10th October 2019
There has been constant and justifiable criticism of the lack of Police on our Highways. Letters to the media have often lamented that trips from Victoria though other states have a marked difference in the visible police presence on their highways and a distinct lack of a Police presence in Victoria.
The highways can be a foreboding place with vast distances to be covered and the police not only provide a presence for traffic law enforcement, but the community feels safer using the highways with this presence.
The standard answer as to why there are less police on Victorian Highways is generally blamed on the two up policy for Police introduced as a safety measure a few years ago.
At that time, there was a heightened concern of terrorism, and while we must always be mindful that the threat exists it would have seemed to have abated somewhat over recent times.
It is now time that the Highway Patrol issue is revisited in light of the current risks and apply some lateral thought on how this issue might be improved.
Arguably, the highest risk for any operational police member is a lack of situational awareness. That lack of awareness can be a critical contributor to the dangers of policing.
Part of the solution to the Highway problem is the provision of more cars.
Instead of Highway cars being two up in one car, why can’t they be one up in two vehicles.
Working a stretch of a highway together, the one up cars can maintain a visual and or close radio contact not operating more than five or six kilometres apart, from their colleague and should back up intercepts to ensure safety.
Working in tandem this way could also see the reintroduction of Police motorcycle solos working in tandem with a police member in a car.
The flexibility of this approach has many positive spin-offs and will dramatically increase the Police presence in fairly short order.
After all, it will be cheaper to buy that additional car than hire another two members to put that additional police vehicle on the highway.
CEO. Exec Sec. CAA