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Safer arrangements for community engagement

The Police Association earlier this week advised members that it sought dialogue with Victoria Police over patrols planned for later this month that would combine community engagement work with response and patrol duties in Glen Eira.

We have expressed our concerns that the presence of private security from a community security group (CSG) embedded in police response and patrol units would compromise the operational independence of members and present legitimate safety issues.

We are pleased that after raising these issues with Victoria Police, constructive dialogue has enabled us to reach agreement on guidelines that would alleviate the concerns raised by members.

Arrangements in place will now restrict duties performed by members in this role to community engagement work. This will eliminate the conflict that exists when patrol and response duties are performed with third parties.

Members tasked to engage in proactive duties over five days during the Jewish High Holy days in Port Phillip and Glen Eira between 20 September and 30 September will do so in accordance with the following guidelines agreed between The Police Association and Victoria Police;

  • All units tasked for these events will be proactive units for the sole purpose of community engagement by building community confidence through visible police presence – These units will not be tasked as patrol or response units. The members will record with ESTA that they are unavailable for attendance at other jobs.
  • CSG members are there to assist police with information about the Jewish community, culture and sensitivities and to provide advice about Jewish premises in support of police operations and police member safety. Members are not required to share police confidential information or intelligence.
  • In the event of an emergency, CSG volunteers will be instructed to exit the police vehicle to clearly distinguish the end of the community engagement tasking.
  • CSG members cannot instruct nor direct police response in any way and CSG volunteers accompanying members will not be armed
  • There must be a minimum of two police members working on these units

Working proactively with the community is something that we have always encouraged and we are confident, that these revised arrangements represent a common-sense solution to this issue.

We wish to thank our delegates and members for their support in bringing about this resolution.

Wayne Gatt

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