Win on name tags

After a protracted campaign spanning several years, The Police Association has won the right for members to be able to wear an identity tag bearing their service number, rather than their name, in some operational situations.

Under the new exemption, members may be authorised to wear tags that detail only their registered number under local or temporary arrangements relating to planned operations, or as a management option relating to planned operations, or as a management option relating to THASM (Threats Against Serving Members) files.

The use of numbered tags at planned operations is to be considered by members preparing the Operation Order, which must be authorised by a Superintendent or above. This decision will be made as part of the risk assessment component of the operation planning process for the purpose of reducing threats that may occur through members being identified by name tags

Where possible, there should be consistent usage within a group of either name or numbered tags

The use of numbered tags should be detailed in operation orders in 'dress of the day' and communicated clearly through other operation tools, including joining instructions.

Wearing numbered tags may also be used as a strategy in the management of active THASM files. Approval to wear numbered tags for this purpose must be granted by the relevant Regional Commander or Department Head.

Wearing a numbered tag does not relieve members of their responsibility when requested to state their name, rank and place of duty (orally or in writing under s.456AA(4), Crimes Act, or any other legislative or customer service requirements.

We anticipate that there may require some fine-tuning to this policy in the future. We would therefore welcome feedback from members in this regard after they’ve had time to assess the operation this policy.

Shortage of OC spray canisters

The Police Association has been made aware of a state-wide shortage of large (Mk9) OC Spray canisters. This is a health and safety concern for all our members if left unresolved.

We have been informed that there are currently no Mk 9 canisters available for order from Logistics at this time.

Furthermore, an audit of all remaining Mk 9 canisters has been conducted by Logistical Support Division and Region A/C Staff Officers have been notified of current stock.

Regional Staff Officers can assist operational members to obtain Mk 9 canisters from within their Region on a needs basis.

Logistical Support Division are expecting a delivery of 1500 canisters of Mk 9 in the next two months, with the balance of the order of 7300 canisters arriving after.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Prevalence Study

The Police Association encourages all members to participate in the Victoria Police Mental Health and Wellbeing Prevalence study currently underway.

This study fulfils Recommendation 1 from last year’s landmark Mental Health Review, which noted that Victoria Police currently has little data on the mental health symptoms and conditions impacting its employees, or about its organisational psychological safety climate.

As a result, the Mental Health and Wellbeing Prevalence study has been developed to obtain accurate data on the prevalence of mental health conditions, symptoms, help-seeking, stigma, and support options in Victoria Police.

By participating in the study, you will be helping Victoria Police establish a baseline to measure changes in members’ mental health and wellbeing and to develop future initiatives that can meet the organisation’s needs.

The Police Association has been assured that members’ participation in this important study will be completely voluntary and anonymous.

Members will also be given the option of completing the study at any time, either during or outside working hours. It should take only 15-20 minutes to complete.

All members should have by now received an email from Victoria Police with a hyperlink to the survey instrument which will be accessible from any device.

Watch House design

The tender process has been completed for a new design of the watch house console and desk at Narre Warren police station.

Specific Improvements Notices were served on Victoria Police following a Worksafe Inspectors visit to the station in March this year.

They related to a series of safety issues including the poor design of the watch house desk workstation, the state of unguarded cooling fans and incorrectly fitted ceiling panels.

More generally but most critically, the current configuration of watch house desks was deemed non-compliant because, at present, it fails to accommodate the number and varying size of members that are required to work on the watch house desk.

Works at Narre Warren will commence shortly.

The Police Association would like to thank delegates and Health and Safety representatives who identified the issues and helped to affect this action.

Wayne Gatt