16th May 2018

We are continually told that Victoria Police average 14,000 Police public contacts per day so the number of complaints against police forms only a tiny fraction of this number.
This argument does not pass the pub test and is treated with scepticism by the public of Victoria. A more meaningful statistic would be the number of complaints against police arising as the consequence of seeking compliance with public order and the law.
Cameras capturing only part of incidents and other excuses are trotted out as to why the complaints seem to be on the rise but the rise may only be a symptom of a larger problem that if left untreated will guarantee further increases.
Frustration – with few exceptions people are motivated to join policing as a career to achieve a level of fulfilment in serving the community. However, when they go through the arduous qualifying process to join the like minded ranks of the once proud Force on the front line of Policing, many of their aspirational dreams are shattered and they are left as frustrated as their peers.
Imagine if you were a fully trained and equipped police member prepared to do what needs to be done to maintain the peace, prevent crime, and, importantly, intervene to stop the continuation of a crime and you are routinely instructed to take no action. Victoria Police has a non-interventionist policy. Add that to a Risk Adverse psyche and you have the ingredients for no action.
This is seen in many examples, amongst the most obvious the interception of stolen cars where generally the perpetrators are allowed to run and police must stand by no doubt uttering a prayer that non-intervention does not lead to another Bourke street tragedy.
The issue around the mobs wrecking short stay rental properties is probably the worse example of this policy. Contrary to what was published in the media there is ample legislative powers for police to have acted and we are told there were ample police at the scenes of these events to act but they were directed not to intervene. Safety is the often sited reason but whose? Seems the community don’t rate high on this scale.
Serious consideration must be given to the consequences of the current policies and the adverse side effects it creates. Not the least the propensity to encourage more disorder not less.
Police must start intervening and doing what the Police Force is paid to do.