Welcome announcement by Victorian Government to strengthen police integrity

We welcome the announcement today by the Victorian Government to strengthen police integrity. We wait for the detail but call for significant investment in IBAC to enable them to conduct independent investigations of not only corrupt police but also those who abuse their powers and mistreat the public.

Independent investigation of serious complaints against police are long overdue . The Victorian cross parliamentary Inquiry into the Police Complaints system in 2019 recommended IBAC be expanded with funding & powers to independently investigate serious police complaints . The Victorian Government  in December 2019 accepted this and all recommendations of the Inquiry.

Youthlaw and others who have monitored treatment by police of vulnerable Victorians commend this important step to ensure police interactions with the community are of the highest standard and accountable .

Recent press coverage of a significant number of incidents where police mistreated usually highly vulnerable people , has highlighted the need for police to be held more accountable .

Currently 99% of complaints to police whether serious or not are all handled and investigated internally in Victoria Police.  Police have enormous powers including handling of weaponry and charging citizens. These powers need to be overseen and monitored to ensure they are not misused.

The vast majority of police demonstrate skill & compassion in the interactions with the public . For those who do the right thing ,those who don’t must be held accountable & weeded out.

Over 20 years we have seen young people mistreated by police but unwilling to complain because of fear of repercussion either by local police or in the court .  This needs to change .

Ariel Couchman

CEO Young People’s Legal Rights Centre

Mobile : 0438812937

( note unavailable today 7-5-21 from 10.30 to 12 & 2-3pm )

Ariel Couchman