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Why we oppose embedding private security in police patrol vehicles

The Police Association has today publicly raised concerns over Victoria Police’s decision to allow private security personnel to accompany police members in police patrol vehicles in Glen Eira and Port Phillip later this month.

Our misgivings in relation to this practice, as reported in an article published in today’s Herald Sun, reflect those which have been expressed directly to us by many members in recent days.

While the Association fully supports our members working proactively with their respective communities, this practice in our view, is not only unnecessary, but also has the potential to compromise police independence, safety and confidentiality.

What is planned to occur later this month also sets a worrying precedent for this practice to become more widespread.

Working proactively with the community is something that we have always encouraged but the time for this engagement is before not during a police response.

Victoria Police needs to maintain its independence and should not allow its members’ impartiality to be compromised by even the slightest hint of interference. There are countless relationships forged in the community every day, but these have not, and should not, extend to allowing private security to ride with police.

Our members do not see any inherent benefit in being chaperoned by a non-sworn third party in the course of their duty, but they see plenty of potential pit falls. There is no known risk to members or the community that has been provided to our members to justify this initiative.

Third parties riding with police will be exposed to confidential radio communication, become privy to police methodology all the while being a liability for police officers effectively impeding their ability to respond to incidents.

If our members are called to respond to a critical incident, their first priority must be their own safety and that of the public. In this circumstance, they also have the additional burden of having to worry about the safety of a third party providing the potential to derail their response.

At a time when safety leadership is encouraged, it is frustrating when our members’ legitimate concerns, as in this instance, are not being heeded.

PFA launches new mental health awareness campaign

The Police Federation of Australia, the national police union body, representing more than 60,000 police officers has today launched a mental health public awareness campaign that will run over the next two years.

This campaign, which will receive funding support to the tune of $1 million by the Federal Government, is being supported by all Police unions and associations across the country, including your Police Association.

The aim of the campaign is to target the social and emotional wellbeing (mental health) of members and promote awareness, understanding, prevention and early intervention.

This includes but is not exclusively geared towards PTSD (there are many forms of mental illness - PTSD is just one aspect)

This will be done through an upcoming campaign that includes print, television, social media, Apps, workshops and the production of a documentary styled video.

By educating members on the importance of early detection and destigmatising mental illness, there is hope that there will be less of an impact on members, their families and the workplace.

In due course The Police Association Victoria will play its role in rolling out elements of this campaign to all members.

Order your 2018 TPAV Diary and/or new Notebook online by 21 September

Just a reminder that if you haven’t yet ordered your 2018 TPAV diary and/or new notebook, you have until Thursday 21 September to do so.

Simply fill out the online form and reserve your copy for delivery towards the end of 2017.

Unlike previous years, members will only receive a pocket diary if they order one, so please stipulate this in your order should you require a copy.

Annual General Meetings – Schedule and Agenda

Members are reminded that Annual General Meetings for The Police Association Victoria, the VPA Friendly Society and Victoria Police Branch of the Police Federation of Australia, respectively, will be held in Melbourne on Wednesday September 13 from 11.30am.

Full details and an agenda for each meeting can be viewed on the Association’s website by clicking here.

Wayne Gatt

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