing in Australia again, IR issues will continue to plague the organisation and increase in frequency, sucking the energy that should be applied to its function, impacting adversely on the Workforce and  Service delivery.

We will persist in drawing attention to the issues that require urgent consideration.

ISSUES

  • COVID Impact on Police

Policing is a proud and was generally a highly respected profession.

There is no doubt that the use of the police by the Government during the COVID pandemic has done enormous harm to the standing of police in the community. The current disquiet and much of the disastrous staff retention failures can be attributed to COVID. The damage done is seismic and will linger, reverberating for at least a decade or more.

The police have worn the brunt of much of the displeasure caused by the Government strategies implemented during COVID, mainly experienced in their private lives through friends, acquaintances and family, making it more emphatic than normal community disquiet.

We, as observers with some knowledge of the processes that should be followed and best practices in law enforcement, consider that the government’s strategy to scare the pants off the community coupled with overzealous and incompetent police leaders collided, trampling all over the Separation of Powers to produce some very ordinary policing of the type we usually only see in other undemocratic countries with authoritarian regimes.

We are still astounded that the person who authorised the use of firearms to disperse demonstrators has not been identified and charged with serious criminal offences or, at the very least, relieved of any command positions because of an appalling lack of judgement.

To this day, there has been no plausible deniability from VicPol.

Given that leaders, both Political and Police, are quick to apologise for anything historical, the failure to acknowledge the many COVID errors and commit to change shows abysmal leadership.

The CAA has long argued that the responsible use of water cannons to rapidly achieve law and order by dampening the spirits of lawbreakers in the first instance or forcibly moving demonstrators if non-compliance continues is substantially more appropriate than firing rubber bullets (capable of inflicting severe injury or death) or exposing Police to injury trying to restore order. This option must be put under earnest consideration.

  • Roads Policing

As is not unexpected, given the reaction by the Police and the Politicians (if they ever care to comment constructively), there is much-feigned handwringing and teeth-gnashing over the shocking road toll. Victoria has recorded its highest number of lives lost on the roads in 15 years, with 296 people killed. The death toll of almost 300 easily eclipsed the 241 who died in accidents in 2022.

One would have thought strident gains in policing our roads would have improved markedly over fifteen years, but apparently not.

These figures support the regular anecdotal claims that there are never Police on the road.

This statement in response to the carnage was attributed to Victoria police by the Herald Sun and shows the narrow thinking of VicPol –

Police allege,

“Single acts of non-compliance or people making basic driving errors”, such as failing to obey road signs and red lights, using mobile phones behind the wheel and low-range spee

ding, have accounted for more than half of the deaths, while stunts such as high-range drink driving, illicit drug driving and excessive speeding made up about a quarter of fatal collisions.

Further, about 10 per cent of people killed were not wearing a seat belt”.SEO

 What they don’t say, and is not in their DNA to admit, is that they have failed. Just blaming the public; it’s always somebody else’s fault. Although there is a modicum of merit in their allegations, the Policing function of preventing offences and prosecuting offenders cannot be abrogated and has clearly and dismally failed. Many of these offences would dramatically decline with adequate visible enforcement of the rules.

Although there is still an Assistant Commissioner for Traffic, it is our understanding that line control of these Police rests with the Operations Command and has, in effect, absorbed the specialist Traffic Police to support the Operational General Duties. They must be allocated to their own command to meaningfully target areas that can deal with some of the ‘non-compliance issues’ and be accountable.

The Traffic police have lost their deterrent effect, which must be fixed. Just painting ‘Highway Patrol’ on their vehicles doesn’t cut it. The average driver no longer keeps an eye on their rearview mirror in case the police check their speed; technology (Speed Cameras) has its advantages but has nowhere near the deterrent effect of a patrol car in real-time.

Using Highway Patrol for general duties should be a matter of last resort. As should the use of these Police in special operations unrelated to traffic.

A functional adjustment will dramatically improve productivity and a sense of worth and appreciation for what they do. It will also counter attrition issues from these members, considerably improving Industrial Relations.

The only caveat we put forth is that the nine-hour rotating roster could be dangerous to apply to these members as the challenge of nine hours of driving reduces the safety of members and, over consecutive days, may put them in danger of fatigue, an OH&S issue.

  • 000 calls from the public reporting dangerous drivers is a monumental Service delivery failure in that there is minimal follow-up of reports of poor driving, arguably aggravating an already dire policing failure on our roads.

mpressive until you look a little further and realise that without plausible explanations, it is smoke and mirrors, a deceitful and shocking attempt to con the public by VicPol or the contractors.

The other notable figure is that in 2022, 51,305 events were recorded. Now, that is odd and a 14,519 discrepancy. Fourteen thousand five hundred nineteen times, jobs not registered as incoming were despatched via the system.

Where did they materialise from?

We don’t know who is to blame for this statistical bleep. However, when you add to that, there is no assignment accountability; it does need proper investigation.

Once the call from the public is received, the CAD system enters the job, and an operator either assigns or despatches a unit.

We know that the vast majority of these calls are never attended and marked off on the CAD System as Gone on arrival (GOA), No Offence Disclosed (NOD), or the most usual response is Keep a look out for (KALF), a generic broadcast of the details reported or the other classic Unable to Locate (UTL) which can also mean we did not look.

There is no accountability, follow-up or feedback, even by SMS, of the outcome to the 51,305 publicly-minded community members doing their civic duty.

Only about 1,000 calls resulted in any real action, and as a result, 906 offences were detected, 117 offenders were apprehended, and six stolen cars were located.

This last statistical matrix should have every dedicated and competent Police member, irrespective of rank,  salivating at the potential and furious that this opportunity to make a real difference has been ignored for so long. Over 50,000 sets of eyes working for law and order is getting close, to policing nirvana. (Buddhism)

Examples of the CAD system as it should be,

  1. Two vehicles were seen “dragging” along Ferntree Gully Road Glen Waverley; theregistration numbers of both cars were provided.  There was no police vehicle available to attend, and the outcome was recorded as AAC (All Apparently Correct). A check of police records indicated that the probable driver of one vehicle had accumulated 19 demerit points and had recent criminal convictions for serious offences. He was into high-performance drag cars.  The caller was contacted and stated she was a nurse at the Alfred Hospital and constantly saw people in emergency involved in vehicle collisions. The drivers were ultimately interviewed and later pleaded guilty to driving offences in court.
  2. A Vehicle was seendriving dangerously on the Monash Freeway towards the city.  The supervising sergeant requested that a unit be directed to investigate.  The supervising sergeant replied shortly that the registered owner and the reporting person had been contacted. The registered owner stated that her granddaughter was driving the vehicle. A further check revealed that the granddaughter has numerous prior convictions associated with drug use.

Contrasted with

  • An example of tragic consequences was a drug-affected driver who was later convicted of culpable driving.  In 10 days before he caused a fatal collision, numerous calls were made to 000 reporting his erratic driving. Any of the incidents reported to police could have amounted to Conduct Endangering Life or Serious Injury, in which case it would have been open to Victoria Police members to arrest and bail him with conditions, thus providing an immediate response and saving a life; it never happened.

Can you imagine what impact VicPol could have on crime and traffic issues if the efforts of the public were respected and pursued? Not even a return ‘text’ with a note of thanks and the outcome to the instigator of the original call. So much for nurturing public help.

One would think having over 50,000 Victorians providing eyes for law enforcement would be respected and built upon, not treated with disdain.

Another example where it’s not how many police the force has but how they are used that is the key.

  • Service Delivery

This is critical to improving industrial relations as an organisation is respected for its ability to deliver its services. Hence, its staff reap the benefit of working in a rewarding environment and management is duly rewarded.

The problem for VicPol is that they seem not to understand what Service Delivery is, and it is regularly confused with Service Efficiency and masqueraded as Service Delivery. A good organisation constantly tests Service Efficiency proposals through the prism of Service Delivery, which always trumps efficiency.

Something more efficient is counterintuitive if it adversely impacts Service Delivery, the organisation’s primary function, and its purpose.

The lifeblood of Policing is information, and an area with the most significant conflicts between the two disciplines has collided to the detriment of good policing practises.

  • Telephone communications, much to our surprise, and we might add to the surprise of a Deputy Commissioner, who didn’t know you cannot ring Police Headquarters, the Police Headquarters phones have been disconnected. The switchboard has been closed. So, unless you have a particular member’s phone number, you will have enormous trouble communicating.

This example is just one of many where the decisions are made based on efficiency at the expense of service.

If you have ever tried to use the 113444 police assistance line, you are more likely not to be assisted but around as to make the effort a waste of time. But never fear, the police assistance line provides service efficiencies, albeit it fails dramatically in providing an efficient service.

An efficient switchboard would ironically save time and improve service both internally and externally. Improving both service efficiency and service delivery.

This is magnified throughout the Force, even down to local Police Stations ( -who at least have a Phone number), where several options will be given in answer to your call; the quantity varies on each station but can be a substantial number for the caller to determine which one they should use.

The responsibility to determine whom the caller should talk to has been placed on the caller, who is supposed to know the intricacies and duties within the station and who will deliver the required Service, not the service provider, VicPol. Often, much time is wasted bouncing a call around within a Station, and the one left frustrated, the caller, is supposed to be the person to whom police are required to provide a Service.

This approach is based on the flawed assumption that all callers know whom to talk to about their issues, but unlike the police, who have access to a detailed directory, the public is left to flounder. Blatant and entrenched Service Efficiency at the expense of Service Delivery as it allegedly saves Police resources and time, or does it? The answer is only an obscure maybe, but what about delivering the police service, an abject failure?

  • Tactical deficiencies affecting IR.

We have been concerned for some time about the lack of tactical expertise that unnecessarily puts the lives of police and the public at greater risk than they should otherwise. This issue is central to IR or should be.

With a heightened international upsurge in radical extremism, the risk to police has markedly increased again.

The blind adherence to two-up patrols translates into Police never being one-up, irrespective of the task. That effectively reduced police capability by up to 50%.

Police patrolling by vehicle or on foot in two-up or more patrols face greater danger than patrolling by themselves because,

    • A partner or partners distract members from their crucial defence mechanism, situational awareness.
    • Having to manage professional relationships and colleague dynamics can cloud the judgement of when to pursue an issue or back off.
    • Multiple Police involved in performing patrols can provide multiple attractive targets for the radicalised, and history has shown fewer police have been killed working one-up, making one-up patrols less dangerous.
    • The risk factors are exhibited by unnecessary police congregating to minimise their risks. Poor or inadequate supervision leads to Police being spectators (the most dangerous situation for any police member)and not performing any particular role at incidents. A spectator generally has no situational awareness and is in danger.

Again, anecdotally, we see the less stringent application of the two-up policy, which is good; however, any move in this direction must be taken with care as less experienced members may have no situational awareness policing skills. This should be the priority of Training and a skill that must be developed.

More often than not, the concept of one-up patrols is misunderstood and rapidly dismissed as some archaic policing practice when, in parts of the world, the idea is seen as cutting-edge for the safety and efficacy of the Policing role.

One-up patrols do not mean fewer police but more police vehicles, heightening the visible police presence and reducing risks by attending to calls simultaneously with other patrol vehicles.

As a station that might, on an average shift, field three vehicles, under this scenario, they would probably field five or six, substantially improving the efficacy of the police function for that shift. Once the initial phase of an incident is controlled, it may only require one member to finish collecting information for admin purposes or any other reason. The other police, who are not directly engaged, can be available for different tasks. It can be very effective with active and competent local supervision.

The issue of police safety working one up or with one or more partners was closely examined at https://www.aic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-05/tbp049.pdf. The findings did not provide sufficient grounds for abandoning one-up patrols based on police safety or efficiency.

  • Technological agnosticism

This seems to have a substantially negative effect on Victoria Police. Everything in this area appears piecemeal and developed by a series of add-ons that do not achieve overall application cost-effectively.

The most recent issues involved the attempt to have all members issued an iPad, and the increased service efficiency sounded great until somebody woke up and that an iPad was a liability in the operations area and a risk to employees ‘ safety. Wrestling suspects while holding an iPad became an evident and terminal flaw.

The answer was to provide members with an iPhone, but instead of developing an iPhone that can perform the tasks of a body-worn camera, it is used as an add-on to the existing cameras.

Microelectronics Technology has developed miniaturised cameras that are currently used in medicine and other applications, so why not policing?

Micro cameras worn by Police connected to their iPhones would not be a giant leap technologically but would be welcomed by the members and improve their safety.

The cameras could then be used with facial recognition to scan suspects, establishing identity and other relevant police data on-site. This information can be vital for members’ safety during an interaction in the field.

  • G-Tags

A proposal long pursued by the CAA to apply technology currently available, to the police function.

Fitted to all vehicles, the G-Tag can,

    • Minimise the risk to police and the community by disabling moving vehicles remotely. The capacity to render a vehicle inoperable will dramatically reduce the need for ‘police pursuits’, the dangers to the community and police, and the inevitable property damage. The technology has been available for some time and has already been installed in many newer vehicles.
    • Provide more material of evidentiary value in prosecutions where a vehicle is involved,
    • Locate missing persons, reducing loss of life by self-harm,
    • Reduce the theft of vehicles and affect recovery before the ubiquitous torching of vehicles.
    • An aid to identifying perpetrators using vehicles.
    • Linked to the 000 reporting of dangerous driving, the G-Tag can verify that report and take action immediately. Using the current 50,000,000 calls coupled with an ability to respond immediately if the danger exists would have a monumentally positive impact on Road safety, criminality, and civil compliance.

There are other advantages set out in the proposal at https://caainc.org.au/?s=G-Tag .

We know that VicPol ran a pilot of an abridged version of the concept in Dandenong; however, given the approach adopted, it is a little wonder that the pilot failed. We suspect this was more about a deliberate attempt to discredit the idea rather than any effort to evaluate the proposal properly.

It was telling that at no stage did the management running the pilot attempt to contact or consult with the CAA so as to run an unbiased pilot.

What little information we have on the pilot indicates that those responsible for it had little idea of the concept and were piloting a system that removed all responsibility from policing, a trait we have seen in other approaches to other issues – avoiding responsibility, masked as Service Efficiency, and or lacking the ability to apply visionary and intellectually sound Leadership.

The critical issues required to achieve positive outcomes are lacking in Victoria Police, and leadership needs to follow the French model,

    • Visionary and intellectually sound Leadership,
    • Unwavering support from the political class,
    • A committed artisan workforce who could see the goals set,
    • and an equally committed citizenry.

These and other issues need attention, and we do not underestimate the task ahead, but if the French can do it with Notre Dame, then VicPol should have no problems achieving what seems unachievable; it just takes ‘Visionary and intellectually sound Leadership’.

The opportunity exists for VicPol leadership to create a seminal moment in Victoria Police history.

BOURKE STREET

BOURKE STREET

24th November 2020

The Inquest into the terrible tragedy that unfolded in Bourke Street Melbourne on 20th January 2017 has now concluded, and we acknowledge the difficulty that the Coroner, Her Honour Jacquie Harkins, faced and her sensitivity in handling a significant and challenging inquest.

The CAA has restrained comments on this terrible episode; however, it is now appropriate that we should raise our concerns that can be considered as an adjunct to the Coroners recommendations.

We acknowledge that the findings of the Coroner are generally sound, but we are of the view that they have not gone far enough. Technology-based protection, the issue of Victoria Police Culture, as it then was, and the culpability issues have not been fully addressed.

The CAA is disappointed that the opportunity to use technology has been again overlooked. Since 2016, the CAA has been encouraging the State of Victoria to adopt new technology to avoid just this sort of incident.  https://caainc.org.au/the-g-tag-a-new-paradigm-in-community-safety/.

The technology we refer to can stop or disable a vehicle that poses a public risk. The technology capable of this already exists in many new vehicles and the components that function well, have been in the commercial space for many years, it only needs coordination to achieve this resource for the community good.

The application of this technology will save lives now and into the future.

The Bourke street massacre was predictable and inevitable. Given overseas experiences that vehicles would be used as a weapon, either against an individual or many. Whether motivated by ideology or mental instability, there will always be the risk of somebody deciding to use a vehicle as a weapon, and it will happen again. Likewise, it cannot be discounted that criminals will resort to the vehicle as a weapon in certain circumstances.

We again call on the Government to look seriously at the CAA G-Tag proposal.

We were also concerned at the focus of the Coroner on the lower ranks of Victoria Police when referring to a negative culture.

We think this criticism avoids the real problem within Victoria Police that contributed substantially to police failures but has not received the attention the failure deserves.

The coroner overlooked the equation of 452 + 1 + 40 x 10 = 0, even though it looks wrong.

That equation represents the number of Commissioned Officers in Victoria Police, plus one Chief Commissioner who had a staff of forty at the time who must have known of this incident or should have. The ten represents the duration of the event in hours and the zero, the number of Officers who took command.

It beggars belief that with over four hundred and fifty Commissioned Officers of Inspector and above within Victoria Police, not one felt that they should take command, or inquire who was in command of a serious incident that spanned some ten hours.

It was left to an Air Observer in the Police Helicopter to issue decisive instructions for action in Bourke Street. Not an Officer to be seen or heard.

Every Police Commissioned Officer should accept a moral responsibility to refer to their diary and determine what they were doing for that critical ten hours. Then where appropriate, reflect on their failure to the Police members involved, all Victorians, and in particular the six who died, the twenty-seven injured and all those adversely impacted by this incident because of a lack of leadership.

Then each Officer should then undertake some serious introflexion as to whether they have honoured the Commission they hold and the Force they serve.

Therein lays the cultural flaw, a failure to take responsibility, a failure to take command and a failure to accept responsibility. The officers are paid the big dollars in the organisation but are exposed to the least risk, which must change.

Leadership must be reinstated.

The much-hackneyed phrase, ‘a creeping assumption’ has eroded the Command and Control that the operational police are entitled to expect from their Officers and leaders‘, that erosion has caused the Commissioned Officers role to morph into one that avoids accountability and responsibility, both traits they expect their subordinates to display.

This phenomenon is the root cause of the overall problem, and the responsibility for allowing this assumption to evolve rests with only one person, the Chief Commissioner of that day.

The removal of all Officers from direct operational Supervision has been a major structural failure. There is no longer direct command support of senior police to the operational realities faced on the ground by police day in day out. This disconnect has an adverse effect on the organisation as the senior ranks lose touch with the issues faced by their staff.

It is disappointing that the Coroner did not lay the blame where it should lay instead of generally skirting around accountability.

This disaster is falling into the big basket with a number of other substantial failures of Government and or its agencies where nobody is held to account.

The failure to hold people to account for their actions, or lack thereof, is a disgrace.

Did Victoria Police apologise for failing the victims?

Yet again, it was left to a Senior Constable during the Inquest to deliver the sort of apology that the victim’s relatives needed, and to which they were entitled.

Chief Commissioner Ashton should have issued that apology at the Inquest in person, and it will be to his eternal shame that he did not.

It may bring the downfall of a few Departmental heads and their Political masters before the penny will drop that their comfortable jobs and huge salaries are not a gratuity from the people whose taxes provide the largess they enjoy. We expect a quid pro quô; do your job and make sure the part of the organisation you are charged with leading, functions to best practise, because, if not, your tenure should be far from guaranteed – that is accountability.

We are confident that Chief Commissioner Patton will move rapidly to address many of these issues and we call on the Government to support the Chief in this endeavor.

Additionally, we call on the Government to legislate the mandatory installation in all vehicles of the GPS technology described in our G-tag proposal, with the creation of an allied facility to operate the system.

A world-first that will contribute to Victoria being again the state of Innovation.

The Doctrine of unintended consequences

The Doctrine of unintended consequences

10th December 2018

Motor cars fitted with engine immobiliser has by and large become the norm for late model cars in Victoria.

Whether this has led to a reduction in car thefts is a moot point but what we know what it has done. It has increased the frequency of home invasions by perpetrators accessing the car keys.

And now police are calling for the public to hide the keys and not leave then easily visible near door or windows.

The unintended consequences may make this advice counterproductive.

Now the crooks will have to wake up the victims to locate the keys, good one VicPol.

There are a number of commercial tracking devices that owners can fit to their vehicle that can be tracked by their mobile phone to alert Police.

Another top idea, which will lead to an increase in phone theft along with the keys.

The Victoria Police is encouraging an increase of risk to the community not lowering it.

 

Overseas fingerprint recognition technology was installed in some high end vehicles to protect them. The problem was the thieves used the owners fingers to open and activate the cars. Whether the fingers were still attached to the victim was problematic – the initiative was soon phased out.

 

The CAA has for a long time proposed a system that will deal with all of these concerns and add substantially to community safety not detract from it.

The G-Tag is waiting; it only needs a genuine commitment from Government and Police to achieve the reality of a safer community not a more dangerous one.