WOKE JOKE MEETS REALITY SHOCK

WOKE JOKE MEETS REALITY SHOCK

Pic. courtesy Herald Sun

Victoria Police have been roundly and grossly unfairly criticised, as reported by ABC today, after a confidential briefing on Youth Gangs to the Justice Department policymakers in May of 2023, which the woke attendees attacked.

But this report based on FIO submissions says more about the ineptitude and professional incompetence of the woke complainers than an error of judgment by the Police.

Their primary beef was it was too graphic, showing real situations. Although all attendees were pre-warned that the content was graphic, many of the attendees did not like information that was not sugar-coated for their sensitivities.

See –

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-05-27/victoria-police-youth-crime-presentation-labelled-racist/103877374

The story relates to an attempt by VicPol to give ‘alleged’ professionals involved in the youth space a better understanding and insight into the problem they are dealing with. Decisions made in ignorance are never good.

This seminar was organised at the behest of Justice Department Juvenile Division members. It was attended by ‘dozens of staff’ from the Department and some from the Premier’s Department. Other stakeholders were also invited.

The conference lasted two and a half hours and featured actual CCTV footage of incidents involving youth gangs.

All invitees were informed by email the day before that the presentation would contain very graphic material that may be unpleasant to some. The email unambiguously read,

“graphic footage that some attendees may find confronting, and people might want to “excuse themselves” if they found it distressing.”.

The numerous complaints had one theme: denouncing their exposure to reality.

Among the complaints published by the ABC were,

  • Multiple staff said the warning was insufficient for what was shown,
  • One staff member said to put it “bluntly”, police “should have said ‘we are about to show you someone get stabbed to death’.”
  • “Very graphic and violent footage” from a “range of serious violent incidents including stabbings and still images involving young people and adults allegedly involved both as victims and perpetrators”.
  • “Unclear purpose of showing [this] video is.”
  • While several people acknowledged the “traumatic experiences” officers faced and the need for policymakers to “understand the practical and operational realities” of frontline police work, they didn’t think the presentation helped achieve this. (Policy makers preferring to stay in ignorant bliss)
  • One person commented they were “disturbed” by “the casual way the violent imagery was discussed”, and another said the commentary was “upsetting … flippant, and racist in several points.”
  • “I question why the image of this person’s face was kept in the presentation.”
  • One staff member’s notes of the presentation said, “‘n-word’… completely gratuitous”, and the photos were “all POC [people of colour], no blurred faces”, including one of a “bloody wound to face” and one of someone “in a pool of blood.

Fancy the very people responsible for Youth Justice are grumpy because they have to confront what they are supposed to be doing as their day job: rein in Youth crime.

The next step is to arrange for these same people to be confronted by the victims of their failures. They can then explain to them why the offences happened.

This response from the people responsible for much of the failure of Youth Crime strategies demonstrates that most of them were at the conference to evaluate its wokeness rather than address the issues they were confronted with and employed to address. And their complaints to dehumanise the perpetrators by blocking their faces is puerile.

An advantage of taking the feigned or otherwise shock and horror and, heaven forbid, having to listen to emails read out sent by Gang members that contained the n-word, most probably by a coloured Gang member, is that they can absolve themselves from responsibility and remain in ignorant denial of reality.

This strategy of using the ‘woke outrage’ more and more to deflect the issue is to avoid having to respond or justify their performance. Create the diversion from their responsibility and prove how good they are by highlighting woke breaches.

This exposé has uncovered how out of touch the people responsible for youth policy are and why many of them must now reconsider their career options because it is evident by their admission that they are not competent to be employed in the field of Youth policy.

If they don’t voluntarily move, the administration must remove them for their own good. If action of that sort is not taken, it exposes the State to litigation from attendees who develop some disorder.

One of the most egregious alleged failings of VicPol was to refer to a 13-year-old as an offender for life. That outrage exposes the depth of incompetence these bureaucrats have.

A 13-year-old criminal is inevitably an offender for life unless held to account for their actions. That will be the inevitable outcome caused by the policy to lift the age of criminal responsibility, where there will be no sanctions or other intervention, albeit they knew full well their actions were criminal.

This outrage is more about the attendees being challenged about bad policy to lift the age of criminal responsibility.

We are outraged that while the policymakers want to lift the age of criminal responsibility, they have put forward no strategies or policy on what to do with violent underage perpetrators, a danger to the community and themselves.

Just letting them free to run amok again, as this policy dictates, is a disastrous outcome for the community and the child.

It would be interesting to see if these policymakers will ever be held to account for their failed policy; probably not, which is why they devise outrageous policies.

Instead of the policymakers trying to out ‘woke’ each other, how about they focus on the job at hand and find out more about what happens on the front line of Policing?

When they have done that, their policy machinations may be considered authentic.

It would be very interesting to know what these bureaucrats working in the government bubble have achieved that led to a reduction in youth crime and how many of them were required to achieve that outcome.

As to their bleating, this was not a public event, and the niceties dished out by the media do not apply—this was a reality and a professional life check.

The most disparaging aspect was that Deputy Commissioner Patterson apologised, and he should not have.

VicPol had nothing to apologise about; they did their job in the best interests of juvenile miscreants and the community.

They could have been rightly criticised if they attempted to sugarcoat the briefing.

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.

BULLYING SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTOR TO ABSENTEEISM

BULLYING SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTOR TO ABSENTEEISM

If we want to save our children, we must learn quickly, and Victoria’s Police must prioritise proactive measures to reduce crime.

In an environment where police resources are stretched, it will take strident and clever management to achieve the balance between detecting crime and stopping it in the first place; the latter is the only way to effectively reduce crime in the long term.

The Chief Commissioner’s greatest challenge is achieving effective balance and allowing VicPol to walk and chew gum at the same time.

A recent article in the Herald Sun, BULLYING REVEALED AS TOP REASON KIDS ARE SKIPPING SCHOOL by Susie O’Brien (13th May 2024), raises an argument based on empirical evidence produced by Monash University that supports the hypothesis of the CAA article ‘YOUTH CRISIS SOLUTION’, which sets out what must be done if we want to address the problem.

In other words, bullying is a significant contributor to absenteeism from schools.

Identifying truancy and its primary cause explains, in part, why we have a severe decline in academic levels. This correlates directly to the lack of discipline in schools and contributes substantially to community antisocial and criminal activity. Most crime at this level is relatively minor; however, it is the precursor for a child to live a life of crime.

We cannot expect teachers to solve this problem alone. After years of entrenched poor discipline, the reality is that some students and parents will oppose the new paradigm of discipline. This puts educators in a precarious, perhaps, dangerous position, so their role in achieving and maintaining school discipline must be supported.

As part of the Police Force charter, it must prevent crime. Using police to augment the role of Teachers is a practical and essential method of reducing discipline breaches and antisocial behaviour. Protecting students and staff from aggression is a vital police responsibility that cannot be abrogated.

The Teacher’s authority ends at the school gate, but the problems generally extend well beyond that; therefore, the solution is to use integrated Police specifically trained to deal with these matters.

Nearly half of all Victorian students are regularly truant.

‘High school students are now missing a month a year on average, adding up to more than a full year of lost classes throughout 13 years of schooling.’ -Herald Sun Suzie O’Brien

And the impact on our children is also recognised internationally.

‘Australia’s bullying rate is three times the international average and has been highlighted as a “major issue of concern” by the OECD’. -Herald Sun Suzie O’Brien

The figures, when broken down, are alarming.

‘Overall, just 62 percent of Victorian students from years one to ten are meeting attendance benchmarks, compared to 79 percent in 2015 – a 17 percent drop.

This means 340,000 students out of 895,000 are regularly missing school.

Students in year nine are the most disengaged, with only 50 percent going to school 90 percent of the time or more.

This compares to 70 per cent of students in 2015, the first year the Australian Curriculum, Assessment, and Reporting Authority collated the figures.-Herald Sun Suzie O’Brien

It is worrying that 340,00 students regularly miss school, raising an important question of what do these children do when not at school.

Most of them will not be diligently working at their academic furtherance, but too many contribute to the crime rate or develop social skills that will manifest as life outside the law and community norms.

‘Idle hands are the devil’s workshop and idle lips (or minds using social media) are his mouthpiece’.

Although we acknowledge the importance of this article in highlighting this problem, the Police themselves recognised these issues many years ago. However, supposedly enlightened Police Commissioners decided that the strategy and effort were not warranted, and even in light of empirical data that the initiative worked, they cancelled the essential programs.

Police In Schools – a curriculum-based (as opposed to recent iterations) program that could be measured and was found to be effective by Monash University.

New Start  –         is an innovative program that connects police and teachers to ensure children attend school.

Blue Light       –    Although Blue Light has survived, it is a shadow of its former self, due directly to efforts by VicPol to close it down. Incentives for police to give up their own time to operate the discos were removed, as was any other support for this program.

We acknowledge the difficulty the Police administration has in diverting Police from reactive roles to the cause of proactive ones, where the problems are avoided before they manifest. Rather than police picking up the pieces of shattered lives of victims caused partly by this problem faced by management.

This conundrum boils down to leadership and the strength of that leadership to make the necessary adjustments to deal with the long-term effects caused by the failure to address these problems at the core. Unfortunately, they must look past the quick-fix arrest solution because we all know that for most social issues, Police cannot arrest their way to solving the problem.

History will always examine an organisation’s performance in light of its leader’s effectiveness, which is no different for policing.

We can only hope that the current Chief Commissioner will leave a legacy not of sameness and incompetence, as some of his recent predecessors displayed, but one of authentic leadership by holistically handling the issue of Policing and putting in place measurable proactive initiatives that make a difference, addressing the issues before problems arise.

It is argued that:

‘We cannot afford the police resources to do it, but we cannot afford the consequences of not acting proactively’.

VicPol has the ability to walk and chew gum.

TOBACCO WARS – WHO IS TO BLAME

TOBACCO WARS – WHO IS TO BLAME

Pic Herald Sun

No matter how much they duck and weave and ignore the problem, there is only one entity to blame for the Tobacco Wars: the Government.

The tobacco black market has grown due to the increase in excise and other taxes on tobacco products, taking the price of a pack of cigarettes from $10 for the popular Winfield Blues in 2005 to around $47 a packet and $469 per carton by 2023.

A carton of cigarettes will last most smokers a bit over a week if they are lucky.

And with the annual excise locked in at 12% per annum, a carton of cigarettes will be over $500 per carton in 2024.

Smoking may be socially unacceptable, and a smoking environment is not too pleasant for non-smokers. Still, it is not criminal, and in these economic times, smokers are forced to access their smokes on the black market for purely financial reasons exacerbated by the current cost of living.

This strategy by the Government to tax people out of using tobacco has forced otherwise law-abiding citizens into fringe criminality, and who knows once the smokers become entwined in the criminal sphere what that will lead to.

Whatever that is, you can guarantee the criminals will exploit it.

Domination of this market will reap billions of dollars for the criminal gangs. Therefore, the motivation to control the market is enormous, hence the firebombings.

Black market cigarettes sell for around $20 per pack and are illegally imported into Australia by the container load.

The profit on just one container load is about $13 million.

The Herald Sun set out the case that describes this illicit trade from an unidentified source on April 3, 2024.

Tobacco industry analysis puts the ultimate retail value of a 40-foot container of smoke products at between $7m and $13m, more than double the worth of eight years ago.

The same load of contraband can be bought overseas for about $250,000, meaning there is potential for a 50-fold return on investment.

This has generated fierce competition for a lucrative market with other advantages for the tobacco racketeers.

Disposal of the product is far easier than for big shipments of narcotics like cocaine and methylamphetamine, where buyers are at risk of long prison terms.

“It’s always easier to get people to buy tobacco,” the source said.

Given these figures, is there any wonder that organised crime would move in on this lucrative cash cow?

And the cow that gives keeps on giving, as the subsequent rise annually in excise is set at 12%, pushing the retail value of an illegal container load to $14.5 Million and a pack of cigarettes close to $80, driving more smokers to the black market.

The extraordinary profits from this illegal trade have driven organised gangs to try to dominate this lucrative market. When they do, and without competition, they will push the price of the illicit products.

Given smokers are now prepared to pay $70-$80 per packet for legal cigarettes, the illicit cost, without competition, will also rise so the black-market smokes could reach $50-$60 per packet, raising the profits for the criminal gangs to numbers with a ‘B’ in front, the equivalent of the National debt.

The government has already had to adjust the Budget figures to reflect the reality of the loss of projected excise, but it seems caught in the ‘headlights’ of what to do about it.

The answer is pretty simple: it is in the numbers.

The massive cost of attempting to stop the importation at the border and the vast cost of policing the fallout of lawlessness and the growth of criminal gangs could be slashed tomorrow if the excise was removed without fanfare and pre-warning to the criminals.

The efforts to stop this issue at the border have failed, and simply increasing the resources there would be a ‘fool’s folly.’ A reinvigorated ‘Quit’ campaign could be aimed at the ‘Black Market’ that will ultimately lead to higher tax revenues once the hiatus designed to destroy the illegal trade, is completed.

An inquiry that may take a year or more could recommend a sustainable tax regime without restarting the illicit trade. This would encourage smokers to return to lawful retailers and give the government the financial boost they crave from taxation.

Catching criminals with vast stocks of illicit products would be somewhat prophetic, as it would hit them where they feel the most pain: in their hip pocket.

They will be forced to lower their prices to a degree where it is uneconomical to continue to import illegal tobacco products.

If the wars continue unabated and given the ethos (greed) of criminal gangs, the problem will escalate, and then the chances of somebody being killed would nearly be inevitable.

YOUTH CRISIS – A SOLUTION

YOUTH CRISIS – A SOLUTION

There are conga lines of so-called experts who rabidly try to bend ideology to point out what is wrong and who is to blame for the youth crisis. With few exceptions, they fail to put forward a solution. However, there is one guarantee: They believe it is not their fault, and the pants-shiners will continue to pontificate rubbish until authentic leadership evolves.

The CAA has long identified the problem as failing to engage with young people in a systematic and targeted way that can be measured. Failing to understand the young people’s perceptions of time, inconsistent messages, and threats of sanctions for bad behaviour that are never carried out exacerbate the problem.

Making excuses for criminal behaviour by children is the greatest crime inflicted on our children and is predominately the primary reason for the crime upsurge.

Although necessary, focusing on recidivist offenders is purely reactive and has the reverse effect on crime rates. Successful arrests have not dented the crime stats but perpetuated their escalation.

The most challenging function of policing is proactive policing; if we want to see meaningful crime reduction, proactive policing is the only practical option to guide a child from exploring criminality and, subsequently, drugs.

Criminality is a learnt behaviour, so the obverse can also be taught.’

As the CAA’s policy focuses on solutions rather than carping about the problem, we propose developing a holistic, coordinated approach to deal with it.

As the CAA’s policy focuses on solutions rather than carping about the problem, we propose developing a holistic, coordinated approach to deal with it.

Our proposal will not be any ‘silver bullet’ approach, which is doomed to failure as the focus will inevitably target one sector, and any success in that sector is quickly voided because it fails to address the feeder cohort of miscreants.

Targeting all resources at the most visible recidivist offenders to curb their behaviour will continue to be a massive mistake as young people grow to fill the anti-social void created by any success against the recidivists.

There is no better example than the illicit drug trade, where locking up a dealer or intercepting drugs en route makes little difference as there is a line of hopefuls ready to fill the void. At the same time, we acknowledge that the Drug issue is, in part, a Health issue, but not exclusively, another mistake. Whether it is the health or the criminal sphere, action must be focused on the pre-addiction or recidivist stage; tackling the issue before it becomes a problem for the child and the community is the only hope for a solution; there are no other options.

Police cannot arrest their way out of the drug problem, no more than they can the juvenile one, as demonstrated over recent years as the problems grow.

The concept and value of proactive policing were identified and successfully implemented thirty-five years ago. It successfully reduced crime markedly and was discarded in 2006 by the then-Chief Commissioner, who did not understand the concept. Successive Chief Commissioners did not revive it, who saw arrests as the only solution. They continued the failed strategies of the time, even in the face of empirical evidence of the proactive programs’ effectiveness.

THE CAA PLAN

We plan to have a simple, multifaceted, coordinated approach in which young people are guided from pre-school to completion of their education, making them less likely to engage in criminal activity and, paradoxically, drugs.

The role of parents is critical; everybody blames them, but we need to engage them.

We believe it is essential that parents are at least armed with parenting skills rather than taking the current approach of ‘winging it’ and praying they have the skills to be effective.

Fortunately, the majority of parents get it right.

THE CODE

From day one of pre-school through the whole education process, every educational facility must establish a code of conduct that sets the required standards of behaviour that are then taught and enforced.

If parents have an issue with the code, then they can take their child to an alternate education facility with a code that is more to their liking.

Teachers must be empowered to deal with breaches without retribution from the Education Authorities or parents.  The Code will minimise this.

The penalties for breaches of the code must be flexible enough to cover whatever situation arises.  Being barred from the playground for a period or after-school detention could be examples of the consequences we envisage.  Other measures may be appropriate according to individual circumstances.

Parents and guardians must be informed that this code of conduct will be enforced.

PART 1 PRE-SCHOOL – parental training and exposing children to compliance/authority.

It has been claimed that the path to drug addiction starts by the time a child is six, which coincides with the child starting at primary school.

That logic would also equally apply to any antisocial behaviour and start to impact what will eventually be a failed education, a recognised driver of antisocial and criminal behaviour in a child.

Pre-school is the ideal time to start the project by educating the parents on child behavioural issues.

The role of parents is essential throughout this plan, including compulsory attendance at parent education sessions for preschooler parents delivered by a child behavioural psychologist.

It is critical to support preschool teachers with behavioural support for children and parents whom teachers identify as needing specialist support. As educators’ authority stops at the school gate, specialist Police must become involved, as the problem is most likely at home, not at school.

Police must become a part of the child’s school experience to support the development of the child’s behaviour. Building familiarity between the preschoolers and a police member is the building block for children to understand authority and reinforce the right and wrong concepts.

Establishing respect without coercion, promises, or threats is the key.

Central to the police role is the continuity of association with the children. The children learn that while the police are responsible for maintaining law and order, they are also people with whom a personal relationship can be developed.

Apart from the benefits to the child, having a good experience with the police role model, if reinforced, influences their behaviour in a positive way for a lifetime.

Spasmodic Police interaction during this time will not achieve the goals set; Police involvement must be consistent, predictable, and planned for the child. Simply taking a Police car to a school to impress the students is an absolute failure.

PART 2: PRIMARY EDUCATION -Following the preschool strategy, the Primary strategy introduces a scaled approach over that learning journey.

By the time a child moves to secondary school, they will have developed advanced social skills, an understanding of their responsibilities and the benefits of not breaking the law, and self-discipline skills to help them. Guiding children through this process is critical.

Additionally, parents who are given an understanding of dealing with prepubescent children are also better equipped to guide their children through this critical next stage of their lives.

Again, Police play a critical role in Primary schools, starting with relationship building with the younger children and direct involvement in the school community as a vital resource for the school and the school community.

The Police’s role in preventing crime through their presence cannot be overstated. Making schools a safe place where learning is nurtured is vital.

The Police role starts as an extension of the preschool strategy. Progressing through the preparatory stage, the police assist with school discipline, protect teachers, staff and students, and help develop a safe learning environment, which is critical to the effectiveness of any learning experience.

Improved academic achievements in a safe environment develop children’s confidence, which is essential for avoiding a life of crime.

It is in the later stage of the Primary years that the children’s mentor should introduce the drug issue, helping to prepare them to deal with exposure to drugs at the secondary level.

It’s a bit crazy waiting for them to face the drug issue ill-prepared without adequate skills; then successful resistance is less likely.

PART 3 SECONDARY EDUCATION—The introduction of Super Schools was seen as an opportunity to improve the education of young people, but putting 2-3 thousand children in one place has created a series of critical unintended consequences.

There have been incidents of bullying, intimidation, assaults on teachers and other violent behaviour. This creates an environment where students are exposed more easily to crime and illicit drugs. Drug dealers can hide in plain sight in the crowd. Teachers are more vulnerable to violence from students and parents, both within the school environment and within the community.

If you believe that drug dealers aren’t waiting for every influx of new children at a secondary school to ply their wares, you are naive. The dealer who will probably coerce your child into the drug scene is perhaps wearing a school uniform.

‘It would not be unreasonable to conclude that Australia’s significant downturn in academic achievement in world rankings can be attributed to the breakdown of school discipline.’

The impact of Super Schools directly impacts all their students’ capacity to learn, and students’ learning failures increase their propensity to be attracted to criminal behaviour and illicit drugs.

For this reason and others, a Police presence must be developed for each school.

Embedding Police at every secondary school will be a resource nightmare for VicPol, but it is the type of activity that will most positively impact the booming crime rate.

The police’s essential functions would be to,

  • Ensure pupils go to school.( investigate truancy)
  • Liaise with the courts and others to ensure any sanctions imposed on pupil miscreants have as little impact on their education as possible.
  • Provide early intervention avenues for children displaying anti-social traits.
  • Protect teachers and other staff.
  • Protect children in the school environment from exposure to illicit drugs. Schools are fertile ground for drug syndicates to recruit users, couriers, and dealers.
  • Investigate crimes committed against teachers, other staff, or students and deploy proactive strategies to protect them.
  • Assist support services by mentoring the child to comply with specialist advice.

Police involved must retain their operational qualifications so that in case of an emergency, they can be withdrawn from the program in a declared emergency for operational deployment.

Drawing on the principles of the previously discontinued Police school program, because it worked, police in the school’s program must deliver a package with a core structure of ten themes, namely:

  • the role of police in society;
  • the legal system;
  • rights, rules and responsibilities;
  • consequences of our actions;
  • keeping ourselves and others safe;
  • drug and alcohol education;
  • personal development;
  • anti-bullying strategies;
  • domestic violence avoidance;
  • road safety.

These ten themes would closely interlink with the school curriculum, thus enhancing the program’s relevance to the school community and the learning of the young people concerned.

The training of specialist police for this program is not insignificant and needs to be tailored for each sector. It is not simply a matter of plonking a Police member in a school and assuming that will work; whilst anything is better than nothing, the current practice of spasmodic untrained police visiting schools from time to time has not produced any positive impact on the juvenile crime rate that we are aware of.

The CAA has advocated elsewhere the importance of developing a Police Reserve for retired members, which may augment the demand of operational members for these tasks, particularly at the lower levels.

While there is no doubt that threatening and assaulting teachers is unacceptable behaviour, having the potential of all students in a school or class compromised, adversely impacting their education, is unconscionable.

After all, this behaviour is not just kids misbehaving; it is criminal.

The role of police in preventing crime puts the responsibility squarely with the Chief Commissioner.

Any Chief Commissioner who believes police can arrest their way out of the problem has and will continue to fail by following the reactive approach without properly embracing the proactive function, which brings into question their intellectual acuity. Historically, a series of commissioners have failed that test, and we are now paying the price.

Reactive policing will always be necessary, but the proactive approach will reduce crime; the key is that they are both critical, but one can’t succeed without the other, the Yin and Yang of policing.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Another area of great concern for the community is Domestic violence or aggression, which may lead to violence not only impacting the warring parties but significantly their children.

How children of school age can survive the war at home and the war of bullying at school is a load that they cannot be expected to bear.

It is also probable that children who live in these households will develop a sense of normality in their parent’s behaviour as a defence mechanism to deal with the trauma.

This normalisation will tend to become a trait that the children may exhibit when they enter relationships later in life, so if we ever wanted to have a meaningful impact on domestic violence, then this initiative will go a long way in demonstrating to children that this and other sorts of aggressive behaviour are unacceptable.

DEALING WITH JUVENILE OFFENDERS.

Once a child enters the justice system, there is a reduced chance that their behaviour will be modified unless they want it to be. To alter their behaviour, they must learn that bad behaviour leads to undesirable consequences from a child’s perspective, but in most cases, they have to grow out of it.

The process starts when Police arrest and charge the youth with a criminal offence. Police have discretion, which is critical for the perpetrator’s future and whether they will be recidivists.

The younger the child with a propensity for crime receives an official warning, the better the chance of altering their behaviour.

Police discretion is exercised on any child over ten. They can receive a Police caution, be issued with a summons to Court, a court attendance notice, or be arrested and charged and, where appropriate, bailed. The last and least desirable for a child’s future is being remanded in custody, which is rarely applied.

RAISING THE AGE OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY.

Raising the age at which children can have criminal intent is an unnecessary step that will add to the problem, not assist in it.

This new philosophy means young children cannot be accountable for their actions and are incapable of committing a crime. Although their action still creates victims, it is beyond belief in these allegedly enlightened times that a child can be allowed to view their behaviour as acceptable and beyond consequences.

Ask the Victim of a home invasion what difference in the severity and impact on the family was eased by the perpetrator being underage. Having anybody standing over you in the middle of the night, the perpetrator’s age is entirely irrelevant.

‘The human body’s response to a penetrating knife does not alter by the age of the person delivering the thrust. The body doesn’t know how old the assailant is.’

What has been forgotten is that the Police caution the majority of the younger cohort before they end up in the Juvenile Justice system; these age changes kill that program not only to the disadvantage of the child but also to leave the parents in an unenviable position as to what to do next to help guide their child.

Raising the age for criminal responsibility to fourteen ‘hangs the parents out to dry.’

Police actively try to avoid feeding children into that system as they witness its failures firsthand. These changes will mean that the cautioning option will no longer be available to help divert young first offenders.

An argument often touted is that young children cannot develop criminal intent. However, the law, as it stands, does not allow a child to be charged criminally if they do not understand that the action was criminal. So, if that is the change’s intent, it is unnecessary.

‘Children between 10 and 14’

‘When a child between the ages of 10 and 14 is charged with an offence, the prosecution must show that he or she understood the act was a crime and that the behaviour was wrong’. 

INEFFECTIVE COURT SYSTEM,

Our antiquated court system needs fixing. With the courts held accountable for their effectiveness, they must bear much of the blame for the current crisis.

The only benefit of altering the age of accountability is a statistical one. It doesn’t help to divert kids from more crime but shows a decrease in the number of youth offenders charged; ‘smoke and mirrors.’

Nobody is interested in putting ten-year-olds, or for that matter any child, in detention unless it is necessary to protect the child or the community; however, having no consequences can be just as harmful to a child.

A properly developed home detention system is the answer, as it puts resourced parents back in charge of their children.

USE OF SECURITY BRACELETS ON JUVENILES.

With some imagination and the use of AI, an ankle or wrist bracelet can achieve substantial compliance with bail conditions and impose a penalty, such as home detention.

Much work must be done to develop a system for ring-fencing the child’s movements. This allows a child to attend school, sporting commitments, medical appointments, Court attendances, and other approved activities away from home.

HOME DETENTION- PARENTAL ROLE.

There has been much criticism of the parents’ role or lack thereof in managing their miscreant child. The reality is probably not necessarily a lack of will, but skills and a tendency of ‘the system’ to assume the parents cannot deal with an issue, so they are excluded.

Home detention managed by a tracking device will restore the parents to their roles and responsibilities when managing children on bail or as part of any sentence.

With some professional support, this process can achieve long-term compliance by the child, particularly when any breaches of conditions can extend the detention, and repeated non-compliance can ultimately lead to incarceration.

The key to this initiative is that the time for Home Detention must be carefully managed to ensure that the period or periods, depending on the circumstances, are not long; otherwise, the initiative’s potency will be diluted.

‘Putting an anti-bark collar on a dog only works until the dog becomes accustomed to it.’

The best results will initially be achieved over weeks, perhaps increasing sequentially depending on the youth’s compliance. Good compliance reduces home detention time or extends more freedoms to the ring-fence. Non-compliance or breaches reduce privileges, not by the parent but by the ring fence settings.

MEASURING SUCCESS.

The advantage of this plan, and we accept that it is still a skeleton, is that accurate effectiveness measurement can be achieved. Thus, it can be modified while in operation if required, ensuring the maximum beneficial result.

It also has the advantage of being built organically, from the ground up and developing as police training is achieved.

DRUGS

It would be naive to imagine, although they are kids we are talking about, that drugs do not play a significant role in the issue, both as users and participants in drug crime.

The lowering of the age of criminality will be exploited by the drug industry, using children as mules and in-time users. The drug industry will be very appreciative of the Government providing them with a supply of operatives exempt from prosecution, enabling a stable workforce for their industry. How is the community going to deal with the younger addicts this change will create?

Because children are exempted from prosecution, then access to intelligence is also severed, again protecting the cartels.

Whose side is the Government on, good or evil?

Like the Injecting room where the unintended consequences, the creation of a Drug dealers’ hub and the capacity for addicts to trial increased dosages, a facility that does not help addicts beat their addiction is counterintuitive.

How a government can be suckered or coerced into providing a significant hub for the illicit drug industry to the benefit of cartels is beyond reasonable comprehension.

Governments are empowered to create laws to protect the community, not empower the illegal drug trade.

A supply of mules, dealers and users will further reward the cartels, and the children attracted will not be able to be charged even if the trade permeates a school and exposes more children to drugs. The drug operators don’t care about age or long-term effects; their motivation is greed.

Has anybody given thought to how these underage mules, dealers and addicts might be managed?

CONCLUSION

Additional Police, Social Workers, and Child psychologists will be required, so the exercise is not cheap to plan and operate. However, it will be a lot more affordable than what we are currently facing: watching young lives being ruined, victims permanently damaged, and education standards continuing to erode, all due to a lack of action and, most importantly, leadership.

This proposal will result in substantial cost savings compared to the vast bricks-and-mortar investments mooted by the Queensland Children’s Commissioner Nationally.

Grown organically from the ground up, this proposal will be more effective if managed at a local level. It will be able to adjust to local needs and not be operated by a remote bureaucracy.

The target should be to develop the preschool sector first and then sequentially at the primary and secondary levels. That allows for effective management throughout the development stages.

Giving the community ownership will prevent it from becoming just another quango, for some to say – “Look what we have done.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT DO FIREBOMBED TOBACCO STORES AND ILLICIT DRUGS HAVE IN COMMON?

WHAT DO FIREBOMBED TOBACCO STORES AND ILLICIT DRUGS HAVE IN COMMON?

They both make criminals very, very rich and make the Government look very, very silly as they continually fail to implement the tried-and-true strategies that will bring about solutions.

Both issues are intrinsically linked, and one of them could be resolved overnight, greatly affecting the operations of the other.

Removing or greatly reducing the excise on cigarettes/tobacco would seriously damage the criminal elements and destroy their marketing model, plus save many millions of dollars on enforcement.

The Government is not learning from its mistakes as it now moves to curtail and legislate against vaping, which will potentially create another opportunity for criminals to expand their black-market activities, this time predominantly with children, and that is incredibly dangerous. Associating children with the criminal element will inevitably lead to increased crime by children.

Crime entraps our young people, attracted by the lure of wealth, notoriety and excitement, ruining many of their lives and the lives of their families, who are the silent victims.

Additionally, the problem breeds and encourages criminal activity as the addicted and the desperate, some of whom were recruited as children, are forced to commit crimes to fund their addiction.

Although Tobacco and Vapes are still legal, where illicit drugs are not, the CAA is not proposing a prohibition on those products as with illegal drugs for several very good reasons. Smoking tobacco and Vaping affects individuals but does not generally affect others.  Illicit drugs potentially affect everyone.

A classic example is the road toll, where evidence shows many drivers involved in collisions, including fatalities, are drug-affected.  Violent and anti-social behaviour of those affected by illicit drugs is also very common.

However, there are similarities in how the black markets, which run in parallel, should be handled.

The tried and successful strategies we refer to are the Quit campaign and the Sun Smart, Slip Slop and Slap, which are outstanding examples of the power of marketing that achieved exceptional success in reducing smoking and sun exposure in the community.

It is a pity, bordering on wanton incompetence, that the same weapon has not been used in the Clayton’s Drug War. Because of its potential to succeed, and it is somewhat bothersome that this strategy is avoided, perhaps indicating that dark forces or corruption are at play.

Both initiatives succeeded because the Quit campaign used marketing to target the demand side in marketing parlance. Whether your house, car, or workplace became a smoke-free zone, the impact on the tobacco demand plummeted.

The Sun Smart campaign focused on changing public opinion to change social norms and the bronze Aussie persona. It successfully targeted parents and children to reach a high degree of compliance with the concept.

The Quit campaign worked remarkably well until the government dramatically raised taxes to make cigarettes unaffordable. This spawned the chop-chop tobacco market first, followed by packaged cigarettes smuggled in by the container load.

Criminals’ ability to afford to enter into supply contracts by the container load indicates the enterprise’s profitability. As the gulf grew between the cost of legally purchased tobacco products and what the black market could supply tobacco products for, the back market flourished.

The intent to make tobacco products too expensive and reduce tobacco usage, as a result, has dramatically backfired.

The government flipped the successful targeting of the demand to try and rely on law enforcement tackling the supply side as the solution. That strategy has failed through no fault of the Police but a failed government approach.

Rather than realising what they had done, they continued to raise taxes on tobacco, aggravating the situation by increasing criminals’ profits.

As the gap between what the Cartels can sell illegal tobacco products for and what their retail price is widens, the black-market price can increase, and that is pure profit for the criminals.

Marketing, in its simplest iteration, is all about supply and demand. If there is no demand, the supply side quivers as profits drop, but if the market is solid, there will always be a supply side to service that demand, precisely what has happened with drugs and tobacco.

The black-market enterprise is so lucrative that they are prepared to risk serious jail time by firebombing Tobacco stores to gain market control.

Gangs involved in the illicit drug trade have expanded to include the illegal Tobacco trade because the profits are more significant and the penalties, if caught, are likely to be much less.

The drug market’s primary customer base is drug addicts, and the high rate of dealers needed to distribute the drugs to support their habit, is akin to a pyramid scheme. Most participants support their habit by being a dealer selling the product, but that absorbs a significant share of the profits and becomes less attractive as gang leaders who find their income adversely impacted.

But the criminal elements had no need to fear as the government came to the rescue and provided them with a better alternative with more profit: Tobacco: a golden goose for when your market strategy is not as profitable.

If the government had targeted the demand side and relied on marketing instead of tax income from tobacco, it would not be in its current predicament.

Illicit Drugs are very similar; the government wants to assist addicts to be better addicts; this is a non-strategy to reduce the shocking impact drugs have on our society.

In this area, the government has, in part, been conned.

Drug apologists have convinced the government that the best strategy is Harm Minimization; however, they have manipulated that concept as part of a strategy to achieve acceptance of illicit drugs as the community norm.

How any government can fall for the trick of providing an Injecting Room, which has been empirically determined to be a failure, is beyond comprehension.

The Government has been diverted from the real solution, the four pillars of Prevention, Enforcement, Treatment, and Rehabilitation (PETR). Facilitating drug use in an injecting room as a stand-alone response without the other pillars is a recipe for the disaster we are experiencing.

One Pillar will not stand up without the others supporting it, and it is time for the government to take a more realistic approach to addressing these problems, using PETR principles as the basis.

To date, this government has tried to rely on law enforcement to solve the issue, but plainly, that is not working despite the best efforts of Police and Border security measures.

It is a problem that cannot be resolved by enforcement alone.

Obversely, to assumed norms, the best thing the Government can do in the short term is to drop the tax applied to tobacco products significantly. That will not considerably cause a rise in the number of smokers. But those who do smoke will likely return to legitimate retailers (increasing Tax revenue) and cause a significant blow to the illicit traders, who overwhelmingly are also illegal dealers of drugs.

Addressing these issues properly will have a profound beneficial impact on all Victorians.

 

ROLE OF COURTS IN CRIME CRISIS

ROLE OF COURTS IN CRIME CRISIS

‘The legal system needs to catch up’: A push to abolish suspended sentences for child sex offenders was the headline in the Age Newspaper on the 28th of April 2024.

This article relates to proposed legislation by the Opposition to push to abolish suspended sentences for convicted child sex offenders that will go to the state parliament as part of a bill to overhaul punishments for paedophile rapists and abusers.

If this report is accurate, it raises concerns, including encroaching on the independence of the judiciary.

This approach to sentencing directs the courts through legislation on specific offences. It should be approached by a system of accountability of the courts rather than legislation.

This particular article refers to historical sexual offences, and we have no issue with the conviction, just the blanket sentence approach.

Legislating sentencing issues can have unintended consequences.

To understand why the judge might deliver a suspended sentence without wading through the judgment is not appropriate, these sentencing issues must remain within the bailiwick of the presiding judge, irrespective of the crime, as overarching rules for a court without the ability to nuance the conviction sentence to the case when every one of them is different is a step too far.

However, courts are trending towards avoiding reflecting community values and performing optimally. There is no effective mechanism to correct this behaviour, as there is no mechanism to review judges’ performance, whether that is their conviction rates when sitting alone, sentencing outcomes, recidivism of those convicted by that court, or the behaviour of the jurist in or out of court.

However, rather than the proposed legislation as reported, there is a desperate need for judges’ performance to be made accountable.

In Victoria, we have a Judicial Review and a Judicial Commission. Still, where these entities allow issues to fall through the cracks about performance and accountability for judges, there seems to be none.

The Judicial Commission investigating panel consists of three members appointed by the Commission: two former or current judicial officers or VCAT members and one community member of high standing selected from the pool of people appointed for this purpose.

Judicial reviews are heard in the Trial Division of the Supreme Court. The review examines whether the person who made the decision:

  • Had the power (was allowed) to make the decision.
  • Obeyed all aspects of the law in making the decision.
  • Considered everything that was legally relevant.

A judicial review does not re-consider the facts of the matter or focus on whether the decision was correct.

These arrangements could be considered as putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

There are excellent reasons for the judiciary’s independence from the government. However, improvements can still be achieved without compromising the autonomy of the jurists.

We employ the judiciary and reward them handsomely for their tasks; however, we need to be confident that they are performing to benchmarks and reflecting the values of the public in their determinations.

Victoria desperately needs a Judicial Review Commission similar to the model in New South Wales that…

‘Publishes information about criminal law to assist the courts in achieving consistency in imposing sentences and, more generally, in conducting criminal proceedings.

The Judicial Commission of NSW’s work is designed to enhance public confidence in the judiciary by promoting the highest judicial behaviour and decision-making standards. We:

  • Provide a continuing education and training programfor NSW judicial officers.
  • Criminal law and sentencing assist the courts in achieving consistency in imposing sentences and, more generally, in the conduct of criminal proceedings.
  • Examine complaintsabout judicial officers’ ability or behaviour.

To these functions, we would add,

    • To ensure the judiciary applies and takes responsibility for crime prevention and the deterrent effect of sentencing on perpetrators and the wider society.
    • Create and manage benchmarking for court administrative efficiencies and case outcomes.
    • Advise the executive arm of judicial officers not performing to the established standard. The executive arm and the parliament can decide on remedial action or discipline for jurists.

This will protect jurists and make the law more effective; consistency in applying the law is a cornerstone of a democracy.

We will never see relief from the current crisis in crime if jurists fail to take responsibility for the problem they contribute to in a significant way.

ALLAN GOVERNMENT DUMPS PLANS FOR 2ND MELBOURNE INJECTING ROOM

ALLAN GOVERNMENT DUMPS PLANS FOR 2ND MELBOURNE INJECTING ROOM

When the Government gets something right, it needs to be acknowledged, and Premier Allan has just done that in spades, rejecting the Ken Lay report to install a second injecting room in Melbourne. However, Lay’s report recommended not just an injecting room but a “small (four—to six-booth) and discreet”  -injecting service. That incredible assertion attributed to Lay shows what happens when someone who knows so little about an issue is charged with making recommendations. Small and discreet in this context belies reality. As in Richmond, the injecting rooms are honey pots for addicts, dealers and other lowlifes to assemble and trade. Whether it is small or otherwise, the area will become a haven for dealers and addicts. The majority of the addicts around Richmond do not always use the room but shoot up and perform other bodily functions in lanes, parks, streets and people’s gardens; many others drive to the area buy their hit and shoot up in the car. More often than not, driving away under the influence. “Why is it acceptable for the citizens of the Richmond area, including a primary school, to be exposed to the full impact of having an injecting room nearby, while the citizens of the City of Melbourne are not? This is an obvious question that needs to be addressed. The Government, until now, has effectively turned a blind eye to the problems caused in Richmond, and the Premier’s pushback against this crazy injecting nonsense will save more lives than the injecting rooms ever will. The Richmond injecting room hides behind the myth that it saves lives, https://www.drugfree.org.au/images/pdf-files/library/Injecting_Rooms/Over-representation_of_overdose_Melbourne_MSIR.pdf   A graph of death deaths Description automatically generated with medium confidence Drug deaths researched after 18 months of operation are based on empirical data available from the Coroners Court. That the Richmond facility saves lives has never been confirmed, but what has been confirmed is there are a more significant number of deaths in a community serviced by an injecting room than without, and Richmond is no different. The facility’s claims are no more substantial than misleading perceptions, but proper research disproves the claims that injecting Rooms saves lives. Addicts regularly use the facility to experiment with higher dosages or different drugs, knowing that if it goes pear-shaped, the facility will resuscitate them. Those incidents cannot be counted as positive results by the facility as the injecting room facilitates the practice. Without the room, the addicts are less likely to experiment as the risk is well known to them. Notably, the Premier has announced that the Yooralla Building in Flinders Street will now be developed into a wraparound service dealing with the health and well-being of not only addicts but also other socially marginalised in the City of Melbourne. This is not dissimilar to the drug strategies published by the CAA over many years. As laudable as this is, we caution the Premier that the Harm Minimisation brigade, which has hijacked the principle, must be kept from this initiative; otherwise, it will become a de facto Injecting room by stealth. These proponents are the enemies of addicts and the community trying to normalise the use of illicit drugs without any effort to help addicts get clean and regain their health. Now that the Premier has taken this step, we must now turn our attention to Richmond and look to close this facility that promotes and facilitates drug use. All of the rationales applied to the rejection of the city room are multiples of 10, the quantum of the negative aspects of the Richmond facility that must be closed or be converted to follow the Yooralla model. Helping addicts and users, not promoting and facilitating their addiction, is the only humane way to go. It has also amazed us that in this litigious society, an addict has not taken action against the State for the injecting rooms encouraging their drug use. The Government must now move to close or repurpose Richmond or be accused of applying double standards. The CAA has long expressed concern and offered alternatives to Injecting Rooms; below is a selection of our submissions published on our website:
DRUGS AND ALCOHOL ABUSE – A MANAGEMENT SOLUTION
  • DRUG QUARANTINE – A NEW PARADIGM.
https://caainc.org.au/drug-quarantine-a-new-paradigm-2/
TACKLE THE CRISIS DON’T HIDE.

TACKLE THE CRISIS DON’T HIDE.

No objective assessment can question that we are in a crime crisis.

While there is overwhelming evidence of a crisis of significance, what is also happening on a scale below the headline events, and is numerically high, is many cases, inflicting cruel injuries, both physical and mental, to innocent victims that are irreversible, ruining their lives and their families.

We must be realistic and accept that what we have been doing doesn’t work; blaming others and trying to identify the cause serves a purpose, but not now.

Now, is the time to bring the problem under control, and then we can look at long-term solutions.

What has become abundantly clear is there is a dearth of leadership.

Somebody needs to stand up and tackle the issue, not in a month, but now, before more people are maimed or die.

We urgently need a significant boost in Police numbers to enable a visible Police presence at all places of high risk 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We also need to deal with the demonstration issue so that policing the state can continue despite threats of demonstrations.

The Chief Commissioner could decree that all non-essential police operations be suspended for two months and that police freed up be allocated to patrolling high-risk areas.

At the end of the period, it may well turn out that a hiatus of the non-function or fiefdom building functions are not as critical as assumed, and elements could be permanently dispensed with.

It seems that Victoria Police are hesitating to face the challenge.

We expect that VicPol, in crisis, will return to the failed Matrix Management philosophy of having a meeting instead of somebody displaying leadership, addressing the problem, and accepting responsibility for the outcome.

The attraction to the meeting strategy is the appearance of something being done that will solve everything. The added bonus is that no individual can be held accountable for failure. VicPol is not alone; there is nothing of substance from the Government or Opposition either, which is very worrying and exposes the weakness of the leadership currently on offer.

There are currently insufficient police under current police management practices to become proactive and prevent these incidents; however, in this crisis, we need to be bold and innovative to deal with the current life and death problems.

Part of the solution lies in using the thousands of retired police in the community, who can perform many operational tasks and most back-room administrative functions—a Force Reserve.

This frees up police to man shopping malls, shopping strips, transport hubs, schools, or any place that demonstrates a security risk to minimise what is quickly approaching carnage.

It may be argued that it is easier said than done, but it is not difficult if intelligent minds are assigned to the task.

Establishing a Police Reserve where retired members can be offered a position at the same rank and payscale they previously held to stay on for a specified period or part-time, returning to work under the same conditions.

Amendments to the Police Act can be quickly drafted to accommodate a Police Reserve. Some retirees value the freedom of retirement but are very prepared and capable of taking up short-term commitments as required, a technique used significantly by the military.

A cash incentive scheme would guarantee sufficient interest. If handled correctly, the Reserve members may need a short training update of weeks, not months.

The argument that we should recruit more is a long-term necessity. Still, recruiting potentially competent and effective police is too slow to provide police management with the surge capacity required to keep the state safe.

The recent COVID experiences placed incredible demands on Police resources. They should have been enough to cause serious planning to create the capacity for VicPol to develop a surge capacity.

An adequate surge capacity means responding to the issue while retaining the necessary resources to maintain day-to-day functions.

For example, the significant issue during the COVID response was VicPol’s inability to respond and provide security for the COVID-19 quarantine facilities that housed infected people.

The task then fell to a questionable Private Security firm. As a result, it has been argued that 801 lives were lost because the virus escaped the Quarantine facilities—a security failure.

Whatever the argument that the Chief Commissioner of the time put forward, it is not unreasonable to conclude that had police taken on the Security function from the beginning, the likelihood of the virus escaping would have been substantially reduced, albeit that Private Security could augment Poilce and be phased in over time.

Inexplicably, Emergency Management Victoria seemed to play no part.

The problem of VicPol not having adequate surge capacity to deal with unforeseen events was exposed, but here we are again, only a couple of short years later and again, the lack of a surge capacity persists.

The difference this time is that the evidence of an impending social disorder crisis has been evident for some time as thousands of new migrants have been added to the population without consideration of the infrastructure, including police numbers, to deal with the additional migrants who historically bring with them new and problematic issues requiring more intense Police attention.

Here are some suggestions for how a reserve may augment operational members to create a surge capacity.

  • The majority of staff on a Booze Bus could be sworn Force Reserve.
  • Watch House Keepers throughout the State could be drawn predominantly from the reserve.
  • Capable Force Reserve members could interview witnesses.
  • Crime scene specialists could be trained in the reserve.
  • All police allocated to community liaison roles supporting special interest groups could be reallocated to operations, and much of this work undertaken by the Police Reserve members.
  • There is no doubt Reserve members could replace many Police involved in training.
  • On the issue of training, which has generally moved online, the efficiency and efficacy of that move need to be reconciled. Hours spent on a computer most shifts compared with police being returned to the classroom for training where all the advantages of group training can be experienced must be revisited. The online move suits the trainers, making their lives easier, but it is not a good management practice. Online training hours are not adequately managed, affecting Police member’s productivity. Spending a couple of hours online during a shift where they could provide a visible police presence is a counterproductive use of members’ time.
  • Every Police function must be reviewed and categorised as essential, necessary or nice to have. The latter is where the numbers can be extracted from.

These are just a few examples that could effectively increase the force capacity by over a thousand members when required. Still, with application, there are hundreds of other jobs where a reserve member could effectively function to achieve efficiency. When done appropriately, service efficiencies can achieve a higher level of service delivery.

Reserve members of all ranks could also be considered for relieving tasks. This could have a very positive impact on resource capability and suit many retirees’ lifestyles.

Unfortunately, these current issues are not like COVID-19 and are unlikely to dissipate like a virus.

The issues are deeply rooted in the cultural and non-secular values instilled over generations by many of the new migrants arriving in this country. As they continue to come in great numbers, the problems will escalate, not diminish.

VicPol cannot just sit back and hope but must start seriously addressing the resource problem with clear, nonpartisan values.

The cost would be considerably less than accelerating new recruit training and avoiding taking shortcuts like lowering standards that may prove detrimental to the organisation in the long term.

If the matters require Government funding, the community has every right to know that a lack of funding compromises their safety, and the Government can take responsibility.

At the moment, VicPol is responsible.

YOUTH CRIME DETERIORATES DANGEROUSLY.

YOUTH CRIME DETERIORATES DANGEROUSLY.

Latest developments have exposed the consequences of failing to manage the youth crisis, and a grave deterioration has started to evolve.

The worst possible outcome is the evolution of vigilantism.

Vigilantism as a solution to a crime issue has the enormous risk that rather than quelling lawlessness, it may increase it, with these groups becoming part of the problem rather than solving it.

We have suburbs of Brighton employing private security to improve safety, but now residents on the other side of Melbourne, and in vastly different socio-economic circumstances, in Mambourin Estate near Werribee are indicating they propose to set up patrols from 9:00 pm to 3:00 am when the thugs in the area are most active. The outcome could be a disaster, as there is every likelihood the thugs may decide to assert their strength, leading to bad outcomes.

There would be no doubt that the thugs feel they rule the streets, so they are likely to oppose any challenge to their ‘freedom’. The challenge would be ugly.

Victoria Police need to step in immediately, not with consultative groups, a favoured non-function,  but with sufficient resources to proactively patrol the area to give the community the safety they deserve.

If local police were doing their job, they should have known of the growing concerns and taken proactive action before it got to this stage. Another mangemnent failure.

But that is what happens when the Force focuses on reactive functions and is not proactive.

SUBURBAN POLICE DRAGGED INTO THE CITY TO MANAGE PROTESTS.

SUBURBAN POLICE DRAGGED INTO THE CITY TO MANAGE PROTESTS.

As reported in the Herald Sun on April 18, 2024, Victoria Police bemoaned the impact on resources caused by the outbreak of demonstrations in the city.

Ten thousand shifts of Police keeping the broader community safe have been redirected to managing the epidemic of demonstrations currently in vogue.

While we empathise with the current Force perspective, much of the current issues have been caused by the police themselves.

As we have consistently argued, applying law and order must be consistent and not influenced by ideology. Inconsistency breeds contempt.

The continuing ideological bias is blatantly apparent.

This bias became evident in the lead-up to and during COVID-19 and continues today, so why are we surprised Melbourne is the Demo Capital of Australia?

Failure to act decisively when a new issue attracts demonstrations and then failing to be consistent not only promotes more demonstrations, as is the case in Victoria, but the broader public sees through the spin and police respect further declines along with support.

‘They are the Police; how come they can’t fix it’ is a growing question within the community as frustration builds.

The current impasse, which encompasses a number of Law and Order issues, including the ‘Youth Crisis,’ is adding to the loss of respectability and confidence in our Police as a consequence of COVID responses.

There are two aspects to this article: police resourcing and police capability.

On police resourcing, the press article tries to deflect the blame for police management’s lack of capacity to respond to operational demands by blaming the demonstrators for not complying with police requests for information on proposed activities.

Finding excuses rather than solutions has become the police go-to position on various issues.

 

The need for pragmatic police management is now essential.

In the current crisis, how can resources be applied to a sexual complaint that allegedly happened over fifty years ago? We understand that considerable police resources are used to investigate historical events of this nature. Pragmatic leadership has two strategies at its disposal: pressuring the Government and encouraging public debate on a statute of limitations and, more effectively, intervention by police command to prioritise the allocation of resources.

It is time for a twenty-year statute of limitations to be applied to all historical crimes. The likelihood of safe convictions and the fallibility of human memory can lead to many hours of wasted police time, all while the state is faced with an imminent crime crisis.

A safeguard for victims in exceptional circumstances would allow them or the police to apply to a court to have the statute lifted on a case-by-case basis.

A fifty-year-old case versus stopping home invasions and curbing youth crime now; we know where the public sits on this conundrum.

Victoria Police have to develop the chutzpah to say no and prioritise resources.

Gathering data for other agencies is another resource black hole.

 

As the article argues, 10,000 hours were lost at the local level, but why must it be at the local level? Why is our frontline carrying the brunt of the Policing load?

There is a significant number of non-operational and operational support police who should be called upon before the stations start to lose shifts. They are all sworn Police officers.

Or is it just lazy management finding it more accessible to bleed staff from the stations?

Losing a day here or there from the support areas would not significantly impact many police functions, and the weight can be lifted from the stations.

The lack of planning to develop a surge capacity for VicPol is a blatant management failure and must be addressed.

 

Developing a Force Reserve would be cost-effective, operationally sound, and a significant step toward solving the staffing crisis.

VicPol must be asked the question: What would happen if another significant incident occurred during a major demonstration? What is plan B?

Overriding this issue, publicly exposing resourcing matters is not the best idea we have seen, as no doubt any terrorist cell plotting insurrection now knows when to strike.

 

Police capability and the government’s role in ensuring police have the tools to be effective have been significant issues.

The Premier was asked about this, and her response was;

  “The Victorian government will not be following in the footsteps of NSW by implementing a permit system for mass gatherings.”

“Victoria Police have the tools and the resources to respond to these activities,” she said.

“(They are) demonstrating that they have the tools,” she said.

If the Premier believes VicPol has the tools, why aren’t they being used?

The permit system works well in other jurisdictions and is not designed to prevent the right to demonstrate but to prevent unruly mobs from disrupting the community.

This position on permits exposes the government’s inability to govern for all Victorians and not pander to a few: ideology usurping pragmatism, a common and distinctly modern political trait.

If the government won’t reinstate the ‘move on laws’ and introduce a ‘permit system’ for demonstrations, the disruption and the police’s failure to act decisively, even if their ideology is controlled, must be at the government’s feet.

Strong statements must come from Victoria Police so the community is informed.

Doing away with blame-shifting might be an excellent start to rebuild confidence.

CONSISTENCY THE KEY TO EFFECTIVE POLICING

CONSISTENCY THE KEY TO EFFECTIVE POLICING

It would have been reasonable to assume that, if nothing else, VicPol would have learnt from the errors of policing demonstrations during the COVID-19 pandemic. A lack of consistency and basic mistakes in Command and Control principles caused much of the mayhem and operational missteps.

While policing is confronted with demonstrations or social disorder issues that form part of the fabric of Policing, somewhere along the line, experiences of the past have been lost, reducing the effectiveness of the Police function.

Many former Police officers serving in a different era were shocked and dismayed at the ineptitude during COVID-19. They hoped the mistakes made then would be a lesson and future issues would be handled differently. It seems a forlorn hope.

Several flaws in the COVID response included a lack of consistency in approach. Seemingly, the police response to every event differed, creating confusion among the demonstrators or, more importantly, confusion among the individual members on how to respond.

Thankfully, the COVID era and all its failings seem to be behind us but will not be forgotten for a long time to come, and for all the wrong reasons.

Fast forward to the current issues motivated by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Large pro-Palestine/Hamas demonstrations are designed to, as far as possible, disrupt the significant commercial hubs within Australia, trying to wreak as much disruption as possible by sheer weight of numbers.

As the fervour of these demonstrations is allowed to fester, the real possibility of demonstrations escalating into insurrection becomes an ever-increasing threat, and that is because of a Police failure.

Instead of taking decisive and consistent action, rather than just being observers when the demonstrations on this issue began, the police made a significant mistake in allowing ideology to enter the operational approach.

It became very evident at the Town Hall demonstration that the line of impartial law enforcement had been crossed.

Recently, a huge group of pro-Palestine/Hamas demonstrators gathered outside the Town Hall to demonstrate issues being debated by the City Council. Entry to the chamber public gallery was by ticketed invitation, and three Australians of Jewish origin with tickets to the event tried to enter the Town Hall to attend the meeting but were violently set upon and blocked by a worked-up pro-Palestine/Hamas crowd.

At that point, the three invitees became victims of unlawful behaviour.

The Police response was counterintuitive to the sworn duty of Police. They removed the three victims and sanctioned them by barring them from the city.

The perpetrators of the assaults were not arrested, albeit they committed the offences in the immediate presence of the Police.

All of this was videotaped, and the vision was available to police.  Arrests and charges ought to have followed.

The actions of the Police gave the demonstrators a huge moral win and set a new standard that assaulting people was acceptable behaviour.

This action by the Police will embolden and escalate future demonstrations in this cause.

The Police excuse that it was an Occupational Health and Safety issue (OH&S); reducing the danger to police from the demonstrators is unacceptable and a dereliction of their sworn duty to act without fear or favour.

Perhaps Inspector Amy Scott of NSW Police thankfully missed the memo about OH&S as interpreted in Victoria and saved many lives as a result.

Policing is an inherently dangerous occupation, and safety is created by competent leadership and planning, appropriate equipment and training.

Victoria Police need to recalibrate their operational approach to demonstrations, and where laws are broken, decisive action must be taken. Policing has no place for cowards.

Lawbreaking without consequences only escalates lawbreaking.

The OH&S Claims at the Town Hall have been exposed as a rampant ideology as the latest mass demonstration saw Police charge demonstrators interfering with traffic lights.

The Victims in those offences were the traffic lights, but when the victims were Jewish, OH&S a different standard was applied – consistency?

There is a strong argument for introducing a permit system for gatherings of over ten people and providing a water cannon as a backup for members’ safety.

There has been a reluctance to provide water cannon technology because it is rarely, if ever, used, and the cost is said to not be justified. However, having a big stick backing the Police would be the smartest way to defuse incidents and reduce police injuries.

Not having specialised emergency management equipment because of a perceived lack of demand is incredibly short-sighted. If we applied that logic to a specialist high-reach fire truck or airport fire appliances, the ‘hue and cry’ if they were needed and were no longer available would cause a justifiable uproar.

The CAA implores Victoria Police to police according to their oath of office ‘without fear or favour’ and to review and change the biased practices we deplore.

WOULD THE BONDI EVENT BE HANDLED AS EFFICIENTLY IN VICTORIA?

WOULD THE BONDI EVENT BE HANDLED AS EFFICIENTLY IN VICTORIA?

14th of April 2024

The shocking event at Bondi Westfield and the horrific outcomes impact every Australian; our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who lost their lives or were injured in this vicious attack.

Equally, the horror of those thousands of people in the shopping complex hiding from evil in fear of losing their lives must never be underestimated, and we also grieve for their loss. While their loss may not be physical, however, the mental impact can be as severe.

The outstanding bravery of individuals must also be acknowledged. Seeing the perpetrator avoiding direct confrontation with the males who stood their ground really shows the weakness of the perpetrator, who was not prepared to confront his victims but attacked softer targets, usually from the rear.

The response by emergency services, particularly the Police, appeared to be outstanding and a credit to the New South Wales Police Force.

But no matter how good the police response was, it took one very brave and competent Inspector to end the horror and save many more lives.

Inspector Amy Scott, working one up, confronted the killer in a textbook response and put the perpetrator down with one shot.

Her actions will always be recorded as heroic as they should be, but would that same response have occurred in Victoria?

This question will spark substantial debate, but this brave member exposed some worrying anomalies in any comparison.

First and foremost, the effectiveness of any Police member is greatly influenced by the environment in which they work. If the organisation, as it is in Victoria, does not instil confidence in its members, then they are not likely to take risks, albeit that the risks are part of the job. The members need to know who has their back.

The defence of police acting in good faith must be reinforced and rebuilt in Victoria’s police culture. The citizens of Victoria would wholeheartedly endorse that philosophy.

In Victoria, a culture of doubt, driven by an administration intent on finding fault, has damaged the Force and its capacity to protect Victorians; poor leadership.

The most significant comparable incident in Victoria that comes to mind is the James Gargasoulas rampage in 2017 over two days, culminating in the death of six innocent Victorians and endangering the life of 27 others.

This carnage was avoidable, as the Police had known the perpetrator’s whereabouts for a considerable time during his escapade.

Glaring omissions were the lack of executive or high-ranking Police leadership intervention and the lack of confidence in Police to intervene when opportunities arose, and quite a few did.

It wasn’t until after the murders were committed that the Police took decisive action.

We would argue that this initial inaction was caused by a police organisational cultural problem. During that whole incident, no member was confident enough to act decisively, primarily for fear of internal retribution; nobody had their back.

The other significant takeout is that Amy was working one up, demonstrating the folly of Victoria’s strict two-up policy.

We doubt the same outcome would have been achieved had the Inspector had a partner of equal rank, proving the situation and the need to act in that case would have been clouded by second-guessing of the partners’ reactions, directly adversely affecting the safety of the member.

Victoria needs to dump the strict two-up policy and leave resource allocations to the discretion of the operational commander in any situation or function. Making unilateral operational decisions undermining front-line supervisors is counterproductive to efficient management.

This will coincidentally free up many more police and increase ‘boots on the ground’, improving the visibility of police presence and reducing crime while improving community safety perceptions.

A police Station that mans a Divisional Van, a Station car, and a supervisor, with a driver,= three cars; by changing the station car and using the Supervisors driver, that would equate to five vehicles rather than three, a dramatic increase in police visibility but under the direction of a supervisor. Multiple cars would attend high-risk situations, but once the problem is stabilised, the vehicles can all be cleared, leaving just one to complete any administration.

Service Efficiency substantially improved as will, Service Delivery.

We are not advocating reducing Police numbers, but by allowing one-up patrols, operational supervisors can put more cars on the road.

Providing additional cars is cheaper than additional Police.

This system works very well in Los Angeles.

Inspector Scott demonstrated that unfettered situational awareness is the most potent weapon in a police member’s arsenal. It leads to positive outcomes and increases the member’s safety.

Whether a Police member works alone or with others is a fine-line operational decision influenced by the member concerned, the circumstances, and the risk evaluation.

Engaging with their partner and distracting their situational awareness is the most significant risk to any police member in the field.

We call on Victoria Police to delegate the decision of Operations crew configurations to the Operational Supervisor of that shift.

YOUTH CRIME, PREVENTION AND PROTECTION THE TENETS OF THE PROBLEM

YOUTH CRIME, PREVENTION AND PROTECTION THE TENETS OF THE PROBLEM

Almost everything published about youth crime revolves around dealing with young offenders.  While this is important, what is more important is preventing young people from offending in the first place.  Rehabilitation programs for young offenders are reactive, not proactive.  Until this basic truth is acknowledged, we will always be playing catch up in dealing with youth crime issues.

The CAA has recently published an article entitled, “CALL TO ACTION – YOUTH CRIME,” in which we outlined the need for a Police in Schools Program, such as the one introduced in Victoria in 1989 that ran until 2016, to teach young people the basic tenets of good citizenship.  A proven program that achieved excellent results in turning youngsters away from crime.

Although similar programs are implemented worldwide, Victoria has failed to re-introduce an effective version into schools in this State.

Part of the Victoria Police’s statutory function is Crime Prevention. Victoria Police Act 2013, Section 11, (c). It is incumbent on Victoria Police to take every possible step to stem the tide of crime, and this is particularly so in relation to Juvenile crime, which is out of control.

Early intervention, where it is apparent that young people are at risk of lapsing into a life of vice or crime, also needs to be a priority.

The provision for dealing with young people who were likely to lapse into a life of vice or crime was abolished in Victoria. This phrase appeared on some child welfare records and was a convenient term for one of the definitions of a neglected child. Specifically, it referred to a child who was at risk of falling into a career of vice or criminal behaviour.

Some people, like doctors, nurses, midwives, teachers, school principals and police officers, must tell the department if they believe a child is being harmed or at serious risk of harm.

The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) (Child Protection) must investigate every report. This can include speaking to the child, family members and other people involved with the family.

As each family’s situation is different the department may decide not to do anything, or they might get involved with the family for a short or long time.

Child protection

If anyone has formed a reasonable belief that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect and their parent has not or is unlikely to protect them from harm, they can make a report to Child Protection.

Meeting the needs of children and making sure they are safe in the family is a shared responsibility between individuals, the family, the community and the government. When adults caring for children do not follow through with their responsibilities, are abusive or exploit their positions of power, then child protection is empowered to investigate the concerns and intervene to protect the child legally when required.

The Victorian Child Protection Service is specifically targeted to support those children and young people at risk of harm or where families are unable to protect them.

The main functions of Child Protection are to:

Investigate matters where it is alleged that a child is at risk of significant harm.

Refer children and families to services that assist in providing the ongoing safety and well-being of children.

Make applications to the Children’s Court if the child’s safety cannot be ensured within the family.

Administer protection orders granted by the Children’s Court.

During 2019-20, 174,700 (31 per 1,000) Australian children received child protection services (investigation, care and protection order and/or were in out-of-home care).  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were eight times as likely as non-Indigenous children to have received child protection services. Children from geographically remote areas were more likely to be the subject of substantiation or be in out-of-home care than those from major cities.  Over 5,300 children were reunified with family during 2019–20.  Sixty-seven per cent of children who received child protection services were repeat clients.  This figure alone shows that the system is not effective.

Overall, what seems to be sound policy and practice is clearly not working.

It is not working because all this, although expressed in proactive terms, is actually reactive, intervention occurring only when a problem already exists.

What is needed is proactive programs that prevent problems from arising.

When parents are failing in their responsibilities, the only resolution is through education, and school alone gives access to almost all children where they can be given guidance and life skills.

In terms of youth crime, a partnership between teachers and police is a proven formula that does make a difference.

Mentoring and Youth Support

A mentor who spends time helping a young person is invaluable.  They can help a young person with things, for example:

Schoolwork;

Coping with bullying;

Finding employment;

Strategies to stay safe;

Coping with peer pressure:

Avoiding alcohol and illicit drugs.

Youth inclusion and support panels made up of people like local youth or social workers to work with young people to make sure they get access to local services that will help them stay out of trouble.

Bail

The expanded factors in bail laws require the Courts to consider the potentially adverse effects of a child being held in custody.  Rather than reducing re-offending, research shows that placing children in a custodial environment increases the likelihood that they will reoffend. They are exposed to violence and negative peer groups, and displaced from family and education opportunities. Children leave custody with deteriorated mental health and an elevated risk of self-harm. The new considerations require a Court to confront the consequences of detaining a child – potential recidivism and harm to the child – which are factors that should not sit comfortably with most decision-makers.

However, the factors outlined above exist only when sensible, viable alternatives are not considered.

An alternative to custody in many cases is home detention where the child can, as a condition of bail, be required to stay at home with an exception of being able to attend school, which should be mandatory.

Compliance with such a condition can be achieved through the use of an electronic tracking device, which, in this age of technology, can be designed to look like an ordinary wristwatch to avoid any stigmatisation of the child.

A further condition of bail must be a prohibition of fraternising with any co-offenders to break the nexus of peer pressure.

Sentencing

The bail provisions set out above could equally be adopted as a sentencing option, thus avoiding the possibility of a child being further corrupted in a custodial situation.

Monitoring

The financial savings would be such that establishing a Monitoring Centre to keep track of young people on bail or under sentence would be a fraction of the costs of incarceration.

Recommendations

Immediately reintroduce a Police in Schools Program, such as the one introduced in Victoria in 1989 that ran until 2016, to teach young people the basic tenets of good citizenship.

Establish other proactive programs of interest to young people where they can express themselves safely and lawfully, be that through sport, music, art or anything else that is appropriate.

Establish mentoring and youth support panels.

Introduce bail practices as outlined in this article.

Adopt a sentencing regime that uses home detention in appropriate cases.

HALLELUJAH! A VOICE FOR THE VICTIMS AT LAST

HALLELUJAH! A VOICE FOR THE VICTIMS AT LAST

We have always found the relationship between victims and the Courts an anathema.

In a civilised society, compassion for perpetrators is laudable, but the pendulum has swung so far in favour of criminals that it borders on insanity.

The Herald Sun reported ‘A new deal for Victims’ on March 18th, including 55 recommendations and findings of an inquiry by Fiona McCormack, Victoria’s Victims of Crime Commissioner.

There is a lot to like in the report; however, the problem will be the implementation of her recommendations because it tackles hitherto untouchable and archaic practices of the Courts, and the noise of the legal fraternity seeing their rivers of gold challenged will be loud and vitriolic generating spurious arguments to avoid altering the status quo.

Looking at just two of the recommendations gives an insight into why her work is so important and how ruffled the legal fraternity feathers will be.

Abolish the committal hearing process.

  •  Abolish court committals for some cases, prioritising sex offences and family violence,

There are about 3000 pre-trial or Committal proceedings in Victoria each year, and as best we can determine, at least 95% of those hearings commit defendants for trial.

As an estimate, discarding Committals could save over 12,000 court hours annually.

The only benefit derived from these numbers is that they assist the defence in preparing their case. Receiving a copy of the Prosecution case, the Hand-up Brief should adequately serve that purpose.

A new model must be designed to eliminate committals and the old argument that the risks to the defendant being convicted if innocent is disingenuous. There are significant checks and balances without the Committal.

In the present system, the arresting police officer must prepare a Brief of Evidence capable of providing evidence that prosecution is warranted. Senior police must approve the hand-up brief and provide the accused with a copy. The Director of Public Prosecutions then determines whether a prosecution will proceed.

The Victorian Law Reform Commission recommends,

4.3 The Commission concludes that the test for committal should be abolished and cases transferred from the jurisdiction of the lower courts by a magistrate making an order that the accused appear in a higher court for trial or sentence. Magistrates will no longer be required to apply a test for committal based on the evidence in a case. Instead, the accused should be able to apply for a discharge, and the lower courts should be empowered to discharge the accused if the Court is satisfied that there is no reasonable prospect of conviction.

4.4 An outcome of the proposed change is that the language of ‘committal’ will no longer play a role or be necessary. In place of the present test for committal, a case would move from a lower court to a higher court by an order of the lower court that the accused:

  • appear for plea and sentence in a higher court on a date to be determined or
  • stand trial in a higher court on a date to be determined.

McCormack’s recommendations disappointingly do not go as far as the Law Reform Commission; nevertheless, she adds weight to the argument for abolishing committals.

The Government can no longer avoid addressing this major issue, although the legal fraternity, which has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, will substantially oppose it.

When we talk about many thousands of hours of court time, and our estimates are very conservative, addressing this issue is now urgent and must be prioritised.

Criminals are scamming the system.

What has been overlooked is the impact on Court time and the flow-on effect of long delays adversely impacting the victims as well as perpetrators.

Adjournments are the tactics of perpetrators and their Legal representative’s weapon of choice, and every excuse that can be imagined is used to gain an adjournment from gullible Magistrates.

It works like this – extending delays will often wear down the victim to convince them to withdraw their complaint. If not, when it seems any further adjournment is unlikely, a Guilty plea is entered with extenuating grief the perpetrator suffered because of the self-induced adjournments. That opens another avenue for adjournments.

These tactics clog the system and, coupled with the removal of committals, will unlock substantial court time to ensure that the legal idiom of “Justice delayed is justice denied” does not apply.

It is disgraceful that many examples of matters taking many years to process through the legal system are common, and often, not only is it Court management issues, but perpetrators scam the system with Magistrates too accommodating, allowing delays based on spurious excuses. ‘Magistrate shopping’ to achieve the result is not uncommon.

This is particularly hard and cruel in domestic matters where the person charged will avoid a court hearing by creating the need for adjournments, usually of many months, designed to break the Victim. Moreover, it often prohibits the Victim from accessing any property rights, even their own personal possessions.

It is not uncommon that because of the committal process, many victims are further scarred on top of the events that the offender perpetrated.

A sentence for being a Victim.

In one case, we know of the Victim suffering the ignominy of 14 adjournments secured by the defendant over five years. At the last adjournment hearing, the defendant asked to change his plea to guilty.

The case was again adjourned for sentencing. As reports impacting his sentence are gathered, it will be interesting to see if the perpetrator uses this process to gain further adjournments.

For five years, the victim has been in hiding, protecting her children, wearing a bracelet alarm. She is currently still in hiding and penniless because of the power the defendant has and continues to exercise over her.

The victim has suffered a sentence of 5 years of fear that has not yet been resolved. Yet it is doubtful the perpetrator will receive anywhere near this penalty for the crimes committed against her. Where is the justice in that?

The fault lies at the feet of the Law, bureaucracy, and, therefore, the Attorney General.

Specifically, the Court’s management processes, the weak, disinterested, or ideologically driven judiciary, and the need for more accountability in the legal system to rectify anomalies.

A Judicial Review Panel must be created, as in other States, to deal with the judiciary’s processes, behavioural, and performance issues at all levels with the ability to measure Judicial performance and legal balance effectively.

The current situation has evolved because of a need for more performance evaluation and accountability of the judiciary, which can be achieved while still respecting Judicial independence.

This is now a priority.

POLICE ALLEGED BLUNDER RAISES SUSPICIONS

POLICE ALLEGED BLUNDER RAISES SUSPICIONS

We have been mulling over the recent arrest and release of a sex offender who was one of the 149 detainees released by the Federal Government.

It was reported in the media (HS and others) that Alfons Pirimapun, 44, was charged on Wednesday, the 28th of February 2024, with sexual assault, stalking and two counts of unlawful assault. This followed two incidents in Richmond.

The Prime Minister was under extreme pressure from all media because the suspected perpetrator was one of the detainees released by the Government. The story about the alleged offences was the lead headline in nearly every masthead in the country. Then suddenly, the heat was off. VicPol was backtracking without a reasonable explanation.

A Victoria Police spokesperson said on Thursday that “a process had commenced to formally withdraw the charges.”

The Commander sent out to front the media to mop up this apparent blunder has inadvertently raised the possibility that this was a political hit job to protect the government.

It was reported again in the HS, that Victoria Police Commander Mark Galliot apologised to Pirimapun at a press conference shortly after the charges were dropped while arguing,

“ It wasn’t a mistake to arrest him on Wednesday night.”

“I wouldn’t say it as a blunder; investigators had sufficient evidence to make an arrest,” he said.

“Yes, there was an error in arresting the person and remanded him, and as I said as soon as we found out, we rectified it and we apologise sincerely.”

What concerns us most is the speed with which an investigation has determined that sufficient evidence for an arrest and being remanded can be so quickly overturned that it sounds like a direction to withdraw the prosecution rather than a failure of the evidence collected.

The withdrawal of the charges provided substantial political capital for the Government.

If the error was so blatant as to be so obvious and so quickly acted upon, serious questions of political interference can be raised. Without the proper and full release of the circumstances, this view will persist.

Police take the arrest and charging of a suspect very seriously, so there are only two explanations: the Force was used politically to make this go away, or there was some catastrophic flaw in the evidence.

As far as political interference is concerned, there has been a strong whiff persisting for some considerable time about VicPol being politicised and the Police Force being used as a puppet by the puppet masters at Spring Street. This seems to have become more blatant, giving rise to the real worry that Policing in this state is an extension of the government and not an independent authority.

As for the flaw in the evidence, the indecent haste that determined the flaw leads to the suspicion that the brief could not have been adequately investigated. The statement by Galliot, “as soon as we found out,can be reasonably interpreted as being told.

The who told what to whom is critical for community peace of mind and assurances that have some veracity. Given that Galliot also said that they had no other suspects, this gives rise, in part, to a lie about the mistake in identity hinted at during his press conference.

We have not heard a sound from IBAC, the watchdog, in months, but perhaps their chain is too short. Perhaps we don’t have an IBAC anymore; it’s just a bureaucratic malaise keeping a low profile to avoid criticism.

We have experienced first-hand VicPol dealing with crime in a partisan way. A serious crime supported by CCTV footage was reported, and overnight, a decision was made. The following morning, we were advised that no offence had occurred. This was done without interviewing any witnesses, and there were many.

Of course, there may be a new way to conduct an investigation; gathering the evidence and interviewing witnesses seems no longer the way, but what would we know, a lot actually.

What was particularly galling was that the report from the CAA was considered independently by no less than five former very senior Police investigators, who were unanimous that a prima facie case existed for serious offences.

The issue was that the perpetrators were most likely employees of the Richmond Drug Injecting room, a particularly political ‘hot potato’ where adverse public opinion could ensue.

There was insufficient time for even a rudimentary investigation, so the Investigators were undoubtedly told to make it disappear. The government had buried or withheld the Ken Lay report they commissioned into the injecting room function, and any criticism, particularly of a criminal nature, by the facility’s staff would be politically damaging.

Making the issue go away would ‘curry favour’ with the Government.

We have often raised the issue of the ‘Separation of Powers’ issue, and failure to do so feeds suspicion of partisan bias, which is a dangerous predisposition for any Police Force in any free society where the rule of law applies.

This suspicion is not just some wild conspiracy theory when you take into account the alleged political influence in the Red Shirts saga, the criminal travel rorts, the failed George Pell prosecution, many aspects of the COVID response, and making the Gobbo affair prosecutions disappear, and the most blatant, the Road crash involving the Premier.

From this list, two conclusions can be drawn. If you offend and are a mate of the government or the incident can embarrass the political class, your sins will be overlooked, and prosecution is unlikely; if you are politically and ideologically opposed to the government, there is every possibility, no matter how improbable,  you will be prosecuted and pursued through the courts relentlessly, shades of a police state.

Given the way things are headed, a Royal Commission into Victoria Police and the role of successive Chief Commissioners in alleged Political influence would seem inevitable.

The underlying principle of the ‘Separation of Powers’ is our protection from a government ‘going rogue’ and engaging in criminal behaviour. When the police become joined at the hip to their political masters, the ‘blind eye’ principle becomes evident, a precursor to political criminality and the creation of a police state.

At what stage do the directions from Spring Street become. ‘a conspiracy, to Pervert the Course of  Justice?

We would argue that it is probable that the line has been crossed multiple times.

All criminal activity, particularly in Government, has a habit of being exposed at some stage. All it takes is a disgruntled Prosecutor or Police member to find their conscience, and the walls will tumble down. It might not happen today, but it can happen at any time.

In this instance, the police must explain how this incident occurred, given their advice that there wasn’t a blunder and that ‘investigators had sufficient evidence to make an arrest.’

Some things just seem unfathomable.

DRUG INJECTING ROOM – LIFE SAVER OR DESECRATOR?

DRUG INJECTING ROOM – LIFE SAVER OR DESECRATOR?

The long-awaited report by former Police Commissioner Ken Lay into the possible location of another Safe injecting room for the CBD is now moot, having not seen the light of day.

There is now overwhelming evidence that the purpose of the facility, Called MSIR, to care for drug addicts has failed, and more addicts die as a result of the existence and function of the facility than happens without it.

An eighteen-month analysis of the MSIR overdose rates makes for a compelling read and reality check.

Not only is the facility an abject failure operationally, but the community impact has failed to be considered, and many of the locals and residents have been forced to live in a twilight of fear. Their crime is that they are unfortunate enough to happen to live in an area where the Government has placed the MSIR.

The two reasons alone that should force the Government to close the facility are:

  1. MSIR failure to perform its intended function. Intended to reduce the death rate of addicts, the MSIR overdose rates are 23.5/1000 or 102 times higher than the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC); the MSIR doesn’t work and must be immediately closed to save the lives of addicts.

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See PDF for more detail: Analysis of the Melbourne MedicallySupervised Injecting Room’s heroin overdose rates in its first 18 months.

Yes, you guessed it; the MSIR does not save lives and has not reduced the death rate of addicts but increased it. Not to mention providing the drug trade with a focal point for trading akin to a market.

2.    The suffering inflicted on the residents is beyond comprehension for a failed social experiment. The MSIR is a magnet and has become the epicentre of the illicit street drug trade in Victoria, with addicts all over the state travelling to the MSIR not necessarily to use the facility but to access the rampant drug trade.

The addicts, having driven to the site to access drugs, do not drive home sober but pull up not far from the MSIR to consume their purchase before heading back from where they came. Metaphorically enjoying the trip.

That many of them drive to and from should be of enormous concern for the wider safety of the State.

The horror that the residents must endure is best illustrated by their experiences on March 6, 2024.

 

What long-term damage is caused to those 12-year-olds as drug apologists work to normalise Drug addiction? There are constant and terrifying stories that have become so regular the government dismisses them as a small number of disgruntled anti-drug locals intent on discrediting social advancement.

The objections to the injecting room concept are based in fact and will eventually force a rethink by the Government.

Let’s hope it is done before a local ends up the same way, as many of the addicts who use the facility – dead.

Or perhaps worse, there is an upsurge in young people being hooked on drugs because that behaviour is what they have grown up within a neighbourhood where the scourge has been normalised by the government.

The MSIR must be closed now; enough damage has been wrought, and there are alternatives.

POLICE EFFECTIVENESS – A BLEAK FUTURE.

POLICE EFFECTIVENESS – A BLEAK FUTURE.

One might call it the alignment of the stars. Still, we are inclined to view the current Police management as an alignment of the ineffective, more concerned about being woke and aligning themselves with an ideology driven by a limited number of politicians in government that, unfortunately, like in the Force, holds sway.

We have a Police Force that is ineffective and indifferent to our needs directly due to poor management driven by ideologues sidelining pragmatic Officers dedicated to the core principles of policing consistent with their Oath of Office and Peelian principles.

Fortunately, this insidious phenomenon has not infected all the senior officers. Still, of those who are, bring the honour of the Force down.

The statistics say it all, and the flimsy excuses no longer wash.

Whilst the crime rate soars, juvenile crime is out of control, and the deaths on our roads are rapidly escalating as the Force expends so much energy on being woke, it fails to adequately address the fundamental policing issues.

Given the VicPol performance and the latest risk assessments of the likelihood of terrorist activity on-shore, Victorians are rightly concerned as to whether the Police command is up to a challenge of this magnitude, particularly how the police might respond depending on the cause the terrorist represents.

Following policy set by the government of the day is necessary; however, that does not extend to following a particular ideology proffered by individuals within a government and not what the citizenry expected when they cast their ballot.

There is no mandate for a woke Force.

Police are individually entitled to their personal views; however, when this starts impinging on the operations of Victoria Police, which is not the plaything of the alleged enlightened officers of the Woke brigade, something has to be said.

The credibility and confidence in the Police Force is crumbling, and the remedial action needed is urgent. Unfortunately, some in the hierarchy are in denial, and that is going to make it difficult to rectify, so it is essential that those who suffer from this malaise must be moved out of the Force as a matter of urgency.

The mantra to all police at all levels should be ‘go woke, go somewhere else’.

Over the last few years, politicisation, wokeness and the inward focus have developed a pattern that makes these issues very concerning and supports the view that the Victoria Police has become an arm or weapon of not only one political party but appears to show loyalty to one faction of the party.

A pattern developed as a string of issues supports the hypothesis that the Force backs the Left factions of the government.

Israel-Hamas War Demonstrations Response

Police may have exposed the Force to litigation by their response, failing to uphold their sworn duty.

The police argued that they were avoiding the escalation of violence by tolerating Pro-Palestinian activities, but they were consenting to their behaviour, a recipe for further escalation.

It is a pity that the principle was not applied during the COVID-19 demonstrations.

Police need to do their sworn duty, encapsulated in their Oath of Office, which in part says,

“ – 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.”

How conflicted must front-line police feel when pushed towards breaching their Oath by Command decisions?

The latest incident was when, for the first time, pro-Palestinian demonstrators were arrested. With all the anti-Jewish pro-Palestine demonstrations, there were no arrests; the victims, however, were penalised, but now pro–Palestine demonstrators have been arrested for disrupting a Gay event.

It seems it is ok for the pro-Palestinians to demonstrate and be violent towards the Jews, but it took a disruption of a Gay event before any Police action was taken against these thugs.

It is a pity the Police didn’t protect the Jews impacted like they did the Gays.

Gay Pride March response.

The CAA  position is that what Police do in their own time as it relates to their sexuality is their business, and it should remain that way unless it is affecting their Police function. Irrespective of any issue, police must remain dispassionate in performing their duty and not become part of events.

The previous Gay Pride march was marred by violence and not by Police dealing with violent demonstrators, but by the Police involving themselves       -they became part of the problem willingly or not.

The blame for allowing police to put themselves in this position must be ‘sheeted home’ to Command.

Various gay events or celebrations have had uniformed Police taking part over quite a few years; however, VicPol failed to read the room and understand that the uniformed police presence was no longer welcome.

The staff commitment to the march hurts the Police service delivery, and with arguments that the force numbers are down and the crime rate ballooning, as is the Road toll, how can the force afford to take so many police away from operations for this frolic?

The response by VicPol to this debacle of policymaking was surprisingly utterly inadequate.

‘We will return’ was the VicPol message, a parody of General Douglas MacArthur’s famous ‘I will return’ made in a war setting.

This very ‘bolshy’ response would no doubt appeal to the hairy-chested knuckle draggers in VicPol. The other side, however, will be super-charged by the challenge. You can bet that planning for the next event to screw the cops is well-advanced.

If the mistake is compounded by police again marching with this or any similar group, you can guarantee there will be an escalation of violence.

Hotheads cannot prevail.

A mea culpa is essential, and as it would be the cause for reducing lawlessness and couched in that way, the community would support the action as responsible.

Let’s hope Victoria exercises the same sensible approach as NSW and withdraws from direct involvement in politicised causes.

Drawing a comparison between the over-the-top COVID responses and current strategies is telling. Although we are confident in the actual frontline police, it is their master’s that are cause for genuine concern.

We despair as to what lies ahead and how future challenges faced by police will be managed; challenges of various magnitudes are inevitable, and some significant changes at executive and sub-executive levels are now critical to ensure that the ability to handle the unexpected is capable of being done.

This is an old but apt adage, given that many results are less than optimum to date.

‘- if you do the same tomorrow as you did today, do not expect a different result.’

CAA PLAN 100.3 – 2024

CAA PLAN 100.3 – 2024

The CAA has published a series of Plans aimed at identifying issues in the law and order space that adversely impact all of us. The current iteration is PLAN 100.3, updating the last version, published in 2019.

A lot has happened in the intervening years. This paper will update the community about the issues we identify and provide suggestions to decision-makers on how things can be improved.

We welcome any comments and hope this paper informs the broader community to pressure for change.

Plan 100.3 Word Doc

Plan 100.3 PDF

50,000 EYES = ‘ROAD WATCH’

50,000 EYES = ‘ROAD WATCH’

Very interesting statistics reveal that drivers in this State are being watched by over 50,000-eyes by concerned citizens who are prepared to report bad driving behaviour to the police through 000.

The problem is the bad drivers don’t know it.

Unfortunately, there is a disproportionate response from VicPol to these community efforts, with only .09% of calls acted on, or only 45 calls in 12 months.

Of those 45 calls, several very serious offences were disclosed, and drivers were charged.

Whether data is collected incorrectly, the Police switch off these reports due to other priorities, or they are not explicitly allocated the task (accountability), so no one does anything. These are management matters that VicPol needs to address.

These figures are shocking and, if true, are an indictment of VicPol’s priority for road safety. We accept that the number responded to will always be limited as the caller is vague or similar, but not 99%.

Anything less than a 50% response would not be acceptable and raise serious concerns, but .09% is very serious.

We accept that many reported incidents are written off as ‘No Offence disclosed’ (NOD) or ‘Gone on Arrival’ (GOA), but not 99% without investigating the over 50,000 reported incidents. This is outrageous if anywhere near accurate.

This negative must be turned into a positive, hence ‘Road Watch’.

A ‘Road Watch’ community Police initiative will enable drivers who are perceived to be dangerous to be targeted.

Irresponsible drivers will be unaware of the number of other drivers watching them, and the old driver’s habit of watching the rearview mirror for police has long waned, simply due to the inability of the police to maintain a high profile on our roads.

There is a high probability that this effect is directly proportionate to the lack of police activity on our roads and the increased reliance on technology.

Whether the lack of Police on our roads is due to a capability issue, lack of resources or how the resources are used, VicPol must wrestle with these things. Nevertheless, the roads would be safer if all drivers knew their bad driving could be reported to the police.

The promotion of this initiative will warn drivers that they will not only have to look out for police, but there are 50,000 eyes in the community watching them and potentially reporting their behaviour behind the wheel, but they will not know which other vehicle on the road is a ‘Road Watch’ participant.

We are consistently told Police presence on the roads, particularly the highways, is very poor. With community help, bad driver behaviour can be influenced throughout the State, augmenting the lack of Police resources.

Significant flaws in the current process relating to failed service delivery need to be addressed urgently.

  • All calls must be allocated to an operational unit member; albeit the traditional overarching ‘Keep a look out for’ may be appropriate, the job still needs to be assigned and investigated. Keeping a lookout cannot be measured as an outcome.
  • The responsible member must contact the person making the report as soon as possible to enable the matter to be investigated. (Information from members of the public may not have been effectively passed via police comms.)
  • The outcome must be logged for management functions.
  • All data collected must be automatically cross-referenced to all reports to identify any driver patterns requiring attention.
  • All calls from the public about bad driving must be given a much higher priority and, with that, ensure greater accountability.

Moreover, how is it known whether the complainant has additional information, perhaps Dash-cam footage, that may help identify a driver if they are not contacted after their report? All these matters must be investigated.

This is all part of the Service Delivery Matrix, or should be.

The effectiveness of any Police Force is directly and intrinsically linked to the level of information from the public. Without public support, the Police become ineffective.

Public information and support regarding road users is critical.

The failure of the Police to contact all citizens motivated to contact the Police on 000 about bad drivers with an outcome for their efforts and to thank them for their diligence is inexcusable given its importance.

Not communicating with callers is counterproductive to fostering further help from the community and developing better and more productive Police Community interactions.

Informing all drivers that they are being watched will lead to better compliance.

‘Road Watch’

The CAA makes the following recommendations.

  • VicPol must respect the community’s efforts by elevating responses to callers to a higher priority.
  • All callers be advised to expect a phone call from the attending police.
  • All calls where a driver or vehicle is identified must be automatically cross-checked to other databases, enabling Police to take action against recidivist perpetrators.
  • VicPol immediately review the information gathered on 000 calls to provide accurate data.
  • All calls about bad drivers must be specifically allocated to members to investigate.
  • Members allocated calls must contact the complainants to
    • Discuss the incident for investigative reasons and
    • Thank the caller for their interest.
  • For management efficiency, the priority of all 000 ‘Road Watch’ calls must be allocated to a Highway Patrol unit, the Force traffic experts to investigate the issues.
  • Develop a high-profile Road safety campaign highlighting ‘Road Watch’ and the 50,000 eyes watching and reporting bad road users.

This last recommendation will inevitably motivate more community members to participate, which is a good outcome for reducing the frequency of impaired driving and promoting more respect for Police from the community.

The Road Toll can be directly attributed to impaired driving, so targeting this area is logical and sensible. With community support, a reduction in the toll is achievable.

Even if the outcome of an identified driver does not disclose an offence, a knock on the door from police to advise (rather than accuse) that their driving is inappropriate and was reported by other road users will suffice to correct many imperfect drivers.

It makes sense that Police efforts to reduce the road toll are targeted at bad drivers, who are inevitably the primary cause of the raging Road Toll.

‘Road Watch’ -50,000-eyes can be an effective weapon.

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.

CALL TO ACTION – YOUTH CRIME

30th Jan 2024

Youth crime is out of control in Victoria. What is the Government and the Courts doing to curb the current crime pandemic?  Absolutely nothing.

The Community Advocacy Alliance Inc. (CAA) warned of this almost nine years ago.  Sadly, our warning was ignored.

People in Victoria do not feel safe from youth gangs and young, aggressive, violent, offenders. Violent home invasions, carjackings and theft of cars in endemic and serious assaults, often involving knives, have become commonplace.

How can this blight on society be curbed?

Firstly, the idiocy of raising the age of criminality to fourteen must be abandoned. It is ideology overriding common sense.

Secondly, the Judiciary must adopt a more realistic regime on penalising youth criminal behaviour.  Repeatedly bailing young offenders without imposing strict, enforced conditions is lunacy.  Curfews and electronic tracking must be immediately introduced. Prohibiting contact with co-accused is also necessary to break the cycle of peer pressure.  Home detention instead of jail is a viable option with an exception to allow attendance at school which must be mandatory.

Thirdly, a proactive regime of crime prevention is required.  Making arrests is reactive not proactive.

Victoria Police, as part of its mandate, is required to fight, reduce and prevent crime.

In 1989 Victoria Police introduced a Police in Schools (PISP) Program.

This program was delivered by police trained for the purpose.

PISP – The aims of the program were:

  • to reduce the incidence of crime in society;
  • to develop a better relationship between police and youth in the community;
  • to create in young people an understanding of the police role in the structure of society;
  • to extend the concept of the crime prevention into the Victorian school system;
  • to equip young people with the necessary skills to avoid dangerous and threatening situations.

Along with these specific aims, behavioural objectives were set, and after participation in the program, young people were able to:

  • demonstrate the values, responsibilities and obligations current society deems valuable;
  • state the consequences of a person’s actions regarding unlawful behaviour;
  • demonstrate sufficient self-esteem and skill to avoid or reduce and delay the uptake of illicit drugs and resist engaging in anti-social behaviour;
  • engage in positive interactions and consultation with police members:
  • state the basic role of police and the legal system in Victoria.

In order to achieve the above aims and objectives, the program delivered a core structure of seven themes, namely:

  • the role of police in society;
  • the legal system;
  • rights, rules and responsibilities;
  • consequences of our actions;
  • keeping ourselves and others safe;
  • drug and alcohol education;
  • personal development.

In a reintroduced PISP there should be three further themes added:

  • anti-bullying strategies;
  • domestic violence avoidance;
  • road traffic safety;

All of these ten themes would closely interlink with the school curriculum thus enhancing the relevance of the program to the school community and the learning of the young people concerned.

Students, following their participation in the PISP, were able to:

  • demonstrate the values, responsibilities and obligations current society deems valuable;
  • state the consequences of a person’s actions regarding unlawful behaviour;
  • demonstrate sufficient self-esteem and skill to say no to drug abuse and other antisocial behaviour;
  • engage in positive interactions and consultation with police members;
  • state the basic role of police and the legal system in Victoria;
  • develop a better understanding between police and youth in society;
  • gain an understanding of the police role in the structure of society;
  • be equipped with the necessary skills to avoid dangerous and threatening situations.

The PISP was a resounding success as confirmed by an academic review conducted by Monash University, the results released in 2004.

Where the PISP operated there was a sharp reduction in graffiti, other acts of vandalism, petty crime and anti-social behaviour.  Violent home invasions, carjacking and serious assaults were unknown or very rare.

Many teachers reported that those in their charge were more respectful of them, each other, and were better behaved in class and easier to teach.  Many teachers also reported that they felt safer in the school environment.

Curbing disruptive behaviour in classes also ensured the education of students wanting to learn was not interfered with.  This was and is an important consideration.  The current youth lawlessness also contributes to the drop in literacy standards in our education system, as this lawlessness inevitably seeps into schools.

In 2006 the then Chief Commissioner, Nixon, in an act of proactive policing vandalism, abolished the program after an internal review reported the program was producing excellent results but was poorly managed.

The CAA demands the Government immediately address the youth crime issues by:

  • Abandoning the move to raise the age of criminality.
  • Requiring the Judiciary to adopt a more realistic regime on penalising youth criminal behaviour.
  • Requiring the Victoria Police to reintroduce a PISP and properly resource this Program.

If no action is taken, it will be inevitable police will have to be stationed in schools to maintain law and order, enabling schools to function.  A reintroduced PISP is by far the better option as part of the education process.

We, the citizens of Victoria, have had enough of juvenile crime.

SOMETIMES THERE IS JUST A BETTER WAY.

SOMETIMES THERE IS JUST A BETTER WAY.

The drug issue in Canada has become so bad the headline’ Canada is Dying’ has resonance. As they desperately try to save their Country, we need to learn and act before the Canadian experience is repeated here.

The CAA has been trying to convince those who make decisions on the drug issue their directions are wrong with little success. As frustrating as this may be, sometimes you are exposed to the effort of others, which reinvigorates. Their experiences and successes confirm that we are on the right path, and the popular theory of ‘Harm Minimisation’, or more accurately, the ‘Drug Facilitation’ strategy, is badly flawed, having been hijacked by the pro-drug lobby.

The ‘Harm Minimisation’ pro-drug lobby will loudly and forcefully defend the strategy, and they have led governments both here and overseas in this failed direction, with many jurisdictions trying to walk back from this concept as the drug issue grows beyond control and the death toll and the suffering of addicts escalates at an alarming rate. Not to mention community harm, which grows expediently with the explosion of addicts.

This heightened problem with drugs is directly attributable to this misused ‘Harm Minimisation’ strategy, with its centrepiece being Drug Injecting Rooms.

Bringing about a change to the three pillars strategy, Education/prevention, Law enforcement and Treatment, is not going to be easy because the Pro Drug lobby is well organised and viciously vocal.

The illicit drug industry is the only beneficiary of the continuing strategy of ‘Harm Minimisation as it is currently applied. How facilitating drug use in Injecting Rooms is ‘Harm Minimisation’ is a mystery.

There are possibly those who are genuinely convinced that the Drug rooms and the ‘Harm Minimisation’ strategy are in the best interests of addicts, but the false benefits of this approach have skewed their views.

Every time you are exposed to the screeching of proponents of ‘Harm Minimisation’ attempting to lay collective guilt on the community, those proponents are delivering the pro-drug strategies of dark forces.

There is only one way to address the problem we face: dump the current failed approach and embrace the ‘Three Pillars’ strategy, which will save lives.

We have previously looked to Canada to see the effects of the various strategies, how they evolve to deal with the market variables, and, importantly, what we can expect looking forward.

The Drug lords and Organised Crime cartel’s insatiable appetite for rivers of gold will be motivation enough as new combinations of drugs are more profitable, easier to manufacture and harder to detect.

Given the loud advocacy for the status quo, the pall of suspicion hangs over many of those pushing the failed strategy. We wonder whether the rivers of gold enjoyed by the drug Tsars have tributaries finding their way into the pockets of ‘Harm Minimisation advocates’.

Canada is currently dealing with a significant influx of Fentanyl. Combined with other drugs, like Ketamine, it can also cause other serious physical impairments, afflicting users with terrible infections, abscesses, strokes or paralysis, the horrific effects of which can sometimes require amputation and can lead to an excruciating death, hence its nickname: the zombie drug.

More than 40,000 Canadians have died from opioid overdoses since 2016. The root of this crisis lies in the proliferation of the manufactured opioid fentanyl, the culprit in more than 85 per cent of these deaths.

Fentanyl is far more powerful than many older and more familiar opioids; it is 40 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Beyond its addictive properties, fentanyl is cheap to manufacture, very hard to detect, and twice as addictive as other drugs.

A long overdue examination of whether the palatably named ‘Harm Reduction’ has morphed into its nemesis see the latest findings of Injecting Rooms efficacy. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/ucp-supervised-consumption-site-review-committee-announcement-findings-1.5486579

Canadian British Columbia province Alberta has seven consumption sites, and the Government is trying to bring the three pillars into balance as the consumption sites are drug facilitation facilities without any attempt to rehabilitate or divert users. They now tend to accept that the sites are responsible for the broader use of drugs and justify their existence by questionable statistics, something that has been alleged to occur here.

An article by Canadian Susan Martinuk  https://c2cjournal.ca/2024/01/harm-reduction-is-killing-b-c-s-addicts-theres-a-better-way/ provides a balanced and insightful view on the issues being confronted.

Coincidently and interestingly, Alberta has a group, the Odd Squad, which provides guidance and advice to authorities. Unashamedly, Alberta harvests the wisdom of this group of former Police officers and others.

This group has eerily similarities to the CAA.

JUVENILE BAIL, SHOULD WE, OR SHOULDN’T WE?

JUVENILE BAIL, SHOULD WE, OR SHOULDN’T WE?

As the debate over Bail laws for juveniles rages, the proponents on the side of the ‘relaxation of laws’, ‘for the good of the child’ have lost sight of reality.

The two concepts, ‘relaxation of laws’ and ‘for the good of the child’ is an oxymoron.

A sceptic may also conclude that this move is a cynical government strategy to show how the youth problem has diminished by excluding large numbers of the youngest cohort from the statistical criminal matrix, thereby solving the youth problem.

The problem, however, is the giant chasm between what these proponents preach and the reality the juvenile interprets.

Some time ago, the CAA met with the executives of a well-known and, up until that time, in our view, a highly respected major youth-focused charitable organisation to discuss the issues and strategies that might be co-jointly pursued to help young offenders.

In discussing the Police Cautioning program, we raised the concept that minor penalties could be applied to juveniles with consent and agreement from the child’s parents. For example, we suggested that the juvenile’s phone be surrendered for fourteen days or report to the police station to do chores, etc.

The response was akin to threatening juvenile offenders with purgatory as they exposed their agenda.

They were clearly and stridently opposed to the Police Cautioning Program and initiatives like the Police in Schools Program. Not that they could annunciate the problems with either.

It seemed they were motivated and basing their views on some ideological zealotry.

And of greatest surprise was their absolute lack of care for the child’s welfare and the approach of no consequences for unlawful behaviour or, for that matter, any plausible result for the child’s behaviour or meaningful action that may reduce the repetition of the behaviour.

How the child’s unlawful behaviour could be corrected, or the dangers to the child mitigated with no intervention were beyond a reasoned view.

They also could not identify a circumstance where a child should be incarcerated, whether in sentencing or on Bail.

The adverse risk to the children was obvious, but that the community must accept and tolerate this behaviour was outrageous.

Whoever is promoting the lifting of the age of criminal responsibility is tarred with the same brush of ignorance.

When a young person’s lousy behaviour escalates to violence against others, a substantial intervention of consequences must be applied to the child very quickly if the behaviour is to be modified.

Failure to do this is the cause of the current escalation in overall juvenile violent crime.

Some fundamental traits in immature young people are critical to expect to achieve behavioural change.

  • Time – Young people live in different time zones than adults, and as we age, we learn that an hour or a day for a mature adult, for a young person, would equate to a day or forever. This phenomenon translates into watering down dramatically the impact of the legal process on a child whose life has moved on substantially before consequences, if any, are applied.
  • Consequential outcomes of actions – Children may not consider the consequences of their actions and will continue to act violently until they do.

The current example of three young people pushing an elderly man fishing off a pier, falling some 5 meters into the sea, is an example. Thankfully, the old man who couldn’t swim was rescued by onlookers.

There would have been no rational thought from the youths that the consequences may lead to the death of the man.

  • Youth Bail – Excessive use of their right to Bail contributes markedly to our current problems. A youth released on bail gains bragging rights and believes they have beaten the charges. This alleged badge of honour escalates violent behaviour as associates are led to believe there will be no consequences for their violent behaviour either, so any deterrent effect on others is lost.

There must be an urgent review of the management of young offenders with an emphasis on consequences for unlawful behaviour.

That review must consider the matters we have raised and determine an efficient and appropriate system for managing young people.

The passionate argument of never incarcerating young people must be quashed as it is as essential to protect the community as it is to protect the child. Incarceration is a must if there is no viable alternative. We do not advocate incarcerating all young offenders but only when it is reasonably necessary, but all offenders must suffer some consequences.

The risks that can be argued opposing incarceration of ‘making the offender worse’ we differ ‘worse than what’. Violence in any form must be punished.  Assaults, carjacking and home invasions must be stamped out.

If there are issues with the detention system, then fix the system.

The current system appears broken, but that has more to do with activists fiddling with it for ideological reasons as the system, even with some failings, has historically served us well, or indeed better than it currently does.

Fiddling with the bail laws and the age of criminal responsibility are just that, tinkering around the edges without a holistic approach that would achieve meaningful outcomes.

Curfews and tracking devices for recidivist offenders are a ‘no brainer’.

The actual legislative changes to achieve better outcomes are relatively small. Changing the mindset of key players in the youth space might be more of a challenge; however, if their function was measured against benchmarks, instilling accountability with consequences into these functions, meaningful changes might be quicker than anticipated.