Page 1


EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Paul McCue Phone (08) 8995 9520 www.ntpa.com.au ADVERTISER ALERT Boo Media is appointed by the Northern Territory Police Association as the authorised publisher of Northern Territory Police News. For enquiries regarding advertising in this magazine, please contact the publishers:

Contents DECEMBER 2017

PUBLISHER: Boo Media PTY Limited PO Box 19, Narrabeen, NSW 2101 Phone: (02) 8004 8612 Fax: (02) 8004 8611 info@boodigital.com.au ACN: 153 128 860 EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTIONS must be supplied on computer disk with hard copy (or by email to reception@ntpa.com.au) addressed to The Editor, Northern Territory Police News, GPO Box 2350, Darwin Northern Territory 0801.

36

Northern Territory Police News is published by the Northern Territory Police Association Inc., Level 2, Suite 209 ‘Spirit on The Avenue’ 12 Salonika Street Parap NT 0820. Contents are subject to copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Organisations which represent sworn police officers’ industrial interests, however, may reproduce any part of the content of Northern Territory Police News without written permission of the publisher. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor.

Basketball Championships Successful comp for our teams

The publisher accepts no responsibility for statements made by advertisers. DISCLAIMER Boo Media (“Publisher”) advises that the contents of this publication are at the sole discretion of the Northern Territory Police Association, and the publication is offered for information purposes only. The publication has been formulated in good faith and the Publisher believes its contents to be accurate. However, the contents do not amount to a recommendation (either expressly or by implication) and should not be relied upon in lieu of specific professional advice. The Northern Territory Police Association make no representation, nor give any warranty or guarantee concerning the information provided. The Publisher disclaims all responsibility for any loss or damage which may be incurred by any reader relying upon the information contained in the publication whether that loss or damage is caused by any fault or negligence on the part of the Publisher, its directors and employees.

32

PFA on police numbers Making sense of the stats

25

07

President’s Message

08

Field Officer’s Report

10

Legal Report

11

Are you equipt?

14

National Police Remembrance Day

18

Paul Tudor Stack – life after the job

20

Separation of Powers?

24

Mark Bell retires

25

Vale Alan Joseph Hodge

26

Superintendent Rob Burgoyne’s story

29

Squad 46/87 30 years on

32

PFA on police numbers

36

Basketball Championships

37

Michael Connolly book giveaway

38

Retirements and Resignations

Vale Alan Joseph Hodge Farewell to a popular and distinguished officer

COPYRIGHT All advertisements appearing in this publication are subject to copyright and may not be reproduced except with the consent of the owner of the copyright. ADVERTISING Advertisements in this journal are solicited from organisations and businesses on the understanding that no special considerations other than those normally accepted in respect of commercial dealings, will be given to any advertiser.

The NT Police Association is proudly supported by:

Cover photo: National Police Remembrance Day

DECEMBER 2017 05


president's Message

REGIONAL DELEGATES

EXECUTIVE MEMBERS

Term - 20 November 2017 to 31 October 2019 ACPO

COMMISSIONED OFFICERS

Chairperson Vacant Vice Chairperson Vacant Secretary Vacant Ordinary Member 1 Ellen Moore Ordinary Mem. 2 Vacant

Chairperson Craig Barrett Vice Chairperson Warren Jackson Secretary Vacant Ordinary Member 1 Janelle Tonkin Ord. Member 2 Vacant

AUXILIARY

DARWIN

Chairperson James Green Vice Chairp. Vacant Secretary Vacant Ord. Member 1 Melissa Bridgeman Ord. Member 2 Suzanne Seears

Chairperson Michael Valladares Vice Chairperson Nicholas Carter Secretary Jessica Lee Ord. Member 1 Josh Cunningham Ord. Member 2 Jason Conroy

BARKLY

NORTH EASTERN

Chairperson Darryl Beckmann Vice Chairperson Elizabeth Garwood Secretary Vacant Ord. Member 1 Adrian Hertman Ordinary Member 2 Peter Cousins

Chairperson Owen Blackwell Vice Chairperson Kim Chambers Secretary Brentley Holmes Ord. Member 1 Leighton Arnott Ord. Member 2 Stephen Nalder

BERRIMAH

PALMERSTON

Chairperson Kyle Ferricks Vice Chairperson Tim Hatton Secretary Matt Allen Ordinary Member 1 Alicia Harvey Ord. Member 2 Stephen McWilliams

Chairperson Colin Quedley Vice Chairperson Steve Downie Secretary Adam Goldsmith Ordinary Member 1 Joanna Stephen Ordinary Member 2 Ben Coleman

CASUARINA

SPECIALIST SERVICES

Chairperson Steve Rankine Vice Chairperson Malcom Marshall Secretary Dean Elliott Ordinary Member 1 Bryan Duffy Ordinary Member 2 Anthony Jones

Chairperson Neil Mellon Vice Chairperson Lisa Bayliss Secretary Stuart Short Ord. Member 1 Mark Clemmens Ordinary Member 2 Vacant

CENTRAL

SOUTHERN

Chairperson Matthew Ridolfi Vice Chairperson Nick Byrne Secretary Jason Dingle Ordinary Member 1 Blake Goodworth Ordinary Member 2 John Tickner

Chairperson Brodie Anderson Vice Chairperson Vacant Secretary Greg Burns Ordinary Member 1 Vacant Ordinary Member 2 Adam Swift

president's Message PAUL McCUE PRESIDENT

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT

COL GOODSELL

CHRIS WILSON

NTPA Office

TISD

Alice Springs Station

CRISPIN GARGAN

IAN NANKIVELL

BRETT COTTIER

VICE PRESIDENT

TREASURER

EXECUTIVE MEMBER

EXECUTIVE MEMBER

Drug & Organised Crime Squad

Darwin Station

Crime Division

DAVE CUBIS

MARK TURNER

KYLIE PROCTOR

EXECUTIVE MEMBER

EXECUTIVE MEMBER

Water Police

DFU Casuarina Police Station

PFES College

LEE MORGAN

SIMONE PETERKEN

EXECUTIVE MEMBER

Delegates as at 22 November 2017

EXECUTIVE SUB COMMITTEE & PANELS 2017/2018 FINANCE COMMITTEE

MEDAL ELIGIBILITY COMMITTEE

Treasurer Crispin Gargan (Chair), Paul McCue, Col Goodsell, Chris Wilson, Brett Cottier, Lee Morgan

Crispin Gargan, Kylie Proctor

PROMOTIONS APPEALS BOARD

GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE

Louise Jorgensen, Michael Hebb, Tony Henrys

Col Goodsell (Chair), Ian Nankivell Kylie Proctor, Lee Morgan, Mark Turner, Matt Marshall

SELECTIONS/TRANSFER PANEL OBSERVERS COMMITTEE

INABILITY/DISCIPLINARY APPEALS BOARD

EXECUTIVE MEMBER Crime Division

EXECUTIVE MEMBER Ramingining Police Station

MATT MARSHALL

JAKSON EVANS

EXECUTIVE MEMBER Katherine Station

TERRY SIMPSON

EXECUTIVE MEMBER

EXECUTIVE MEMBER

PFES College

Alice Springs Field Intelligence Section

Rotation all Darwin based Executive Members

Louise Jorgensen, Michael Hebb, Tony Henrys

TRAINING AND ADVISORY COMMITTEE

INDUSTRIAL COMMITTEE

Brett Cottier, Crispin Gargan, Paul McCue

Paul McCue (Chair), Chris Wilson Col Goodsell, Jakson Evans, Mark Soligo, Simone Peterken

UNIFORM & EQUIPMENT COMMITTEE

NTPA STAFF MEMBERS

Crispin Gargan, Matt Marshall

LEGAL ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE Chris Wilson (Chair), Brett Cottier, Jakson Evans, Mark Turner, Simone Peterken, Terry Simpson

as at 9 June 2017

06 NT POLICE NEWS

WELFARE COMMITTEE Paul McCue (Chair), Dave Cubis, Ian Nankivell, Kylie Proctor, Terry Simpson

TESSA PRINGLE

MARK SOLIGO

ZOEY KELLAWAY

Executive & Compliance Officer

Field Officer

Administration Officer

Facing the Reality As yet another year closes out, political pressure and mixed messages from some senior executive, continue to plague our officers both in the urban and remote areas.

Paul McCue, President

As I

write this article, it is five years to the day since I began with the NT Police Association, and it is fair to say the landscape, both politically and from a senior executive level, has changed dramatically. So where do we sit now, are we advancing or regressing? Let’s start with the very plain and simple matter of police numbers. Figures obtained through the NTPFES Annual Reports, reveal the 2012/2013 year closed with 1451.08 FTE sworn police and police auxiliaries. The year 2016/2017 shows a total of 1403.26 FTE sworn police and police auxiliaries, an overall reduction of 47.82 FTE positions. Almost 50 less police and police auxiliaries to fill our rosters. Couple this with the ongoing resolve by government and the Commissioner to curtail to community pressure by retaining police at bottle shops, and you can double that figure, to 100 less police patrolling our streets, working in crime, traffic, youth crime, and engaging with ALL aspects of our community. In the leadup to the Territory election of August 2016, our police were asked to be patient, the Banned Drinkers Register (BDR) was promised but it will take a year, and it did. Now it is in, our officers continue to be asked to undertake questionable duties outside bottle shops, to the determinant of their safety, and remote officer’s safety. It can no longer be denied that the pressure of community expectation is put well ahead of that of our own officers, who are being left to fend for themselves at bottle shops, and in remote locations. This disgraceful situation is one which is now impacting on the desire of long term police to remain in Alice Springs, and in the police force generally. This was clearly evident at a recent meeting in Alice Springs attended by almost 60 officers. It should be noted the government has implemented a recruiting plan to bring on extra officers, but this will be some time away before it has a real affect.

It can no longer be denied that the pressure of community expectation is put well ahead of that of our own officers, who are being left to fend for themselves at bottle shops, and in remote locations.

The here and now must be addressed, the government cannot expect police to carry the load of poor planning and social order issues, it must allow police to be police, and insist on other government departments pulling their weight. In the five years since joining the NTPA, I have had the opportunity to regularly visit both major and remote stations and speak first hand to members, gauging their morale generally. It is disappointing to see morale on the decline, and at a low point I have not seen for a considerably long time. So why is this the case? It is clear that when speaking with members, they feel disempowered and at the beck and call of government pressure, not allowed to simply do their job. Furthermore, there is no real desire to want to work remotely, not in the current environment anyway. With a lack of relief, lack of full staffing and lack of opportunities to have a respectable amount of work / life balance, the appeal has diminished. This was supported in the NTPA survey of members in the lead up to Consent Agreement negotiations. This, together with ongoing poor management of workplace related complaints, has resulted in morale being at dangerously low levels. So, what can be done? It is time to face the reality, it is time for government and the Commissioner to put the police first, listen to their concerns, and make the admission to the public that there are not enough boots on the ground to do what is being asked of them. It is time for urgency to be placed on recommendations

out of the Alcohol review, and get our police back doing police work, and shine the spotlight on governments own Licencing arm, and the alcohol industry, to control their own, and not leave it on the shoulders of understaffed police. It is time to listen and respond to the reality of what our officers are facing today. There can be no other choice.

THANK YOU

As we close out the year, I would like to thank the hard-working staff of the NTPA, together with our Executive and Regional Delegates. In a year which has proved challenging for a variety of reasons, our staff, Executive and Delegates continue to work tirelessly to improve your workplace conditions and advocate for better outcomes. I also thank our Communications Officer, Georgina Murphy, who after three years with the NTPA has moved on to another exciting opportunity here in the NT. As our first ever communications officer, Georgina made the role her own and has forged the path for a better reach with our members and long-term partners. Good luck Georgina in your new role, and Happy Monday! Finally thank you to all members and their families for your hard work protecting our community. The sacrifice you all make should never be underestimated and this will again be the case when some of you will be working over the festive season. I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas and prosperous 2018.

DECEMBER 2017 07


Field officer's report

As 2017 is drawing to a close, to say it’s been a big year would be selling it a little short. As the NTPA Field Officer, I am proud to have provided advice and assistance to over 600 members this year, in every area from internal disciplinary matters, housing issues, pay/HR related enquires and disputes, roster issues, and most importantly, member welfare assistance. We have had a few good industrial fights along the way, some we have won, some we haven’t, and have several matters still on the go. I will continue, as best I can, to fight the good fight for all members. Mark Soligo, Field Officer

The Year in Review Obviously, the biggest thing this year has been the Consent Agreement negotiations, which are still ongoing, after the historic 84% rejection vote of the Governments pay offer. This was my first involvement in the CA process and it has certainly been an interesting (and hair greying) journey so far. Thanks to all the members who have actively participated in the CA 2017 discussions, from emailing in ideas and thoughts, to attending the various meetings and information sessions we held around the Territory. The feedback and information you provided has been essential in us being able to strongly represent you all at the negotiating table. We have attempted to keep you as up to date and involved in the whole process as best we can and will continue to do so.

This is not something that has recently started occurring, but it is getting progressively worse. Remote stations continue to be closed for extended periods, and from some individuals, there is an expectation for members to be working ‘one up’. This is not acceptable.

POINT OF SALE INTERVENTIONS

A recent meeting in Alice Springs that filled the room with members keen to talk about the next steps in relation to POSIs/TBLs indicates the way ‘bottle

shop duties’ continued to be viewed by the majority of our membership, particularly those who get rostered on them day after day. Members can be rest assured that our Association will continue to advocate for the change to our highly trained, professional members acting as security guards. We are well aware of the flow on (pardon the pun) effects POSIs are having, including with roster pressures and resourcing being felt across the Territory (not just in the locations were POSIs are conducted),

NUMBERS – SKINNY ON THE GROUND

The recent publishing of the PFES Annual Report 2016-17 revealed no surprises – there’s less Police on the ground now than there has been in previous reporting periods, particularly at ranks up to Senior Sergeant. The number’s bottom line was not news to us at the Association, as we receive constant feedback from members at all ranks reporting of requirements to ‘do more with less’ with no end in sight. Resourcing (or lack of) also continues to be the cause of many issues our members face.

8

NT POLICE NEWS

Field Officer Mark Soligo addressing recruits at the Police College

the limitation on leave access, training opportunities and professional development. And don’t get me started on the effects to our members welfare, health and safety, including assaults and working one-up. POSI’s, TBL or whatever we are calling this this week are simply not a job Police should be doing.

REGIONAL DELEGATES

As we go to print for this edition, we are finalising the nominations and subsequent elections of the Regional Delegates. I encourage our members of all ranks to familiarise themselves with their local delegates, who can assist you in the workplace with any queries or concerns you have, and also be an important feeder of information from our Association out to your local station or work section. For our new Regional Delegates, we will be hosting training in 2018, to assist you in your new roles, and also, for you to provide feedback to us at the NTPA Office about ways we can help you too. Thank you to our delegates (past, present and emerging) for the assistance you have provided throughout this year. The strength of the Association relies on the commitment and hard work of our Regional Delegates.

EQUIPT APP

Field Officer Mark Soligo speaking at the Auxiliary Region meeting

Some time ago, the Police Association of Victoria worked alongside the University of Melbourne and the Victoria Police to develop a mobile app, known as Equipt. Our Victorian counterparts have generously availed the app for other jurisdictions, and we’re in the process of finalising the app with Northern Territory content. While Equipt was introduced to us from a fellow Association, the Commissioner of Police has generously agreed to co-fund its introduction to the Territory and I encourage everyone to download the NT version of the Equipt app when it rolls out shortly.

THE FESTIVE SEASON

The silly season is upon us and as is typically the case, it’ll be our members working while the majority of the wider community is playing. The Christmas holiday period is typically a busy one and this year will be no exception. So be careful, stay safe, and enjoy your time with family and friends. Merry Christmas.

When you're a catalyst for change, you make enemies – and I'm proud of the ones I've got. Rupert Murdoch AC

This is a timely reminder, to please let our office know if you are working alone, have been rostered one-up or know of someone who has, email us at memberservices@ntpa.com.au or ring the office 08 8995 9520.

Mark ‘Solly’ Soligo, NTPA Field Officer mark.soligo@ntpa.com.au phone 08 8995 9520 or 0428 881 652

DECEMBER 2017

9


Advertisement

On duty and eating healthy A tactical response to avoiding the obesity trap Australia’s bulging waistline is continuing to expand and the police are among the worst offenders.

Eating well during rotating shifts is challenging and takes effort. But planning for food breaks is essential because the convenience of fast food joints is a trap that ensnares many officers, especially the young and single.

LIFE AS A POLICE OFFICER IS ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY. WE UNDERSTAND THAT AND WE’RE HERE TO SUPPORT YOUR HEALTH AND WELLBEING! The Police Health KITBAG has everything you need to navigate the physical and mental pressures of policing. Improve and maintain your health and relationships with resources developed and collated exclusively for modern police. Register now to gain exclusive access to information about: Mental Health Physical Health Financial Health Relationship/Family Health Career Health Once you register you’ll also be automatically entered into a draw to win a monthly prize!

In the US, the police and other emergency service workers rate as the fattest among all professions and there are concerns that Australians are at risk of catching up. According to a recent study, more than 40 per cent of US police, firefighters and security guards are obese – a deeply worrying statistic as it impacts on their health, safety and ability to do the job. While their Australian counterparts don't rate quite as badly, there is no room for complacency.

RE GISTER N OW AT

policehealthkitbag.com.au

PRESENTED BY

Research from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that a whopping 63.4 per cent of the adult population is overweight or obese – and the figure continues to increase. The obesity epidemic is now among Australia’s most serious health concerns as it a major contributor to heart disease and strokes. Carrying too much weight also increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, sleep apnoea and mental health issues, and raises the chances of developing a wide range of cancers. In the police, that extra fat also becomes a safety issue for yourself and colleagues as it limits your ability to operate at peak capacity in times of danger. For your own health and wellbeing, start the New Year with a tactical response to your daily eating habits. THE RISKS OF POOR NUTRITION As a shift worker, fast food is definitely an easy meal option – but in most cases it really should be a last resort.

P O L ICE H E ALT H L I MI T ED. ABN 86 135 221 519. A RE G IS T ERED, N OT-F O R-PR O F I T, RE S T RIC T ED A C CE S S PR I VAT E H E ALT H INSURER . VISIT P OL I CEHE ALT HK I T B AG .C O M. AU F O R T ERMS & C O NDIT IO NS . 0 8 /1 1 /1 7

While there are some ‘healthyish’ fast foods available, many are certainly not healthy and can directly impact how you feel. No officer would accept second-rate components for a patrol car or other equipment as it could jeopardise safety, so why compromise on your food? In many cases, fast food is highly processed and contains excessive amounts of carbohydrates, sugar, unhealthy fats and salt. All too often the foods are high in calories yet offer little or no nutritional value. The result is poor nutrition which, even in the short term, can lead to ill health and weight gain. Long term, the risks of suffering chronic disease is high. Young, fit officers may think they are immune but poor eating becomes habit forming. Without real determination it can be hard to reverse the slow build-up of flab and associated health problems.

fillings such as tuna, cheese, lean meats, chicken and sliced eggs. You can make them more interesting by adding a few fresh salad ingredients, such as cucumber, onion, lettuce and tomatoes. Avoid too much white foods because they are invariably processed with many of the fibres, vitamins and minerals stripped away. Food made from refined carbs such as white bread, pasta and rice also have minimal nutritional value. Anything with too much salt, sugar and fat should be avoided. This covers many of the so-called health snacks, such as muesli and yoghurt bars, which can be loaded with all three. Good planning is also a good way of keeping your diet in check when it comes to main meals. If you’ve got a microwave at work take in some leftovers or deliberately cook extra portions of main meals and freeze them.

PLAN WELL TO EAT WELL While eating well is sensible and easy, for officers juggling shift work it may require a bit of organising and preparation before you begin work.

KEEP HYDRATED Drinking fluids is a crucial part of keeping in good shape as it maintains the function of every system in your body, including your brain, heart and muscles.

Being prepared is particularly important for those long overnight shifts when the only places open tend to be fast-food outlets.

People often don't get enough fluids and risk becoming dehydrated, which is particularly hazardous in summer when we perspire more.

Buy yourself an insulated cooler bag and some plastic storage containers and start planning a few snack and meal options. Nutritionists recommend you have a balanced diet involving lean or low-fat proteins along with carbohydrates to keep your body fuelled for the shift. Aim for: •  plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruits •  a variety of cereals such as breads, rice and pasta, preferably wholegrain •  lean meat, fish and poultry •  milk, yoghurts or cheeses. A combination of protein and fibre from whole grains, nuts, vegetables and fruit is great snacking food to keep you going before a main meal. If you’re into sandwiches, use whole-grain breads and wraps and fill them with lean

Staying hydrated can be an inconvenience in particular situations, such as in a patrol car when you want to avoid too many trips to the loo. So try sticking to plain tap water because drinks such as coffee are mildly diuretic and lead to more frequent toilet breaks. Also avoid fizzy drinks as they are loaded with sugar – about 10 teaspoons in a 375mL can of cola. DID YOU KNOW You should only eat dried fruit in small amounts. While dried fruit can boost your fibre and nutrient intake and supply large amounts of antioxidants, the sugar and calorie content is very high.

Police Health Ph: 1800 603 603 www.policehealth.com.au


Member story

A letter from former member Paul Tudor Stack Sgt. 1576 (retired) Left: Paul working with the locals; right: Waiting to see Paul and Frances Big picture: Paul and Frances' home away from home; insert: Frances working with the locals

I retired from the NT Police officially in 2010 but actually departed the NT in 2008 on our then 35-foot yacht, Sea Spray. We now sail a 43-foot yacht we called Monkey Fist.

My wife Frances and I met in Singapore in 1982 when we were both sailing around in junk-rigged Asian sailing boats. Frances joined me on my junk, Marlee Coo and we lived on board until 1986 a year later I joined the NT Police (squad 46/87). We both enjoy travelling (preferably by boat) and we always intended to return to the sea as it allows you to visit places that otherwise are impossible to get to. 18 NT POLICE NEWS

When stationed in Katherine in the early 90's Frances worked as an optometrist's assistant and related the knowledge she gained to the people living subsistence lives whom we had encountered in previous travelling. So many years later an idea formed to carry with us spectacles we had collected (the prescription for which we did not know) and see if we could find people along the way whom they would suit. A noble idea but it needed work. To cut a long story short, we became involved with the Lions Club Recycle For Sight Program and we now carry thousands of pairs of spectacles with us on our travels. Up to the time of writing this article we have conducted clinics in 13 different countries and have provided almost 8,000 pairs of spectacles, as well as sunglasses, without cost or obligation to the people who can neither afford them nor access them. Neither of us are qualified in the field of optometry however the

skills we have learned over this last nine years allow up to help about 98% of people who come to see us – both near sighted and far sighted. We have now formed an organization that we have called Eyeglass Assist. Carrying many spectacles on board over a diverse range of strengths means we are able to conduct our vision screening clinics in small to moderate sized villages and help almost everyone who needs glasses. Recently we even did a whole country, Niue! The majority of people who do need glasses require them for reading and some people may ask what reading material people living in such remote localities have? The answer is generally very little and anything new is often shared around the community, however a common book is the Bible. We aren't religious but we understand the importance of it to many communities and often we find people have not been able to read their Bibles for literally decades because they haven't had glasses. Perhaps more importantly, people need glasses for sewing, weaving and other handy crafts, repairing nets, fixing tools as well as many other important daily tasks. We ensure that everyone knows we are not doctors and are not able to assist with any medical related vision issues other than providing sunglasses, which often provide relief. As you could imagine we have many stories, it's not uncommon to fit glasses to people in their 70's who haven't seen clearly for 20 years. At one very remote atoll off the north coast of Papua New Guinea 8 months prior to our arrival, a naval patrol boat had brought an optometrist with them and tested everyone's eyesight and people were given a piece of paper with their prescription written on it. However, the people had no access to glasses (the nearest shop was hundreds of miles away over the sea) nor did they have any money, but they still had their pieces of paper which we found helpful in supplying them with the spectacles they needed. Generally, when we arrive ask to speak to the chief, major or other community leader and tell them who we are and what we want to do. It has often been the case that our initial approach to a community is greeted with suspicion. People in general find it difficult to believe that someone can come into their community and give them something they need (but can't afford) and they're free! We then set a time and place to start and although we prefer to have the use of a table and chairs, we'll sit on a grass mat on the ground under a tree if necessary. Once we have set up our test kit and charts one person is normally “volunteered” as the guinea pig. Within a short period of time people start to realize that they can trust us and people start lining up to be helped. On more than one occasion we have been told "thank you for helping my people" and let me tell you

it is a truly humbling experience. It's important to consider that many people we help have never owned a pair of glasses and in fact often didn't really know that there was anything wrong with their eyes – until they tried on a pair of glasses and their world is changed in an instant. But what we do is not unique. Many people in the cruising community do what they can to help others and have done many things over the years to make life just a little easier for people in these remote communities. Often after major disasters yachts are the first to return there and provide assistance to the often-devastated villages. Up to now we have absorbed any costs associated with doing what we do. However, after our last four-year circumnavigation of the Pacific Ocean via Japan and the Aleutian Islands we are on our way back to Australia to undertake our most ambitious project yet. In mid 2018 we plan to take 10,000 pairs of spectacles as well as sunglasses to the Solomon Islands and supply and fit them to people who live in remote villages and we are currently trying to raise enough funds to allow us to undertake the project. It will be extremely challenging and a huge amount of work but also an adventure as it's well off the beaten track. So is it going to be dangerous ? All we can say is that we hope not. What we do now I have realized is probably the same reason why I joined the police in the first place - to help people, which I'd like to think is the reason we all did. If you are interested in reading some stories, watching videos, learning more and possibly donating to our project we invite you to visit us at our website at www.eyeglassassist.org and we also have a Facebook page. We also keep a blog is at www.sailblogs.com/member/monkeyfist.

Kids the world over are always happy to be in a photo

DECEMBER 2017 19


Opinion

Separation of Powers? By Senior Vice President, Col Goodsell If I’m honest, I feel a bit guilty writing this opinion piece now. The fact of the matter is, it should have been written some time ago. When a former government was in power. When a former Commissioner was in office. When the rot set in.

Col Goodsell, Senior Vice President

This

epiphany began innocently enough; helping my daughter with some research for her Legal Studies class (she was the teacher, not the student). The topic was ‘Separation of Powers’. I’m sure you are familiar with the concept; the legislature makes the laws, the executive put the laws into operation and the judiciary interpret the laws. In theory, each arm operates independently and free from interference from the others. The question was ‘Where do police sit within the separation of powers?’ Well, I knew that we weren’t the legislature and we weren’t the judiciary, so that must have made us the executive – the ones who put the laws into operation, right? Turns out, it’s not as clear cut as that. The executive not only includes police (and other government departments) but also includes members of parliament who vote to bring laws into effect. The legislature (Cabinet) drafts the Bills to present to Parliament for them to vote on. The Australian High Court has acknowledged that it was impossible, consistent with the British tradition, to insist upon a strict separation between legislative and executive powers. The executive is not only physically part of the legislature, but the legislature can also allocate it some of its powers, such as of the making of regulations under an Act passed by Parliament. Similarly, the legislature could restrict or over-

20 NT POLICE NEWS

rule some powers held by the executive by passing new laws to that effect1. While we may be part of the executive, which has blurred lines with the legislature, one thing which has been enshrined in tradition, and upheld by the courts, is the independence of the Office of Constable. In R. v. Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, ex parte Blackburn2, Lord Denning held – His (the Commissioner’s) constitutional status has never been defined either by statute or by the court… But I have no hesitation in holding that, like every constable in the land, he should be, and is, independent of the executive… No Minister of the Crown can tell him that he must, or must not, keep observation on this place or that; or that he must, or must not, prosecute this man or that one… The responsibility for law enforcement lies with him. He is answerable to the law and to the law alone. This case related to complaints that the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police was not doing enough to enforce the laws relating to gaming clubs. The Commissioner had in fact issued an instruction to his members that no prosecution for breaches of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963 (UK) would be commenced without his authority. His reasoning was that the legislation contained ambiguities and he could not afford to task scarce resources unless there were specific complaints of cheating or evidence that a particular club had become the haunt of criminals. Substitute the word ‘gambling’ for ‘alcohol’ and does the scenario sound familiar?

Back to the NT and the introduction of temporary beat locations (TBLs), which later morphed into points of sale intervention (POSIs), that saw sworn police stationed outside takeaway liquor outlets in an effort to curb alcoholfuelled crime and anti-social behaviour. Some may say an innovative effort to reduce the crime rate – other may say a complete waste of highly trained resources. Whatever your thoughts, there is no doubt that the initial statistics reinforced the Government (and Police Executive) assertion that the scheme was working – so much so, that the CLP Government made TBLs official policy. But recent crime statistics and presentations to Alice Springs Accident and Emergency department (up 15% in six months) indicate that the original successes have waned, and the much lauded ‘reductions’ have become a spent argument. I get that it is the role of Government to set strategic policy in line with their overall platform, which it then delegates to various departments to put into action. However, what should have been a policy of ‘Reduce Alcohol Related Harm’ effectively became ‘Put a Uniformed Police Officer Outside a Takeaway Liquor Outlet During Hours of Operation’. This was the first time I have seen a Government get this far into the weeds to dictate the use of an agency’s resources, and it is the first time that I have seen a Commissioner of Police rollover and allow his authority to be circumvented by political interference. It also made me hark back to Lord Denning’s words – No Minister of the Crown can tell him that he must, or must not, keep observation on this place or that. So much for the independence of the Office of Constable.

Fast forward to a change of Commissioner and a change of Government. OK – I may be an idealist, but I like to think that when people make promises, that they actually keep them. But then again, I am reminded of the words of a former Prime Minister who pointed out the difference between ‘core promises’ (ones they actually intended to keep) and ‘election promises’ (which may be kept, as long as it didn’t interfere with other policies on the agenda).

The much acclaimed return of the Banned Drinker Register (which took 12 months to implement) was supposed to get police off POSI duties. One has to ask, how is that going?

The Chief Minister (also Minister for Police) and Commissioner Kershaw have repeatedly gone on the record stating the continued use of police to staff POSIs is a ‘decision for the operational commander’. How is it then that a strategic approach, which relied on tangible evidence, to tackle alcohol fuelled crime in Alice Springs was put on hold days after certain locals went public with their concerns that police were ‘disappearing’ from out the front bottle shops? A coincidence? Not a coincidence is the fact that the current Government holds a lot of seats, including in Alice Springs and regional areas, and like all Governments, it seeks to retain office come the next election. Keeping the voting public onside is one way to ensure that. But it is not the role of the police force to assist an incumbent Government in holding onto office.

It is the job of the police force to serve the population, without fear or favour, malice or ill-will. Continuing with a flawed (and legally questionable) policy which encourages sworn police to breach their oath of office by arbitrarily imposing ‘drinking bans’ on individuals, and which is seen as a priority over other operational policing cannot continue. In a regime which sees the ‘values-led’ mantra trotted out ad infinitum, this hypocrisy, along with unstaffed or understaffed police stations at the expense of filling POSI rosters, is not lost on the front-line troops. Even former Chief Justice Riley states in his Alcohol Policies and Legislation Review (ironically, a report commissioned by the current government) that responsibility for POSI’s should be transferred to Licensing Inspectors. Yet the government appears content to drag its feet, and the Commissioner appears content to do their bidding, unquestioned. To use rather base vernacular in an effort to get the point across, it is long overdue for the Commissioner to become a strong leader and assert his independence in the Office of Constable and push back hard against continued government intrusion in dictating how he will use his finite resources. Allowing a government to exercise power arbitrarily through the power of a police force is the making of a police state.

1. Victorian Stevedoring & General Contracting Co Pty Ltd v Dignan [1931] HCA 34, (1931) 467 CLR 73, High Court (Australia), see also Roche v Kronheimer [1921] HCA 25, (1921) 29 CLR 329, High Court (Australia) 2. [1968] 2 Q.B 118.

NTPA Festive Season opening hours: Christmas Day Closed Boxing Day Closed 27 to 29 December Office closed President and Field Officer on remote visits and available on phone and email.

New Year’s Day Closed Tuesday 2 January Open Members that require NTPA assistance during this period can contact our after hours mobile on 0497 750 025

DECEMBER 2017 21


Retirement

Obituary

Vale Alan Joseph Hodge APM VA 2 OCTOBER 1952 – 13 OCTOBER 2017 On a hot and sweaty build up morning, 26th October 2017, family, friends and colleagues gathered at the Memorial Uniting Church to farewell Hodgie.

Alan Hodge was born at Old Trafford, In 2006 he was awarded the NT Police Valour Medal and

Mark Bell with Vice President Chris Wilson

Mark Bell retires

Manchester, UK on 2nd October 1952. received a commendation for Brave Conduct. This was in He was one of six siblings. A fitter relation to an incident where he came across a motor vehicle and turner by trade, Hodgie decided crash on McMillan’s Road. The vehicle was on fire and had to join the UK police after a night out two unconscious occupants trapped inside. Hodgie and crew on the town. A friend of his was being rescued the people from the burning car, dragging them to hassled by a local thug in a nightclub safety seconds before the vehicle exploded. Hodgie was awarded the Australian Police Medal (APM) in when Hodgie decided to intervene. The intervention left the thug laying 2011 celebrating an outstanding and distinguished career. He is survived by wife Celina, son Christopher, daughter bleeding on the dance floor which resulted in the local Police being called to the premises. Hodgie developed a cunning Angela, grandchildren Sharna, Alan Jnr, Kelsey, Doug and plan, sneaking out of the nightclub and went straight to the great grand daughter Nevayah. local Police station where he signed up for recruitment. He spent 12 months as a UK Policeman when he decided to take his young family and migrate to Australia. In 1977 he arrived in Adelaide, a 10-pound Pom. He scored a job as a Prison Guard, where he worked for three years before deciding to join the Northern Territory Police. He was accepted and moved the young Hodge family to Darwin, successfully graduating in Squad 33/1980 on 29th September 1980. Hodgie’s career with the Northern Territory Police spanned 34 years. He spent a few years working General Duties in Darwin before finding his true calling as a “Demon”. He spent the last 27 years of his career as a Detective, working in various units including Fraud Squad, Property Crime, Task Force Surf, Criminal Investigation Branch, Casuarina CIB and Serious Crime.

after more than 30 years Senior Constable Mark Bell (Reg No 1349) retired from NT Police in Alice Springs on 20th October 2017.

Mark joined NTPOL on 12th September 1984 in Squad 40/84. He served in Darwin and Wadeye and then moved to the desert climes settling in Alice Springs. Mark worked predominately in General Duties also relieving at many bush stations, and then later doing stints at Themis postings. He has also spent a number of years doing the unforgiving task of rostering in Alice Springs Police Station and up until retirement, running the Alice Springs Court House Cells. He has been awarded the NT Police Service medal with 30-year clasp, National Police Service Medal, National Service 24 NT POLICE NEWS

Medal with 25-year clasp, Remote Service Ribbon and AFP Operations Pleach Medal. He was presented with a letter and plaque from Commander Michael White on behalf of the Commissioner and a wall hanging from NTPA Vice President Chris Wilson. Mark intends to stay in Alice Springs in the immediate future and make the most of the Bunnings vouchers given to him at the retirement function at the station. We congratulate Mark for his 33 years of service and wish him and Nicole the best in his retirement.

Above top: Alan receiving his Commendation for Brave Conduct; above bottom: Alan Hodge in his younger days; left: The Guard of Honour prepare for Alan's final farewell

DECEMBER 2017 25


REtirement

Retiring hurt

NOT OUT! by Superintendent Rob Burgoyne

They say there’s a book in everyone, well if there is, this is mine, more a short story really, 33 years in the making. Of course I’m writing this for myself but I’ve gained strength from other like stories, Smithy’s of course and yes there’s more of us than you think, so this is for everyone who puts on a uniform and serves and has to retire hurt at some time in their career, some after a short period, others at the end of their service, whenever and however that may be.

It’s also for anyone who has said “know your people’s story,” as an offhand phrase they have heard along the way. In reality most have no idea and judge you, not on your ability to do the job but on your lack of self-confidence, caused by, well let’s just say; chance. I’m here to tell you that some of us have lost our confidence, lost it along the way and that needs to be acknowledged. So at the end of my service I reflect on a career that included a cricket match which somehow echoed what a team game, as well as a team vocation might deliver.

The things I had seen and suffered were burning inside of me; I felt closer to the dead than the living, and felt guilty at being a man, …It seemed to me that I would be purified if I told its story and I felt like Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, who waylays on the street the wedding guests going to the feast, inflicting on them the story of his misfortune1

chance we can make 20 plus runs when everyone else is out but there is no power in my hand. That powerlessness is what remains with me the most, the fact that I could not achieve anything for the team, let alone myself. The only good thing about the experience was being not-out at the end. I do know for sure that something else is coming. The inevitable last day of work. I have no power to stop that either, probably no real will to. I suppose I should be grateful that they increased the retirement age to 65, otherwise I would have gone long ago. So this is the time, if ever there was one, to write my story.

water putting the shooter off his aim. I found out many years later that the detective also suffered PTSD from the incident. It really started to get bad though some 18 months later following another firearm incident. This time I wasn’t in the line of fire myself but, now as a Uniformed Sergeant, my team was and once again I didn’t have any power to prevent it. At first it was migraines, so bad I had to go to the Emergency Department on night shift for strong pain killers. Then the pins and needles down the left hand side. Then the stress of the paperwork in my tray. Pills prescribed. A true Catch 22, knowing if I took a sickie to try to relieve the stress, another file would be there on my return to increase it. Then another 6 months and 5 Health Professionals later to be finally diagnosed with PTSD. It seems the lag period had caused them all to misdiagnose, well anyway that was the excuse. My wife’s own problems followed my tests for brain tumours, stroke indicators and my inability to operate normally, albeit I could still do admin work and play sport. I found the fact I could still play sport, as if nothing had happened, extremely odd. That is until I went on leave that year. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a At Ballarat, I threw up on our return from Melbourne to the NT after a family holiday. I was then unable to drive back to the Alice, natural emotional reaction to a deeply shocking and disturbing experience. It is a normal reaction over 2,000 kilometres away. Some things don’t change though, the pile of files were still waiting in the tray. In a strange way I to an abnormal situation.3 am grateful for the abject pain of this trip because it made me realise it was heading for the job again that was the problem. The It took a while for it to show. Initially it was auditory dreams job and of course what happened to me in it, was the problem. which faded. You see it was the gas explosion I heard with my Her Cancer followed. Of course she blamed me and the back turned to the interview room that remained with me. Police in general for it. The twenty three year marriage was In that case it was an explosion of gas forcing a projectile to over, unable to deal with the strain, marriage guidance head inexorably for the back of my head. notwithstanding from the same Phycologist who treated me Then chance intervened in the shape of a Detective whose for PTSD. Twenty-five years on she is still alive and we still shirt was holed by the round as he returned with a cup of talk, argue less, that’s something I suppose

Have no fear of robbers or murderers, they are external dangers, petty dangers, we should fear ourselves2

My policing career, or more accurately the joy of it, ended at the end of 1989, just five years into the job. It’s one event and yet it’s an accumulation of events from that one traumatic I know it’s probably going to happen, it’s inevitable really, moment when a young man literally blew his head off in karma, fate, destiny, kismet, call it what you will. Opening front of me in the CIB muster room inside a Police Station batsman, fast bowler, wrong gloves for a kacky hander. that has defined my career. I’m in Police Recruit Training playing a game of cricket It doesn’t really matter how he got the sawn off high powered against Batchelor in the Top End of the NT. I put my name rifle into the Police Station or how he was left alone to get the forward as an opener. I pick up a pair of gloves without gun out of his unsearched bag. How the initial round went 12 thinking. I have found life is like that, random choices that inches above the rear of my head veering off course due to the can come back to haunt you, none more so than in a Police return of a detective to the interview room. Except for the fact career of over 33 years. I’m still here to write about it, it doesn’t even matter how the A few overs later, the inevitable is happening, a rearing ball rifle failed to chamber a round after the initial shot. hitting my unprotected right thumb and I can’t continue and Or how because of that, it then failed to discharge when I retire hurt. I come back for the last two overs on the slim he pointed it at my chest just 5 metres away. He pulled the

26 NT POLICE NEWS

trigger …1 … 2 …3…, time stood still at that moment. Then why, after he did manage to chamber a round, he decided to blow his own head off instead of mine. This proved to me, like that game of cricket, that life is just a random set of events, over which we rarely have any real control. More often than not, events caused by chance. Then you have to deal with the consequences. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in a certain amount of fate, believe in a “higher power.” I certainly felt it that day – I told the Psychologist it was like I couldn’t be hurt; at least not on that day. Various social and psychological theories attempt to explain how we deal with death, the essential element is that there are parts of one’s own nature like self-confidence, generosity as well as expectation that can be altered or even lost. It can certainly affect relationships as I was later to find out. Each individual will react differently by adapting their thoughts and feelings and in some cases denying or diminishing what has occurred. The point is that there’s no immediate way out of the hole. The hole is of course, PTSD.

Superintendent Rob Burgoyne The Periodic Table by Primo Levi, Raymond Rosenthal, Translator | 2005 edition, David Kinchin

1

2

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables 1862 |

3

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: the invisible injury,

DECEMBER 2017 27


Squad reunion

REtiring hurt – not out! continued I had tried to remain in Investigations but the emotions and that room where it happened, were ever present. It actually took me 5 years before I could walk back into the interview room again where a head had exploded in fragments of bone, brain and other bloody matter, like the watermelon target in Day of the Jackal. The film was on recently; I didn’t watch it. And me? – well things come in threes so there was the inevitable third firearms incident – the “White Street Siege.” Domestic Incident, a rifle pointed at me and others. I was now an Acting Senior Sergeant. The offender finally shot in the face by another officer. He survived with a few teeth missing and a hole in his cheek, luckily the low powered revolver used gave a different outcome to the one I had observed years before. The only good thing about that siege was no recurring PTSD – not then anyway.

Hiding in my room, safe within my womb, I touch no-one and no-one touches me, I am an island; and a rock feels no pain; and an island never cries.4

Our sins, light to our shadows when our day in its glory, scarce appear: Towards our evening, how great and monstrous they are.5 When I was travelling in the WA Top End a loud blowout in my front tyre and near rollover triggered a setback for several months. After driving with the enemy - hypervigilance, waiting for another tyre to blow, I realised days later that it was the sound of the blowout, the exploding gas and the extreme hypervigilance that followed, that had caused the recurrence of PTSD. I could be morose and say even now I find it hard now in my 60’s to live a “normal” life, how “great and monstrous” my life has become, but that would be defeatist. In my 20’s after joining the Army I was gregarious and when I joined the job at 30, still so. Since I’ve stopped playing then refereeing, soccer after a broken ankle I’ve definitely slowed down. It’s true also that I spend a lot of time in the “magic chair.” That’s what Dr Gilmartin calls that place police go to after work to come down from the day’s hypervigilance. Certainly my recliner is magic and I often nap there of an evening but I do go out for walks, travel inter or intrastate to see the kids and on occasion overseas. The most important thing to do though is to get out. Mostly out of the hole that depression and PTSD can put you in. I worry that I like too much violence in my TV shows, that Anzac Day always gets me down and somehow I think if I’d have gone to war, I could have died honourably instead of this slow burn towards a “pointless” death in old age. Then I remember my 3 wonderful kids and 2 beautiful grandchildren. If you’ve had depression though you know how it differs from grief, apprehension and mood swings. If you’ve had it you await its reappearance with trepidation and each time it comes around, you have to deal with it. It does get easier though over time as you know it’s only a temporary interlude and if you’ve sought help, you have tools to deal with it. But the worst part of depression is that the people who don’t have it don’t get it. My depression does not define me but it is deeply ingrained within my and so many others, life story. So thanks for the good times and farewell So in retirement I can either sit in the “Magic Chair” and watch cricket and flinch every time a rearing ball hits a batsman. Watch war movies and wish I could have contributed more, watch police shows and criticise them for their mistakes of procedure or praise them for the realism in what the true effects on police officers emotional wellbeing are in the job or I can: Go out into the world and enjoy being alive, so see ya, I’m still not out, so I’m off birding! Remembering:

When I decided to retire (the first time at around 55 years of age) I bought my retirement photography gear and binoculars so I could bird-watch a little better than I had as a married man with a budget to think about. It’s something I was interested in as a child in England and had taken up again when I saw retirement on the horizon. I went to the Centennial dinner of my bird organisation in Adelaide in 2001. I sat at a table with John Kerin, a former Member of the Australian Parliament. When he found out I was a Police Officer he was somewhat taken aback at me also being a “twitcher” and asked why this was so. Being an analyst by nature I didn’t answer straight away. His wife then said, “is it the contrast, that police work is so intense and birding so peaceful because you are in nature.” I thought a little longer and said “yes, I think you are right.” I realised then that a balanced contrast for a job such as the police is really important, you cannot be Police centric 100% of the time and live a normal life. It was also interesting to note that when I “retired” that first time people who knew me said it took 6 months for me to become “normal” again. I wasn’t aware of it, but then it’s only as I near the “real” retirement that have I come to realise just how compromised we can be as Police Officers. I’ve always described leaving the Police family as severing the umbilical cord. After all it has had some of the most momentous times of my existence. The bodies and smells or death and of course the sounds, remain with me the most. I find it somewhat ironic that after 32 years in the job I attended a lecture entitled “Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement” by a retired police officer and now psychologist Kevin Gilmartin. Some would say it was 27 years too late for me, but of course Sometimes you can’t always see it coming, there are others, many others, both now and in the future. sometimes you don’t even know what the outcome Like my ex-wife’s Cancer, you are never really cured of will be and sometimes life is just a matter of chance.6 Depression. It just sits there waiting for certain stimuli to set you off again. For me in general, as a past serving soldier, it is every Anzac Day. Maybe it’s the fact I never got to serve in a war zone and when tested in that CIB office I feel I should have done more, For my mate Shane, who never had a chance to retire. after all that guy who was shot in the face survived, didn’t he? 4 I Am A Rock, Paul Simon, lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group | BBC One TV Mini Series 2015 | 6 Inside Men, BBC One TV Mini Series 2012

28 NT POLICE NEWS

5

Sir James Suckling, Playwright, 17th Century as quoted in “River”

Back row: Steve Martin, Lance Godwin APM, Stuart Davis APM, Richard Cheal APM, Andrew Hocking and Greg Hansen; Front row: Ellie Johnson (nee Whitehead), Donalee Ikin, Helen Rowbottam and Kiim Parnell (nee Jacobs)

Squad 46/87 30 years on Past and present members of recruit squad 46/87 gathered in Darwin in late October to celebrate their 30 year reunion.

Many former squad-mates who were unable to make the reunion sent messages of congratulations and support. Our fallen comrades (Kym Hanley, Nigel McBain and Rob Jobson) were warmly remembered and the theme of the weekend was one of disbelief that so many of us had made it this far. Many stories were shared, a lot of laughs had and many memories flooded back. What was evident that weekend was that the bonds forged in training have only strengthened through the years. Rear Row (left to right): Ronald Millar, Danny Klaijc, Christopher Hamilton, Lance Godwin, David Hutchinson, Stephen Martin, Andrew Hocking, Paul Tudor-Stack, Brendan Hunt; Middle Row: Staggered (left to right) – David Bishop, Janet Ivey, Neville Muller, Juanita Harris, Mandy Ayliffe, Paul O’Brien, Graham Nicholson, Carolyn Keefe, Stuart Davis, Jamie O’Brien, Donnalee Ikin, John Orrock, Kim Jacobs, Ashley Chitty, Helen Rowbottom, Greg Hansen, Aaron McBride, Ellie Whitehead, Mark Bennett, Kerry James, Kim Hanley, Jeffrey Beckett, Richard Cheal; Front Row: Sitting (left to right) – Sergeant Kate Vanderlaan (now Commander), Sergeant Russell Smith, Sergeant Robert Jobson, Minister for Police Mr Daryl Manzie, Commissioner Peter McAulay, Senior Sergeant Patrick O’Brien, Sergeant Nigel McBain.

DECEMBER 2017 29


lawyers


PFA – Things are not always as they seem – continued

The PFA believe that it is in the public’s interest, to know how many police are protecting their community. These numbers should all be available as comparisons across each jurisdiction, on a police per 100,000 population basis as well as by gender. While the Police Services Report states that ‘staffing by gender is an indicator of governments’ objective to provide police services in an equitable manner’, the PFA also sees an inadequacy of the reporting by gender. It is interesting to note that there is no raw data that shows the numbers of sworn males versus sworn female police officers anywhere in the report, with the only data pertaining to the number of women presented as a percentage of all staff; making it difficult to answer the question of how many female ‘frontline’ police officers there are in Australia. The PFA recently took the opportunity to voice concern over the weaknesses in the reporting and analysis of national police numbers, specifically applying to gender, in a parliamentary submission to the inquiry into Gender Segregation in the Workplace and its Impact on Women’s Economic Equality. In its submission the PFA said; “Without consistency and transparency in the reporting of national police numbers, particularly as it applies to gender then it is difficult to accurately track participation rate progress especially ‘frontline’ rates for police women. Detailed and standardised reporting across jurisdictions is essential to ensure police services and government maintain high levels of accountability and the public have access to clear comparative data.

Forensic work

If readers of the report want to further scrutinise the numbers, they must review detailed tables (6A.1 to 6A.8) found within the report, and manually separate ‘operational sworn’ and ‘nonoperational sworn’ numbers to determine the total number of sworn police staff for each jurisdiction. But once calculated there is a vast difference in actual sworn numbers and the number of ‘operational’ police listed in the report. What makes this problem worse, is the fact that individual police services report police staff numbers according to different methodologies, thus making national comparisons difficult. Each police jurisdiction can have a differing definition of ‘operational staff member’ which potentially can result in almost anyone on the police payroll falling into the category of ‘operational’. And just to make things a little more complex, any comparison of police staffing numbers are further complicated by the non-standardisation of categories within Police Service Annual Reports. For instance, while the majority of jurisdictions report police numbers by Full Time Equivalent (FTE) there are some that report by headcount. And some jurisdictions switch between FTE and headcount depending on what is reported on, and there is at least one jurisdiction that provides their numbers in percentages or graphs without providing the raw data.

34 NT POLICE NEWS

Further Police Service Annual Reports should include clear sets of indicators, objectives and transparent results/targets achieved annually pertaining to women in leadership, career progression and the development of women in the police. Clear strategic goals need to be set to measure progress nationally”. There is an appreciation that some of the issues raised by the PFA may be considered by various police departments as too difficult. But the PFA believes that if the Police Services Chapter of the Report on Government Services is to have significant credibility, then there needs to be meaningful, tightly defined consistent definitions. As the Australian Governments independent research and advisory body, the Productivity Commission has a responsibility to provide the public with a transparent and detailed breakdown of true police numbers as do the individual State and Territory Police Services.

DECEMBER 2017 35


NTPA - December 2017  

NTPA - December 2017

NTPA - December 2017  

NTPA - December 2017