31st March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is upon us but it seems not to have motivated a response by Victoria Police, requiring the Premier to step in and allocate five hundred Police to the function of community compliance to the Pandemic restrictions.

The Premier should not have had to do that if the Chief Commissioner was doing his job. The police response has been like a fire brigade looking out at a fire while it burns. They can see the smoke but are waiting for someone to tell them to respond.

Why all Police leave is not cancelled, members on leave recalled, and all non-essential duties postponed beggars belief. All ancillary functions to Police operations should be suspended, the wholesalebud site and that includes many operations and task forces and groups.

Many thousands of Police need to dust off their uniforms and get out there to ensure compliance. If there are not enough cars, hire them, if there is not enough room at police Stations, then hire caravans for the car park, the police cars will not need the spaces as the police cars should all be out manning roadblocks across the State to reinforce compliance.  We are in an emergency.

Better to have a short hiatus in some police activities and protect the community.

It is very easy to tell what the Police reaction is now by how many Police cars are parked at Police Stations.

Crime is unlikely to run rampant as crooks are just as vulnerable as everyone else and most will not run the risk of infection.  Police effort now will help shorten the pandemic. All the increased Police activity will probably reduce crime anyway.

That there is insufficient protective gear for Police should not interfere with talking to drivers and turning them around is they breach the Level restrictions in place.

Why the Premier has to step in, is an indictment of the lack of leadership from a Chief Commissioner.