Save the date: Dr Kevin Gilmartin back by popular demand

We’re delighted to announce that members and their families will get another opportunity to see the highly-acclaimed US behavioural scientist and former police officer, Dr Kevin Gilmartin, when he returns to Victoria in October for another series of presentations.

Dr Gilmartin will deliver five presentations between 6 – 11 October in Melbourne, Bendigo, Geelong and Moe.

Thousands of members and their families have either heard Dr Gilmartin speak during previous visits to Victoria in 2014 and 2016 and/or read his bestselling book, Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement.

Specifically targeted to police officers, Dr Gilmartin’s presentations are as entertaining as they are informative. Attendance is free of charge.

He will share his unique insights into how the job of policing can lead otherwise committed professionals into becoming cynical and angry about the job and life in general.

Importantly you will hear how proactive and holistic coping strategies could help you successfully cope with the challenges of police work and the stresses of daily life in general, as they have for tens of thousands of police officers worldwide.

Dr Gilmartin’s October schedule

These sessions are highly recommended to those members who have not yet had the chance to attend one of Dr Gilmartin’s previous sessions. We also recommend that you bring along a close family member who may also carry many of the burdens of police work.

Attendance in an ‘on-duty’ capacity is expected to be approved, which we will confirm with members once this is finalised.

In the coming weeks, members will be afforded an opportunity to book their free ticket(s) via our website to attend one of these five sessions via our website.

We will advise members once the booking facility is open.

Proposed Bail Reforms welcomed as a step in the right direction

The Police Association has welcomed today’s announcement by the Victorian Government of its intention to reform the state’s bail laws as a ‘step in the right direction’.

The Government’s response to the recent Bail Review undertaken by Justice Paul Coghlan QC, heeds many of the recommendations put forward by the Association in its submission to the review, which, if implemented, will enhance community safety.

It’s been a concern to us that Victoria has seen the pendulum swing too far in favor of offenders and away from community safety and the protection of victims.

The Police Association’s key submission to Justice Coghlan, was that it should be made a lot more difficult for people accused of committing serious and violent crimes to be granted bail.

We believe that if today’s response to the Coghlan review by the Government leads to the development of strong and unambiguous legislation, then this will ultimately address this imbalance.

The Government’s intention to extend the range of offences that trigger a refusal of bail, other than in exceptional circumstances, will support victims and police by making it more difficult for people accused of serious crimes to be granted bail.

In addition, expanding the range of crimes where an accused person must show `good reason’ to be bailed will mean that the onus will rest with offenders to show why they should be released back into the community.

That said, these proposed reforms rely on the development of new bail laws that makes the Government’s intentions announced today a reality.

For too long, we have seen occasions where the current laws have allowed bail decision- makers to not always give sufficient weight to community safety and expectation. Where there’s an unacceptable risk to the community we must always err on the side of victims. Our laws need to make this crystal clear.

We welcome the Government’s intention to provide police with more powers to hear bail applications and remand accused offenders – something which our research suggests that 96 percent of our members say should happen. This will fix an obvious gap in the system.

As a key stakeholder, we will watch with great interest as this draft legislation progresses through the Parliament. Given that flawed bail laws still apply today, we hope that the process of change comes quickly.

Police Association makes submission to Youth Justice Review

The Police Association recently finalised its submission to a Parliamentary Review into the Youth Justice System.

In essence our submission calls for the allocation of more police resources to those stations that are within a close proximity to where Youth Justice facilities currently exists given the heavy demands placed on local police.

We also recommend that greater resources and attention be given to proactive and preventative programs that prevent youths from entering the justice system in the first instance.

The Association will complement its written submission with verbal submissions scheduled in late May.

Members can read our full written submission by clicking here.

Attention members working in road policing

We thank those members attached to Highway Patrols and units attached to Road Policing Command for already completing our survey.

As many of you are aware, Victoria Police has commissioned an external review that will critically evaluate the current road policing service delivery model, determine the best and most effective resourcing model.

All members working in road policing are invited to complete our survey and offer their unique perspective. Your responses will inform the Association of future advocacy regarding this issue. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Please note that the survey is completely confidential and no comments made will be identified.

If you would like to provide your views to your Association, but haven’t yet done so, please click the following link:

The survey will close at 5pm on Wednesday the 17th of May 2017.

Wayne Gatt