BEING EMPTY A SOBERING REALITY

BEING EMPTY A SOBERING REALITY

Herald Sun 24/5/2024 The Collingwood Drunk Tank is still a mess, but this time how it operates.

In the Herald Sun on 24th of May 2024, the reality of Melbourne’s sobering up centres has been exposed for the nonsensical dream created by some faceless government official who, although they may have experienced drunkenness personally, has never had to deal with drunks day in and day out.

It is a pity that the architect/s have not had to confront drunkenness on the streets. the Police is as stupid as the idea that drunks are only taken to the sobering facilities if they agree.

There is probably some relief for police that they don’t have to deal with obnoxious drunks. But it goes against their grain, or duty of care, just to leave them, as the police know the risks that exposes the drunks to.

When we initially heard that the drunks had to consent to be taken to a Sobering facility, we thought this was some joke as we all know drunks are, in their minds, all sober or only slightly affected. The statistics bear this out, with an average of only two people using the facilities in Melbourne per day at an unbelievable cost of $12K per drunk. But outreach workers have assisted 5625 drunks.

It is a classic of fixing a problem that barely exists.

That is hugely embarrassing for the Government because this project only deals with people who are not too drunk.  How the degree of drunkenness is determined is a mystery, and then ambulances are called for those drunks, in part defeating the purposes of the facility, loading the issue back onto emergency services and overcrowded Hospital ER services.

If they are too drunk, what is the sobering facility’s purpose – only for nice, clean drunks?

Like the Injecting Room, that also won’t let anybody in if they are too drug-affected or drunk.

The behaviour of these facilities reeks of discrimination where personal factors determine whether the service is provided, unlike emergency Services, which do not have the luxury to discriminate.

The obvious solution is to scrap the centres and leave the welfare of drunks to outreach workers, saving millions and providing a better outcome for drunks.

The facilities can be repurposed so that people affected by drugs can be housed for a period so professionals can address their health and addiction.

A hiatus in their addiction will go a long way to diverting many away from drug dependence. See https://caainc.org.au/sometimes-there-is-just-a-better-way

The whole issue of the drunks must be rethought, with the test being the drunk’s mental acuity and physical shape, not some other nebulous discriminatory concept.

This must be a priority and not include the architects who dreamt up the absurd program we have been lumbered with.

Given the State’s financial crisis, the money allocated could be diverted to more pressing issues, like our state debt.

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POLICE PRIDE MARCH A VALUABLE LESSON.

POLICE PRIDE MARCH A VALUABLE LESSON.

To see police involved in a fracas  at the recent Pride march is deplorable. This outcome was inevitable, and police should never have put themselves in this position.

Irrespective of who was the instigator of the melee, the Police, instead of performing the police function to solve a social problem, were part of it.

The seeds for this outcome were sown some twenty years ago when the Police moved from policing the event to being part of it.

The CAA logo features Lady Justice, who is depicted as blindfolded, showing Justice is blind.

The meaning is profound and forms the basis of our Justice system, which includes the Police.

Police must never become part of the issue and remain independent to exercise their powers in a dispassionate way, not showing favouritism or bias to the problems they are policing.

Being part of this march destroys impartiality and undermines the fundamental role of the Police.

We also noticed Police uniforms adorned in trinkets supporting the pride genera. These displays, supporting a particular cause, would be irreverent to many and detract from the impartiality that Police should project and preserve.

These displays must not be worn on uniforms or, for that matter, any clothing while a police member is on duty. It is a matter of professional pride.

It also could be argued that this police activity is in breach of their Oath of Office.

…that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign as a police officer in Victoria in any capacity in which I may be appointed, promoted, or reduced to, without favour or affection, malice or ill-will for the period of [ insert period ] from this date, and until I am legally discharged, that I will see and cause the peace to be kept and preserved, and that I will prevent to the best of my power all offences, and that while I continue to be a police officer I will to the best of my skill and knowledge discharge all the duties legally imposed on me faithfully and according to law.

This issue has nothing to do with the personal preferences exercised by any member of the Force in their private lives. That is their business, and if they want to march, they have every right to participate, just not in uniform.

In many ways, this clash was inevitable.

According to reports, there has been anti-police sentiment for a long time, and leadership should have been taken to avoid the inevitable confrontation.

In this event, participants dress up gregariously, as is their right; however, by high-level participation by the Police, they are relegating the uniform to fancy dress.

There are always huge risks when police favour one particular group, and we are confident that the Police Command would not tolerate uniformed Police marching in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, anti-COVID, Union movement, anti-government, environmental or the myriad of other special interest groups.

The test may again come as those who support Palestine become more vociferously anti-Israel as that war drags on.

Police, like all Australians, are entitled to exercise their right to lawful assembly, just not in uniform.

We encourage Victoria Police, in the interest of fair justice for all, to issue a direction that police on or off duty cannot participate in any demonstrations or cause in uniform.

Demonstrating a bias for or against any particular interest group is counterintuitive to effective policing.