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.
The question of respect is nothing new. It is central to the earliest Peelian principles of policing. Common sense really, however, it has been sadly lacking by Victoria Police Command in the recent past, which co-incided with an increase in youth crime, home invasions and car jackings and a move from universal rights, to rights for particular groups, e.g. rather than no to violence, to no to violence against women and children, which portrays the perhaps unintended message that all men are violent to women which in turn becomes decisive rather than supportive to all, see Principle 5.
PRINCIPLE 1 “The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.”
PRINCIPLE 2 “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police actions.”
PRINCIPLE 3 “Police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.”
PRINCIPLE 4 “The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.”
PRINCIPLE 5 “Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to the public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.”
PRINCIPLE 6 “Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient.”
PRINCIPLE 7 “Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”
PRINCIPLE 8 “Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.”
PRINCIPLE 9 “The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.”
Ilias Bougias is with Trung Luu and 2 others.
3 hrs ·
Growing up in Brunswick in the 70’s & 80’s, we were cheeky but not evil.
Weekends after Greek school were ours to run amok, play games, explore disused textile factories, climb their roofs, sit in the Fire Brigade Museum’s old fire trucks,
( stored in the old Miller’s Ropeworks in Dawson St), yes we knew how to get in,
jumped fences of schools etc etc etc.
We fought like cats and dogs, went home bleeding and with broken bones and promised to kill the bastard next time!
We feared only one,
not the Lebo’s, the gooks, the skips, the wogs.
Hell, sometimes we’d join forces against each other and promised to settle scores afterwards!
There was one gang we feared because we respected them.
That gang had their shop on Green Hill just past Blyth St on Sydney Rd.
These were guys 6.4 foot tall and two axe handles wide, they had guns and batons and cool cars.
They’d look at you and you’d shit yourself, and if you copped a kick up the arse you wouldn’t sit for a week.
Not once did it ever go further, we weren’t armed nor did we hurt anyone, but we’d heard of what happened to bad boys if it did, and we NEVER crossed that invisible line.
This gang was run by Mr Miller,
I’ve never met him even though he still lives next door to a friend in Melbourne’s SE.
He ran an organisition that had was loved, feared, respected and appreciated, one that always
Upheld The Right (Tenez Le Droit)
and always did it’s
A cousin worked as his assistant at Liquor Licensing after Mr Miller retired from his gang, and even today Mavro talks about him in awe, as if Mr Miller can walk on water!
I look around me today yearning for those days,
It pains me to compare the differences with today, seeing I know what I know today,
and to see “brothers” of mine feel exasperated, frustrated and just “going through the motions” because they’re hampered from doing their duty.
Read the attached article that has been written by 600 years of accumulated policing.
Chief Commissioner (Rtd)
Sinclair Imrie “Mick” Miller AO, LVO, QPM
Could not agree more – draw the line in the sand and maintain it