24th July 2022

Safer exchange sites have been introduced to some Victoria Police Stations in metropolitan Melbourne’s northeast. A concept widely used overseas, but an idea of which most of us were unaware.

This is a significant and positive strategy Victoria Police has embarked on and is an example of good police proactive Service Delivery, addressing a community need and reducing opportunities for crime

The principle of the site is simple in its ethos but significant in improving Police service delivery and community safety. A place where the community can go to improve their safety in dealing with people they have not met but want to sell or purchase products sourced online.

Not only protecting people from crooks but discouraging crooks from selling hot property to innocent people.

New and innovative ideas are always encouraged and required in the evolution of our online lives. In this case, VicPol is ahead in the game.

Based on this concept, it would be wonderful if the idea could be extended to include estranged parents exchanging their children for visitation; that would be significant.

Those exchanges currently happen in a McDonald’s car park or a shopping centre, but how much better would it be for an estranged parent that had some fear to undertake the process at the Safer exchange site.

Serious consideration should be given to building on this initiative with nominal creative civil works at police stations to provide two or three parking bays off-road where possible, where people can go for access exchanges or when confronted with road rage or other threatening situations.

Currently, most parking spaces in front of Police stations are occupied by Police cars, so having a Safer Zone dedicated would be a great extension of service delivery.

We think the only negative to this program is that it is running as a trial where it has been trailed extensively overseas. It should be implemented State-wide as a matter of urgency – a trial is superfluous.

Trials are usually run to help leaders avoid exercising leadership decisions for which they may be held to account.

But well done, VicPol.