29th December 2016

Victoria is labouring through a policing experiment, where tasking, or management by statistics, ls being marketed as “Modern Policing” but instead of reducing crime it has increased it, dramatically.

Victorian are subjected to a crime epidemic and a road toll that has risen alarmingly while other states of Australia enjoy a safer and relatively crime free life style that Victorians can only dream about.

The proliferation of home security systems and high front fences are stealing our life style more efficiently than terrorists.

Victorians are entitled to know how long it will be before this, ‘Modern Policing’, tasking experiment, is acknowledged as a failure and we can move to the traditional policing that we know works. The hope for this ‘Modern Policing’, tasking experiment to be claimed as a success has long gone. However self-serving reputations are defending the failure and delaying the inevitable demise of this experiment.

The amount of ‘bark’ lost by some will depend on how courageous they are in calling a halt. The longer this experiment is allowed to run the more severe the outcomes for its advocates.

Victoria already has the highest number of Police per 100,000 people, the highest of any State in Australia, the highest Crime rate and with a road network substantially smaller than other States a Road toll that continues to climb.

Key performance indicators for Policing in Victoria of Crime, up 13.5% and the Road Toll up by 14.7% are eerily similar and cannot be blamed on Socio Economic factors or other abnormalities peculiar to this State.

With an announced increase of 3000 more police over five years it is cold comfort for Victorian’s to look forward to the status quo for years to come until there are enough Police to follow this Tasking dream.

It is a wonder nobody has realised that no other States are following in Victoria’s footsteps and with good reason.

Worryingly, there is no guarantee that the ‘Modernising Policing’ tasking experiment will ever work, and, if it doesn’t, then what? When we find in five years 3,000 extra police are not enough, do we recruit 6,000 to be sure?

When you compare Victoria to New South Wales and compare their crime reduction figure to the Victorian crime increase the variation in crime is in the order of over twenty five percent more crime committed in Victoria compared to New South Wales. In the order of a twenty five percent  crime differential is scary- for Victorians.

New South Wales news headlines,”12 major Crime types lowest in 20 years”, are something we can only dream about.

No wonder Politicians are beating a path to New South Wales. It is pure speculation, but management styles, management recruiting and Policing philosophies that differ from Victoria might be high on their agendas.

The New South Wales Police Commissioner Scipione has achieved extremely good policing results which reflect right through the Law and Order sphere.

The Courts in Victoria have a lot to answer for but until we get the policing of this State right we can hardly blame the Judiciary.

One of the problems with experiments is that they are embarked upon by people singularly focused with tenacity towards the successful outcome of their hypothesis, sometimes to the exclusion of rational and pragmatic evaluation.

A problem with the ‘Modern Policing.’ tasking experiment is, who is doing the evaluation?

Phrases like,” tasking leads to efficient use of resources ensuring that the resources are located where the problems are,” are theoretical wonder statements and are substantially flawed unless the allocations can be made at the time of the offences.

A faulty concept for if efficiency is gauged only by where resources are positioned then heaven help us.

Another flaw in this Modern Policing tasking experiment is that the use of statistics to deploy resources is by nature, always in the past tense. Thus deployment as a consequence of offending not deployment to avoid offending is reactive and is more akin to the Policing of the nineteen sixties.

It does not take long for law breakers to work out that the police will be tasked to where they were, not where they now are, and with the power of Social Media, coordination of criminal activity is simplified.

There is a common disclaimer on financial products, “If you are considering this product you should not rely on past performances alone you must seek professional advice.” It would be wise for Victoria Police to apply this to policing.


Ivan W.Ray