31st May 2019

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton in his article, ‘Victoria Police demand respect,’ invited readers of the Herald Sun 31/5/19 to;

Ask any old school copper if they’ve seen the levels of respect for police change over the years, and their answer will not surprise you.

The Community Advocacy Alliance Inc. (CAA) has several ‘Old School Coppers’ (600 years’ worth) and therefore is well qualified to provide the community with the answer to this question, and the answer may surprise you.

Respect is a two-way disposition, not only has respect deteriorated towards Police, but the Police respect for the community has deteriorated in equal measure.

Although there are many aspects to the Police delivering their part of the bargain, the major influencers to this deterioration are, Disengagement, lack of Service delivery and after service for (victims) the community Police have served.

Every successful modern organisation, whether Political, Not for profit or commercial, all focus on these two important pillars.

The CAA has long advocated that there would appear to be no meaningful measurement of performance of Police based on their ability to deliver their service beyond the actual recording of incidents.

There is no measure that would highlight a particular Police workplace or a particular police member of any rank failing to deliver the Police service at a standard set by the organisation and meeting the expectations of the community, who pay for it.

Just two examples of service delivery that the community waits for. The Police Advice Line promised for last year, and response time statistics both seem to have evaporated. No progress reports, they have just dropped off into oblivion.

For that matter, it is not clear what the performance level in delivering the Police service Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) is by Victoria Police; other than Crime statistics. That makes it extremely hard to impossible to measure service delivery.

Moreover, there would appear to be no strategy developed for identifying and correcting anomalies, so there is little chance of the problem being rectified soon.

The CAA strongly supports the men and woman of the Victoria Police often doing jobs that nobody else can or will do, in sometimes-horrific circumstances, but even with that rider this concept of ‘Respect’, closely aligned to trust, must be earned and cannot be demanded.

It is time the management processes of Victoria Police are subject to review to bring them up to date with modern and current best practices.