JOURNAL T H E P O L I C E A S S O C I AT I O N V I C TO R I A U P H O L D I N G O U R R I G H T S S I N C E 1 9 1 7 | W W W.T PAV.C O M . AU | VO L U M E 8 3 | I S S U E 3 | J U N E 2 0 1 6
More than a manâ€™s best friend This Edition Taking the rocky road to recovery
Members swap blue with green
Body worn cameras on trial
And much more...
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Members tackling mental health head on I
t is with good reason that the blight of psychological illness, which plagues far too many of our members, has been brought into greater focus in recent times.
taking matters into their own hands in trying to improve their own mental wellbeing and those of their colleagues. We are delighted to present two of these stories in this edition of the Journal.
On average, 28 members every month are going off work due to psychological injury. But the stats don’t speak of the profound human impact. Stress, anxiety and depression take an unspeakably severe toll on the health and wellbeing of members and their families.
Sergeant Rob Atkins speaks candidly to the Journal about his struggles with PTSD: the manner in which he is dealing with his illness is as unique as it is heart-warming. As Elissa McCallum reports, Rob’s dog Jimmy is more than a best friend; he’s become an indispensable part of Rob’s life, ensuring that his PTSD symptoms are kept in check so he can function and lead his day-to-day life as normally as possible.
At the Association we see it almost on a daily basis when assisting affected members. Making things worse is our adversarial WorkCover system, where we often see members suffering with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treated with suspicion, further exacerbating their struggle. Much work is being done by the Association in this area to try and deal with and overcome this scourge. The recent mental health report compiled by Dr Peter Cotton details the enormous task that now lies ahead of Victoria Police if this issue is to be properly addressed. We know that this work will take time. In the meantime we are seeing inventive and uplifting examples of members
We also highlight the magnificent work of members behind the Victoria Police Four Wheel Drive Club. As Brendan Roberts discovered, the club regularly leads large groups of police, military and paramedics (aka: ‘Blue Green Crew’) who suffer from PTSD on weekend camping trips to the high country for a chance to get some breathing space, share a laugh and have some fun away from the stressors of life. We congratulate them on their initiative and noble efforts. While we’re on the theme of combining the blue
and green uniforms, the Journal is also pleased to highlight the work and commitment of a group of members who moonlight in their spare time as Military Police in the Australian Defence Force (a case of ‘Out of the Blue and into the Green’!). We hope you enjoy reading about such a unique group. We also encourage members to read about an emerging ‘tool of trade’ for police – body-worn cameras. They are likely to be trialled in Victoria following a recommendation from the recent Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence. In this edition we look at the pros and cons of these devices and evaluate their use in other police jurisdictions. As always, we encourage members to provide their feedback on any aspect of what is, after all, your Journal. We particularly welcome any story ideas you think would be worthy of publication. Simply send us an email at email@example.com
Editors: Sandro Lofaro and Wayne Gatt
First published in 1918, The Journal is the magazine of The Police Association of Victoria.
Senior Administration Secretary: Ron Iddles Assistant Secretary: Bruce McKenzie Industrial Relations Manager: Chris Kennedy Legal Manager: Chris Gorissen Communications Manager: Sandro Lofaro Administration Manager: Sylvia Loveless Finance Manager: Mary McNicoll Stakeholder Relations: Wayne Gatt
June 2016 Vol. 83 Issue 3 Published by The Police Association of Victoria 1 Clarendon St East Melbourne Vic 3002 Phone: (03) 9468 2600 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facsimile: (03) 9495 6933 Website: www.tpav.org.au Free Counselling for Members Facebook: www.facebook.com/tpav.org.au Members needing urgent, professional and confidential counselling should call Editors Optum on 1300 361 008. 24 hours, 7 days. Sandro Lofaro Wayne Gatt Retired Police Association If youâ€™re soon due to retire as a sworn Executive Members member of Victoria Police, please consider Mr John Laird - President joining the Retired Police Association. 9468 2600 President: John Wills Mr Karl David - Senior Vice President Secretary: Phil Parson (Rosebud Police Station) Phone: 0448 950 691 5986 0444 Website: www.rpavictoria.org PO Box 2238, Rowville Vic 3178 Mr Dermot Avon - Junior Vice President (South Melbourne Police Station) The Police Association (Victoria) Journal 9257 3800 The Police Association Journal is published six times a year. Published Mr Max Jackson - Treasurer by The Police Association Victoria, 1 Clarendon St, East Melbourne Vic 3002 (Melbourne North Police Station) 8379 0800 ABN: 004 251 325 Mr Michael Lamb - Assistant Treasurer The statements and/or opinions expressed (Hastings Police Station) in this publication are not necessarily 5970 7800 those of The Police Association Victoria or of its officers. The Association publishes Ms Geri Porter all material herein from various sources on the understanding that it is both authentic (Broadmeadows Police Station) and correct and cannot accept any 9302 8222 responsibility for inaccuracies. Mr Rod Brewer (King Lake Police Station) 5786 1333 Mr Steven Azarnikow (Victoria Police Academy) 9566 2163 Ms Alex Griffith (Prahran Police Station) 9520 5200 Mr Damien Peppler (Critical Incident Response Team) 9247 5617 Mr Ken Ashworth (Trident Taskforce) 9247 6666
Design Jen Clark Design (03) 9088 0755 www.jenclarkdesign.com.au Printing Finsbury Green (08) 7221 6652 www.finsbury.com.au
Advertising Interested in advertising in this publication? Please call Sandro Lofaro on 9468 2600 or 0419 311 427
14 Cover Story: More than a manâ€™s best friend
Inside this edition 06
Pick of the shelf
More than a man’s best friend
Win a book!
Out of the blue and into the green
Members hit the road to tackle mental health
Where there is a will, there’s a much easier way
Are you covered?
Go to the top of the class
Angela Taylor Fun Run
Members take a stand on court safety
Body-worn cameras on trial
10 More than a man’s best friend
Fighting fatigue: How to stay on top of your game Page 33
14 Out of the blue and into the green
18 Members hit the road to tackle mental health
Cover image: Sergeant Rob Atkins with his PTSD Assistance Dog Jimmy.
26 Members take a stand on court safety
29 Body-worn cameras on trial
45 Angela Taylor Fun Run
Weekend work starts to add up W
ith the cut and thrust of the EB campaign now well behind us, members are starting to see the benefits that come from our recently negotiated penalty rates. During April and May, back pay and penalties (from 1 December 2015) were credited to bank accounts, giving our members, for the first time, the ability to experience just what decent penalty rates will mean for them going forward.
Police to move our members ‘from pillar to post’, changing for some, almost daily, their place of work. This practice, as we all know, was simply a response to the current chronic under-resourcing on our frontline. Stations that in the past were well-resourced and self-sufficient are now unable to open without asking other members in their division being asked to help them out.
It is important that members do not short-change themselves or their colleagues by ignoring this new provision of the agreement. Members should insist on being paid on each and every occasion they are required to transport equipment for the employer. TPAV fills the gap for retired members There is an old saying that ` there is nothing more `ex’ than an ex-member’. These words have been used to describe the sad situation that often occurs when a member leaves policing and with it people they had assumed would be lifelong colleagues, on whom they often relied for friendship and support.
We have received much feedback from around the state to suggest that the back-payment exercise, for the most part, went without incident, providing a healthy, well-deserved boost to their regular pay.
Members asked to direct-start at alternative stations, or as part of a planned divisional roster, regularly prop up stations like Geelong, from outlying stations on the Bellarine Peninsula and increasingly in other parts of regional Victoria.
As time goes on, the magnitude of this achievement will sink in, with more and more members coming to see penalty rates as an ‘ongoing benefit’ - a benefit that will grow with their incremental progression, and in line with their regular salary increases.
In the past, the entire burden associated with this practice has been borne by our members, who were required to take their equipment home, store it safely and direct start at a different station the following day.
This is a sorry situation that we would rather not see anyone have to confront.
Under the new EBA, the time taken for members to transport bulky and operational equipment between workplaces or home will be considered `work time’.
Last month, with our backing, the first group of Retired Peer Support Officers were trained to fill the void that has often meant retired members needing a helping hand have had no one to turn to.
It should come as no surprise that this new clause in our EBA has caused Victoria Police in some areas, to rethink its approach to rostering and avoid the new penalty paid to members when they are inconvenienced by this practice.
We will proudly continue to help this network of willing and dedicated volunteers establish itself and encourage this worthwhile initiative to continue. It is a noble cause that will only positively influence the lives of our old friends and colleagues. ∆
Carrying equipment is work time! Our members are starting to report that recently introduced provisions of the new EBA that require the employer to arrange to transport a member’s equipment between stations have started to limit the extraneous demands often placed on us because of resource shortages across the state. Previously, there was no disincentive for Victoria
That is why the Association is supporting the Retired Peer Support Officer Program.
By John Laird
The Police Association Victoria Journal
â€œIt should come as no surprise that this new clause in our EBA has caused Victoria Police in some areas, to amend its approach to rostering and avoid the new penalty paid to members when they are inconvenienced by this practice.â€?
he long-awaited review by Dr Peter Cotton into the way that Victoria Police manages the mental wellbeing of our members is now complete. The Association was briefed on Dr Cotton’s findings and there were no surprises as far as we’re concerned. Prevention is the key when dealing with mental health, just as it is with any other affliction. Dr Cotton has formed the view that more should be done to prevent our members from becoming injured in the first instance. He believes that scope exists to better train members and managers to build resilience, deal with illness and monitor mental health and wellbeing. We agree wholeheartedly. The Association adopted a leading role on this issue by providing thousands of our members over the past two years with the opportunity to receive resilience training through the work of Dr Kevin Gilmartin, the world’s leading expert on police mental health.
Time to heed calls for action on mental health
Dr Cotton also highlighted a gap that exists in the care and support of our retired members. This is another area where the Association has taken the initiative by financially supporting the Retired Peer Support Officer Program and by forging partnerships with the RSL, who provide all present and retired members with access to a number of welfare services. Then there is the here and now. When members put their hand up for support, they need to know they will get it. Members need timely access to clinical support and to be confident that they will not be adversely managed during their recovery or be subjected to a lengthy and adversarial workers compensation process. Make no mistake, these are issues that can be fixed and we are pleased that the Chief Commissioner has committed to implementing all the recommendations from the Cotton review.
By Ron Iddles, OAM, APM
The Police Association Victoria Journal
The Association has been invited to be a part of a steering committee to start this work, a role we gladly accept, given that the best opportunity for reform will be realised when we are all at the table working together. This approach is proving positive, with work progressing well on a jointly funded police wellbeing and resilience app due to be launched in July. Co-funded by The Police Association, Victoria Police, and the state government, this is the start of what we hope is a more holistic approach to member wellbeing. Jobs on hold as we wait for more police The message everywhere when it comes to resources is that there are `just not enough front line police to go around’. Sergeants are telling us that the situation has become so bad that they are regularly required to `hold jobs’ because there are no units available to attend.
“Guessing what can wait, and what can’t is fine - that is, until you get it wrong. When you do, the consequences can be tragic...”
Guessing what can wait and what can’t is fine that is, until you get it wrong. When you do, the consequences can be tragic and lead to members being held accountable. We have continued to raise police numbers with the Chief Commissioner, who has committed to consult with us regarding the recent commitment from government to provide an additional 300 frontline police. Of course, we need hundreds more, something we will raise with our new police minister. A new police minister We congratulate Minister Lisa Neville on her appointment as Victoria’s new – and first-ever female – police minister. We look forward to fostering the same constructive working relationship with Ms Neville that we enjoyed with Minister Wade Noonan. We were impressed with Ms Neville’s strong advocacy in railing against planned closures of several police stations in her electorate of Bellarine in the lead-up to the 2014 election. Her stance saw Bellarine receive a boost in police numbers to ensure that planned closures did not go ahead. We take this opportunity to pay tribute to outgoing police minister Noonan on his significant contribution to the police portfolio. It has been a pleasure working with him, and we wish him all the best in his new portfolio. IBAC public hearing a show trial
There will always be the occasional circumstance that stretches resources but this is not what we are seeing here. Unfortunately, in growth corridors like Melton, Narre Warren and Wyndham, having barely any units available is now ‘situation normal’. For most 251s, having to hold a job indefinitely is a practice that forces our members to walk a fine and dangerous line.
On the 23 May, IBAC commenced its first public examination of our members in Ballarat. The decision to examine our members in this manner is one that we have always opposed and fought hard to prevent from occurring. Despite our opposition, IBAC still saw fit to parade our members publically, a decision that in our opinion affords no benefit to anyone nor serves any public interest.
The worst of the worst in our community are not treated in this manner and neither should our police be. In taking this approach, IBAC has completely abandoned the welfare and reputation of our members in these circumstances. Rest assured, our welfare and legal teams have provided significant support to those involved during this difficult journey. Delegates Review Quite often, the first contact that a member has with the Association is made via a delegate, and their role and work should never be underestimated. Our existing delegate structure has largely remained the same for several decades. This is why the Executive’s three-year Strategic Plan requires us to undertake a review of our delegate structure and the support we provide it to ensure that it meets the everchanging needs of our membership. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be consulting with our delegates, their assistants and the broader membership to make sure any required changes meet your expectations. ∆
“Members need timely access to clinical support, confidence that they will not be adversely managed during their recovery or be subjected to a lengthy and adversarial workers compensation process.”
While sadly, the PTSD Sergeant Rob Atkinsâ€™ suffers is not uncommon among police, the way in which heâ€™s dealing with his illness is unique, thanks to a special friend, explains Elissa McCallum. Images by Greg Noakes
Jimmy senses Rob needs to focus his thoughts..
The Police Association Victoria Journal
More than a man’s best friend A
man and his dog are larking about in the park. The golden labrador nuzzles his master then starts slobbering all over his face.
In fact, he’s been trained to sense something.
It’s a happy, affectionate interaction.
“I’m off the dial at the moment.
It evolved, however, from a state of anguish.
“That’s what he’s reacting to. He’s picking up on the anxiety and he’s trying to ground me.
“This is what gets rid of the nightmares,” says Sergeant Rob Atkins. When he’s thrashing violently in his sleep, Jimmy the PTSD assistance dog wakes him with face licks, to calm him from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. Jimmy accompanies Rob to every shift at the Police Academy, where he is a taser trainer. The pair also goes to the movies, the supermarket, sporting events and on camping expeditions. Jimmy changed Rob’s life. Actually, the screams that stayed with him from all the fatal car crashes he’s attended changed his life. Identifying burned bodies after the Black Saturday bushfires changed his life. As Rob tells the Journal his story of anxiety, depression and how his family life broke down, Jimmy is seated beside him peacefully, until a moment when, seemingly with no reason, he gently gets up and starts the face-licking routine.
“Talking about this stuff has just wound me right up,” says Rob.
“He’s trying to get me to focus on him. If I don’t react properly to that, he starts mouthing my ears and face. The next thing he’ll do is bark right in my face.” It doesn’t get to that. Instead, Jimmy decides to lay the bulk of his weight on Rob’s lap. “I’ve got 34 kilos of dog on me at the moment. It’s what they call pressure therapy. “It’s hard not to be off with the fairies when you’re being sat on by a dog.” Laura Catherall from Assistance Dogs Australia explains how Jimmy can be so sens itive to Rob’s emotional state. “To the common eye, there is no difference in Rob’s behaviour. You would never know he’s on the verge of an anxiety attack. It’s his breathing which changes. There’s a very subtle difference and Jimmy picks up on that.” Working highway patrol in country Victoria meant
Made him smile. Job well done!
“He’s trying to get me to focus on him. If I don’t react properly to that, he starts mouthing my ears and face. The next thing he’ll do is bark right in my face.”
Rob was regularly exposed to horror on the roads, and he thinks his Black Saturday duties were the final straw. From then on, he knew something was wrong. “I had raging anger at the flick of a switch. You go from comfortably talking to someone to wanting to smash things and people. “The exhaustion level you have, because you’re trying to appear normal, is massive. I used to work a day at the Academy and then have to pull over for a sleep on the way home, which was 12 kilometres.” Rob has a wife, Chrysti, and three sons, aged eight to 13. He stopped going to the boys’ basketball games. It got to the stage where he refused to go out at all. Family life was “just about destroyed”.
Rob Atkins with his family.
His behaviour was met with an unexpected response from Rob that frightened both of them.... He called police welfare staff the next day and was contacted by a psychologist one day later. Jimmy, who is two years old, came to Rob nearly a year ago ,after he applied to Assistance Dogs Australia. Last year ADA added a PTSD program to its services, which also include training dogs to assist people with physical disabilities and children with autism. ADA is seeing growing demand. The organisation is currently dealing with 32 applicants for PTSD dogs, one of whom is a Victorian police officer. So far, ADA has placed six dogs, all recipients with a military or emergency services background.
Jimmy on watch with Sergeant Rob Atkins.
It’s hard to think dark thoughts with this kind of distraction.
The turning point was a night in 2013 when his little boy was fussing in bed.
The Police Association Victoria Journal
Family outings to the basketball are once again a regular pleasure. Rob says that since Jimmy’s arrival he has drastically reduced medication, giving him more energy. “I don’t need to bomb out with drugs. “I take them once or twice a week instead of seven nights, because I have an exercise and grooming routine with Jimmy at the end of every day. We have a wrestle, because he’s a very boisterous dog.” This is followed by a grooming routine which calms them both. He says the reaction to Jimmy from his colleagues was fantastic. “They love him. It’s great.” Furthermore, Jimmy’s presence has encouraged police to open up. “I’ve had coppers crying on my shoulder because they talk about their own PTSD.”
Two good mates.
Rob hopes to return to work soon after two months medical leave, during which time the pair went camping. With Rob relaxed, Jimmy was able to do dog things like run around and chase interesting smells. “At night he did his anti-nightmare duty but during the day he could run around the bush, which is good therapy for him and me.” Rob says there’s still one problem though. “Jimmy is a terrible camper. He’s scared of wombats.” Apart from that, though, it was just a man and his dog larking around in the bush. ∆
Members (and their family members) requiring urgent counselling are encouraged to contact OPTUM - the free, confidential and around-the-clock service provided by The Police Association. Call OPTUM anytime on 1300 361 008
Out of the blue and into the green Elissa McCallum recently caught up with a special group of members who moonlight out of the blue uniform by plying their policing wherewithal in our defence forces as Military Police Reservists. Images by Greg Noakes
massively built man, dressed in camouflage, in full alert stance, is positioned at the doorway of the security building through which one must pass to enter the Australian Army’s Simpson Barracks in Watsonia. Eyes steadfastly staring ahead, the man offers a visitor no greeting. Only when civilian security staff take names and begin processing identification does he turn and speak. “Oh yes, we’re expecting you.” Well, hello soldier! Except, he’s a lawyer. He’s done a day’s work in town, in a suit, and this evening he’s on duty as a member of the Army Reserve.
Rob Gillson, Bill Kennett, Nick Papadopoulos, Steve Lyon.
The Police Association Victoria Journal
S/Sgt Bill Kennett chats to First Constables John Patounas and Arthur Ivanov at Caulfield Police Station.
Reservists come from all sorts of trades and professions. They are trained to the level of fulltime defence force personnel. There are a number of Victoria Police members including PSOs who, when out of the blue, relish getting into the green. Nine of them, all Military Police Reservists, had gathered for a regular meeting at the barracks this weekday evening. They spend at least one night a week at this part-time job, devote one weekend a month is devoted to training exercises and they can be deployed overseas, even to war zones. They were all dressed in Army uniforms and all manner of police and military ranks were represented. The sound of “Sir!” was flying everywhere, their respective police rank irrelevant in this setting. The group were all men. There are no female Victorian police members currently in the Military Police Reserve.
think the blue job might be a little more dangerous than the green.”) For Leading Senior Constable Trung Luu, from the crime scene services, it’s not about increasing danger either. He says he became an MP to break the stress of civilian policing, and goes on to describe what he’s been trained for. “We go out with the troops behind the front line. When, for example, the infantry go through into battle, we assist to capture the POWs.” Caulfield Senior Sergent Bill Kennett (Military Police WO2), says possible danger isn’t a concern to him.
“All the leadership opportunities that the Army has provided, I’ve
When a policeman, whose job already encompasses risk, chooses extra work which could be as dangerous, if not more, you have to ask why.
been able to apply to my
Rob Gillson, a Melbourne West Senior Constable in blue and Captain when he wears green, went to Afghanistan and experienced what it’s like to be under attack.
He says he “gets” the question, but his response suggests he doesn’t think about it like that. To him, it’s not about taking on extra danger. Coming from a background of family members in the military, he says it’s an honour to serve. (For the record: “I
police career and vice
“The planning, the preparation, the training provides for such a safe environment. If you follow the proper practices, nine times out of 10 you’ll be coming home. I don’t even think about it.” Yes, Sir. So let’s get back to what happened in Afghanistan then.
EBA Fast Facts: Defence Force Service and Conditions
LSC Trung Luu searches gathers evidence at a Melbourne crime scene.
The 2015 EBA has a raft of features to support our members who also work in the Australian Defence Force. • ADF Service can be with the Australian Army, Air Force or Australian Naval Reserves. • ADF Reservists (excluding police recruits) can access 20 days of paid ADF leave each year to attend training/deployments, which can be taken as single days. • ADF Reservists can also access up to 78 weeks of continuous leave if called up for service. • Recreation leave, personal leave and long service leave continues to accrue while on ADF leave. • Full-time members can receive accrued time off in lieu during ADF leave. • A member serving with the Defence Reserves who is injured or sick and requires personal leave beyond their ADF leave approval may be granted additional personal leave on their return to Victoria Police. • Former and current servicemen, servicewomen and reservists who participate in an Anzac Day march or similar event will be granted leave of absence beyond their ordinary entitlements. For more information about these entitlements, visit the 2015 EBA on our website or the TPAV app today.
PSO Rambo Ishor has ambitions to join Victoria Police. As an MP Private, he has completed an investigator course. “It will definitely help me. It was really good for developing and enhancing my career as a policeman.”
PSO Iordanov, who brings Army skills to his Victoria Police role every day.
The Police Association Victoria Journal
It was December 2010 and Rob Gillson (who only this year transferred to the Military Police) was a Reservist transport officer. “My role was to move troops and equipment in and out of operational theatre.” He was flying in and out of the Australian military bases of Tarin Kowt and Kandahar. “We were regularly shelled at night. “We’d hear the siren go off and we’d go into the bunkers or just hit the ground. “Our bases were set up at the bottom of a hill. Devices would fire off into the sky and then land around the compound.” They were unsophisticated weapons and where they would land was unpredictable. Rob says it was a surreal experience, frightening for a while only. “I guess, initially. It’s hard to explain that you would get used to something like that, but, in the end, we did.” Rob saw no casualties in his time there. He was spared the spiders as well when he went to the Solomon Islands for seven months as part of an Australian peacekeeping force. “I attached myself to the infantry and we did jungle warfare training. We’d walk through 10 to 11 foot grasses that were covered in spiders. “My job over there was planning redeployment so I was in charge of closing the operation and bringing the Australian troops back. “Victoria Police is very supportive of personnel going on exercise. They supported me and kept my position open until I got back.” Annually, police officers are offered 20 days defence force leave. The Army pay to Reserve men and women is tax free, plus there are housing subsidies and medical support. Our PSOs who have joined the Military Police are seeing their choices as strategic manoeuvres towards becoming civilian police officers. Alex Iordonov, 24, has “always” wanted to be a policeman and if earnestness is the entry password, he’s on his way. “I’ve used the Army to help me in a massive way.
“You learn how to carry yourself as a soldier. I’ve matured a lot. I’ve learnt how to communicate, learnt leadership skills, integrity and respect towards people. “As a young guy, I thought they were very important things to learn before you grow up. “Whenever I go to work as a PSO, I’m bringing those skills across.” At his senior level in the police force, Bill Kennett says the same. As an MP for 20 years, the Warrant Officer Class 2 is head of 160 troops.
“It’s different to, say, driving the van around. The van has a certain way of doing things, you’re speaking to certain members of the public. Being a MP is different. You need to negotiate your way through things, you need to be able to speak to high-ranking officers. It’s not as simple as just talking to crooks.” “All the leadership opportunities that the Army has provided, I’ve been able to apply to my police career and vice versa. He says he is “undoubtedly” a better police officer for his military experience, telling of deployment to train “nearly everywhere in Australia”, where he has acquired skills in interment and detention operations, and in facilitating the movement of troops and equipment in battlefield scenarios. “The Military Police provides law enforcement capability to the Army in a combat environment.
Right: Trung Luu breaks the stress of civilian policing in the Military.
“It’s different to, say, driving the van around. The van has a certain way of doing things, you’re speaking to certain members of the public. Being a MP is different. You need to negotiate your way through things, you need to be able to speak to high-ranking officers. It’s not as simple as just talking to crooks.” Prahran Highway Patrol member Senior Constable Justin Morrison spent three years in the army before joining Victoria Police in 2010 and was based at the Butterworth Base in Malaysia. He’s continued his service by joining the Military Police Reserve which, he says expands his horizons beyond constant association with other police officers. “One of my guys is a chef, I’ve got a bloke who’s a mechanic, there’s a PSO. All the different skills come together to make a cohesive unit.” Leading Senior Constable Nick Papadopoulos (WO2) says his Military Police experiences guided him to his job as a police prosecutor. “Once you get to the rank of sergeant in the Reserves, you’re expected to prosecute and also defend soldiers in disciplinary hearings. It gave me an exposure I wouldn’t have got at Victoria Police alone.” He’s trained in Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane and believes the opportunity for police to get away for army activities can’t be overrated. “It gives them a break from their police duties to go into the bush and disappear for a weekend. It’s like you’re on another planet.” ∆
Photos by Megg Palmer
Members hit the road to tackle mental health
The Police Association Victoria Journal
The stresses of being a police officer are unique. Ways to treat and counter the often depleting psychological effects experienced by members are constantly evolving, but a rapidly growing new program aims to take police off the thin blue line and into the wide open country, equipped with a four-wheel-drive, a tent and a weekend of unexpected challenges and comradery. By Brendan Roberts.
career in policing is rarely linear. It’s the diversity, the pressure and the expectation of the unexpected that attracts many to the job, but those same factors can combine to create a weight too great to bear for some, at some stage, in some way. The often rocky road is one shared by all emergency service agencies, with ambulance crews, firefighters, federal police, military servicepeople and Victoria Police members bound by a silent struggle common to their careers and lives. Australian Defence Force member Marcus Nash experienced the crippling strain of that struggle, when he found himself trapped amid the horrors of Black Saturday. “I suffered pretty bad post-traumatic stress disorder after my family got caught up in Black Saturday,” he said. “I was in Kinglake West. I saw things that were just horrific, three of my mates that I went to school with, they all perished, along with two of their kids, it was tragic.” His response to the trauma was to retreat from society, and hide his pain. “I would isolate myself, I became a bit of a hermit, I didn’t want to go out, didn’t want to do anything, and it wasn’t long after that a couple
of my good mates got me back out into my fourwheel driving, and being in that sort of healthy environment turned my life around.”
“It was a combination of a series of events and the general nature of the job and work stresses that almost led to a complete breakdown for me.”
“I found that I couldn’t wait to go out again, and it gave me something to look forward to.”
Senior Constable Lipa saw a flyer on the station noticeboard in 2014 and knew it was circuit breaker he needed to counter the depleting effect the stress was having on his life.
He recognised in others the same struggle he had faced, specifically officers he knew personally from his prior involvement in the Victoria Police 4WD club. “It was successful for me, so I thought after hearing from a number of other people with PTSD, it might work for them,” he said. “I took a few blokes out who had just returned from serving in Afghanistan, and it did.” From there, the Blue Green Crew was born – Blue to represent the police, Green for the army, and Crew a collective term for the paramedics and firefighters. The free one-weekend-a-month four-wheel drive and camping club allows emergency service workers dealing with PTSD or work- or liferelated stress a chance to take some time out and re-engage with people in similar situations, through the challenges of nature, fun and human connection. The program appealed instantly to Senior Constable John Lipa. He’s now a member at Footscray Uniform after a two-year secondment to the western suburbs Family Violence Unit. In 2012, the unrelenting stress of the job began to suffocate him.
“I think a lot of us put so much effort into our work that we forget about our own health. I’ve had quite serious PTSD and these weekends away really help me to re-energise,” he said. “Some people go out and get drunk to cope and it just gets you more upset and you don’t solve anything, but this way you’re getting physical, getting fresh air, talking to people and actually calming yourself down.” The 14–15 May Blue Green Crew weekend, was the largest yet, with 47 participants in 26 vehicles. The convoy gathered in Melbourne at 6.30am and headed to Yea, 100 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, for welcome breakfast, before continuing on to Mansfield, arriving at 9am for a safety briefing.
Sheepyard Flat, just outside Mansfield, where each 4WD was equipped for the journey ahead. An off-road track dubbed ‘King Billy’ was the day’s biggest challenge, characterised by its tricky river crossings and steep inclines, and the occasional unforeseen and time-consuming obstacle. “We’re razorbacking up a slope and we come to a hairpin around a corner and there’s this enormous tree that’s come down across the road, it’s high on one side and low on the other. We thought what the hell are we going to do here, we can’t go over it, can’t go around it, so we decided to dig our way under it,” Sergeant Yeoman said. “You’ve got 47 people with 26 shovels and we just dug until we could get under it. It took about 90 minutes.” “There’s a lot of camaraderie, everybody helps everybody else out, no one’s there asking what’s wrong with you and you’re out there digging tracks, cutting down trees and just having a lot of laughs on the way,” added Senior Constable Lipa.
There are no backseat passengers.
It’s one of those unexpected events that proves the journey for participants is more important that the destination. That’s not to say, though, that the prospect of arriving at their campsite at Howitt Hut for a roast dinner by the fire was any less appealing.
“Everybody gets a job or a task. You’re the officer in charge of communications, you’re the officer in charge of navigation ...,” said Sergeant Dave Yeoman, a 4WD enthusiast and delegated leader in the program since its inception.
It put the team behind schedule but they managed to reach their camp site by 6pm, where they set up their tents and shared a meal by the fire, reflecting on the day’s events, its challenges and banter.
From there, the convoy made its way to
“It’s just like the evening meal at the dinner table
A feature of these trips is that everybody owns some responsibility for the success of the crew.
The Police Association Victoria Journal
on a larger scale, the mess room conversations, the mess hall conversations, the kitchen conversations for the firies and ambos, it’s all about sitting around, having a chat, having a laugh and being together, because that’s what binds you,” said Yeoman. The crew of 47 herded around the fire for the night, pushed together by a new-found camaraderie and the icy winds that sweep through the high plains after sundown. Day 2 started with a bacon and egg breakfast, before the convoy hit the road about 9am and headed along ‘Billy Goat’s Bluff Track’, renowned for its spectacular views atop some of the highest points of the Victorian high country. “It’s the steepest track in the country for four wheel driving, it’s a real challenge,” said Sergeant Yeoman. “There’s a big hump at the top and it’s a real leap of faith, you can’t see where you’re going and as you’re four-wheel driving over the edge, there’s this magnificent view and then you drop back down onto this track that has a 500-foot drop down either side and there’s nothing to stop you.”
“You come along, no one identifies that you’ve got an issue, no one knows where you’re from apart from your agency. No one gets to know what your condition is at all.”
Any TPAV members interested in taking part in a future trip can contact Marcus Nash on 0478 740 717 or by email on email@example.com. Camping equipment and 4WD vehicles are not essential. For more information see ‘The Blue Green Crew’ Facebook page.
On reaching the bottom, a valley at the foot of Dargo, about 350 kilometres east of Melbourne, all Green Blue Crew members gathered for a team photo, complete with the flags of each represented emergency service.
“You come along, no one identifies that you’ve got an issue, no one knows where you’re from apart from your agency. No one gets to know what your condition is at all.”
They then crammed into the Dargo Hotel for a pub lunch at 1.30pm – a small walk-in booking for 47.
Senior Constable Lipa is living proof of the benefits of the program, which has to this point aided 250 participants since its inaugural trek in September 2014.
After refueling, the convoy began its return journey to Melbourne, arriving at the meeting point in Kalkallo about 7.30pm.
“Sitting back on the first night of the first trip I went on, I just sat back and thought, this is the most relaxed I’ve been in years,” he said.
Sergeant Rob Palmer of the DNA unit and formerly a sergeant at Sunshine Police Station, is a 28-year force veteran and a long-time friend of organiser Marcus Nash.
The May weekend was the seventh he has attended since Easter last year.
He’s a regular on the Blue Green Crew trips and says the success of the program lies in its simplicity. “Coppers are a weird bunch, especially my era and before, we do the job, move on to the next job. You learn to cope but at times people don’t realise they’ve got a problem because they think they are coping,” he said. “This (Blue Green Crew) is simple and it’s easy. It’s not going to fix the person’s problem, but it gets them away for a weekend and it gets them back interacting with people again and that’s half the battle won.”
“Without these weekends I wouldn’t see myself still being in the job, I would have probably resigned by now.” “This gives me something to recharge, to deal with the stress for another month before I go away again on another drive.” “I think if people had an outlet like this where they can really get away from it all, it would go a long way to the longevity of their time in the job.” And it’s that continuity of hope and the routine of having something to look forward to that makes Blue Green Crew more than just a one-weekend distraction for many of its participants, says its founder, Nash.
“When you finish one, you reset and you focus on the next one in a month’s time,” he said. “There are a lot of friendships and a sense of mateship that has been built from this program, people you wouldn’t otherwise know, and together, we all look forward to the next drive.” What Nash didn’t anticipate was the magnitude of the effect his program would have on some participants – one woman, in particular. “One girl turned around and said, ‘You saved my life, I would have taken my life if it wasn’t for the fact that I came across your email and went on the drive, and I couldn’t wait for the next one,’” he recalled. “It wasn’t until she told me that and gave me this great big hug and said, ‘I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you and this drive,’ that I ended up in tears, because to know you’ve had that impact on one person, or more than one person, is a pretty overwhelming thing.” Such is the success of the Blue Green Crew and the recognition of its benefit to participants, each of the participating emergency service agencies have agreed to help fund the program, while the Army has opened its doors to offer camping and survival resources for the expeditions.
The Police Association Victoria Journal
Try our new Member Classified service today Do you have anything you wish to buy or sell? Maybe promote your approved side or family business? Or advertise a holiday rental to fellow members? If so, consider placing an ad in our new online Member Classified facility on the TPAV website/ app. Simply go to our website or TPAV App and upload your ad for other members. The service is free to all Association members and given the digital nature of this platform, it is accessible anywhere, anytime either on your desktop, tablet or smartphone. This service represents a resurrection of the Member Classified pages that were previously published in the hardcopy edition of the Journal until the end of last year. ∆
• Free • Online • Exclusive to members • Anytime, anywhere For further enquiries about our new and improved Member Classified service, please contact our Communications section on 9468 2600.
TPAV Personal Crisis Line Need support or someone to talk to straight away whatever the time of day? The Association provides our welfare service in a variety of ways, including counselling, financial assistance and day-to-day advice and support. Speak to a professional that gets policing! Call us anytime on (03) 9468 2600 or toll free if outside Melbourne metro area on 1800 800 537
Go to the top of the class... Congratulations to our 2015 school-age scholarship winners
Kaitlin Allabaster “I attend Belgrave Heights Christian School, where I am enjoying Outdoor Ed, Physical Education and Media. I play/train basketball four days per week, which keeps me busy, but I love it. I play for a local domestic team and also in a representative team for Sherbrooke Suns. Angela Taylor was dedicated to protecting us in her role at Victoria Police. On the 30th anniversary of her passing, I am honored to receive this scholarship.”
Hannah Jane Ross Hannah attends MGC in Richmond. She has a younger brother and two younger sisters. She is the proud owner of a pet dog, a cat and numerous stick insects. Hannah enjoys drawing, painting, hockey, rowing and horse riding. She also participates in the CFA juniors program and plays viola.
our school-age children from Victorian policing families have been awarded scholarships courtesy of The Police Association. The young high-achievers were selected by a Department of Education panel based on an assessment of their 2015 end-of-year results and their involvement in school community and extracurricular activities Their scholarships will help pay for some of their education-related expenses, such as books, stationery, uniforms and excursions. We congratulate our scholarship winners, who were selected from a competitive group of more than 100 applicants. The Police Association will again team up next year with the Department of Education to make these scholarships available in 2016 to schoolage students from Victorian policing families. More details will be provided about the scholarships on offer next year in the December 2016 edition of the Journal.
“Thank you very much for awarding me the Graham Davidson Scholarship. It is a very generous offer and I feel extremely honored and grateful for your kindness.” – Alexei Guy-Toogood
The Police Association Victoria Journal
“I would like to thank The Police Association for awarding me the EC James Scholarship. I have many favourite subjects that I enjoy, like Biological Science and Small Business, and I have a keen interest in Politics.
“Thank you very much for awarding me the Graham Davidson Scholarship. It is a very generous offer and I feel extremely honored and grateful for your kindness. Thank you.
“Outside of school I play Ruck/Full forward with the U16 Bulldogs and I got jet-skiing in the summer. “I aspire to become an ambulance officer, join the police force or serve in a political position. My educational pursuits may not be possible without generous support from scholarship sponsors like your organisation. Thank you for enabling this opportunity.” ∆
When I leave school, I hope to become a professional female footballer. If that dream doesn’t eventuate, I will go to university and study to become an engineer. Realistically, I will probably be an architectural engineer, but another dream of mine is to become a race engineer for some high-class racers.”
“I aspire to become an ambulance officer, join the police force or serve in a political position. My educational pursuits may not be possible without generous support from scholarship sponsors like your organisation.” – Thomas Phillips
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Paul takes to the stand in the name of court safety Police safety won the day at a Bendigo court recently, after an acting senior sergeant took a principled stand to ensure his members were kept out of harm’s way, explains Wayne Gatt. Photos by Ray Shaw
he docks in most courts are pokey and elevated, and in courtroom six at the Bendigo Magistrates Court the glass screen separating the crooks from everyone else would shatter with only slight pressure. If a prisoner `fires up’ in there, you’re toe-to-toe with nowhere to run – not a lot of fun if he’s six foot four, 140 kilos and emotionally unstable. For Bendigo members, shuffling prisoners between the local cells and the court complex is a routine task they undertake much more than they would like. Anyone who has worked in custody knows what can happen if you turn your back on a prisoner or let your guard down for a second. That’s why, when Senior Constable Cameron Dean recently saw a notorious local prisoner with a well-founded reputation for assaulting police and prison officers sitting in the cells awaiting sentencing, he realised he needed to speak up. “He’s just a high-risk prisoner with the real potential to seriously harm a member. He hides razor blades, usually refuses to come up to court and I have seen him with his solicitor kick a full steel cell door till it was actually jumping out,” says Cameron. Cameron has worked in the busy custody role at
the Bendigo Police Station for over two and a half years and has seen hundreds of prisoners in that time. But this prisoner is one he knows can snap in a second. He has much more than mere front; he’s a mountain of a man, with size and strength in his favour. He’s a regular in custody and has previously threatened to kill court staff. With more than 13 priors for custody-related offences, including assaults on police, this prisoner is not to be taken lightly when he’s in custody, says Acting Senior Sergeant and Bendigo Police OIC Paul Filbey . Recently at the centre of a siege situation in the Bendigo area, this notorious crook was not afraid to challenge authority and is well-known for refusing to leave his cell and resisting attempts by police to transport him to and from court. Custody arrangements for offenders presented at Bendigo Magistrates Court are less than ideal, with the court a five-minute drive away. Prisoners must be moved from their cells, and in and out of vehicles, creating more opportunity for things to go wrong. The court itself, like most, is not the best place to deal with high-risk prisoners, particularly when they’re not handcuffed. True to form, this prisoner recently refused to be transported from the remand centre to the
The Police Association Victoria Journal
Bendigo Magistrates Court for a sentencing hearing but was eventually brought to the Bendigo Police Station for court. His attendance raised alarm bells, and when a group of sergeants came to Paul with concerns about safely transporting him to court Paul made sure that a full risk assessment was undertaken. The assessment examined the accused’s entire history, and it showed that it was more likely than not that he would physically assault police if he received a custodial sentence at court. After reviewing all the information, Paul’s position became clear; “It’s too dangerous. The risks are too great. The days of putting ourselves in a dangerous position to take one for the team are gone,” he told his troops.
“Our job is to support the judicial system but as an Officer in Charge, my main job is to look after the welfare of the troops” Together with his sergeants, Paul then arrived at a solution to mitigate the risk. This involved having the prisoner remain at the police station and ‘appear’ in court via a video-link facility, rather than transport him to court. This would enable the prisoner to appear before the court in an environment far easier to control if things didn’t go well. The plan was not immediately accepted by the court, with the presiding Magistrate calling Paul before him to explain his position. Under oath, Paul respectfully explained his reasoning to the Magistrate. He explained that it wasn’t a resourcing issue but “a safety decision” and that he had felt an obligation to take a safety-first approach in this instance as he and his members were dealing with a highly confrontational situation and a high-risk prisoner.
Top: Acting Sergeant Rachel Colliver, Senior Constable Rob Binks, Acting Senior Sergeant Paul Filbey.
Bottom: Custody Officer Shawn Moore, Senior Constable Cameron Dean, Acting Sergeant Rachel Colliver, Acting Senior Sergeant Paul Filbey.
“We face enough risk in operational policing through unplanned responses. It’s not acceptable, but they are the risks. If you have a planned response, like this, you need to mitigate the risk.”
The Magistrate then adjourned the matter, asking for enquiries to be made into the situation and for Paul to see what alternatives existed that would enable the accused to attend court in person. During the adjournment, Paul rang Corrections and the Critical Incident Response Team to see if specialist custody support could be obtained. The prisoner was on remand and not under sentence so appropriately equipped corrections staff (SESG) could not be used. The CIRT also felt the issue was not within their charter. Acting Senior Sergeant Filbey returned to court empty handed, but his position had not changed. The safety of his members remained paramount and this is the message that he delivered to the Magistrate. Speaking with the Journal afterwards, Paul was at pains to explain that his position in court was not one intended to be combative.
have people appear before them”. In the end the Magistrate accepted Paul’s position that the use of video-link in this case was, on balance, the best solution. The matter was heard without incident. The term “safety leadership” is often used to describe decision-making that puts member safety at centre stage, and there is little doubt that Paul’s actions in this instance did just that. Paul’s decision was reviewed by many within Victoria Police, and he believes that it was well supported but there is no doubt that it was his persistence that safety should come first that drove the final outcome. The high-risk offender in this instance and others like him will appear before the courts again and Paul believes situations like this should provide learnings for Victoria Police.
Moreover, he says that if “push came to shove” he would have escorted the prisoner himself before exposing one of his members to potential injury or standing in contempt of court. Still that would have been less than ideal.
Just days after the matter in question went before the court, the government announced that it would invest in additional facilities and amend legislation to enable prisoners on remand to attend court by audio-visual link from the facility where they are held.
“We face enough risk in operational policing through unplanned responses. It’s not acceptable but they are the risks. If you have a planned response, like this, you need to mitigate the risk,” he said.
The Justice Legislation (Evidence and Other Acts) Amendment Bill 2016 will aim to maximise the use of audio-visual technology in court hearings for adults in custody.
Paul’s decision-making in this instance was clearly in line with underlying occupational health and safety principles, but that did not make his position any easier to prosecute to the presiding Magistrate. “Our job is to support the judicial system, but as an Officer in Charge, my job is to look after the welfare of the troops. “The Magistrate had a strong position, and I acknowledge that the court does have a right to
Under these proposed laws, many hearings of a primarily administrative nature will be conducted by audio-visual link. An accused person will still physically appear before the court for a first appearance, unless he or she consents to appear by video link. Attorney General Martin Pakula said that, “Video technology will help ease some of the pressure on police cells and the court system more generally, ensuring prisoners are dealt with in a timely manner”.
And on this issue, members at Bendigo will no doubt agree. In the meantime, and until the new laws take effect, members will have to rely on common sense and sound decision-making like that shown by Paul and his team. It’s an approach that should not be limited to custody-related matters. Stopping to think about safety, and challenging unsafe processes or decision-making is something that should happen much more. Members at Bendigo, like Senior Constable Dean, felt the outcome of this prickly situation was as good as it gets. “I felt fully supported. We see that here and are backed by our sergeants.” ∆
Acting Senior Sergeant Paul Filbey at the Bendigo Law Courts
Bodyworn cameras on trial
Members will soon be trialling body-worn cameras, following a recommendation from the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The Police Associationâ€™s Wayne Gatt takes a closer look at these devices and explores why they have already been tested in other police jurisdictions.
ody-worn cameras are overt devices fitted to an officer’s body with integrated audio and visual capability. The technology’s use has gained momentum around the world as a policing tool with the potential to do everything from deter crime and increase officer safety to assist in the administration of justice through the presentation of video evidence at court. The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence found that body-worn cameras have potential benefits for victims, police, prosecutors, courts and the community. But it also recognised that there are potential pitfalls associated with their use.
Technology: Drift Ghost S is used by motorcycle units, Taser Axon Body 2 and the Axon Flex point of view camera in other areas.
Technology: Reveal RS2-X2 (has front-facing screen to show device is recording).
Extent of use: 51 units fully rolled out across motorcycle units (Helmet Cam). Other cameras have been trialled in some general duties stations. Further trials are planned for 2016.
Extent of use: 30 devices trialled across Alice Springs, City safe, Drug and Organised Crime and the Metropolitan Patrol Group
Its recommendation to introduce this technology was therefore tempered by specifying the need for a rigorous trial and evaluation phase. It also called for police that use this technology to be trained beyond simply knowing how to `switch cameras on’. It argued that in a family violence situation, for example, not using the technology to pressure victims to provide immediate statements or give rise to prosecutions against their will are all areas that our members will need guidance in. Some of our members will probably look at the prospect of body-worn camera technology with some trepidation. The technology’s use in many other police jurisdictions provides a sound body of knowledge from which Victoria can benefit before it embarks on a trial. This is certainly not an area where fresh ground needs to be broken, with Victoria Police trailing most other states in terms of its adoption of this equipment. Body-worn cameras have been used in most Australian policing jurisdictions, with the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales members being the most prolific users of the technology. Across the country, a range of different products have been used in a variety of policing roles. A limited trial was also conducted in Victoria’s Southern Metro region during 2013–14. No Australian jurisdiction has yet rolled out the devices to all of its general duties police.
South Australia Technology: Currently tendering for equipment Extent of use: Limited preliminary trials in the Elizabeth and South Coast LSAs and Mounted Operations
The Police Association Victoria Journal
Queensland Technology: Policy supports BYOD (bring your own device), provided equipment meets QLD Police specifications Taser Axon is provided as issue equipment Extent of use: 2000 BYODs are registered and in use. Trial of 140 issue devices in Road Policing Command was recently expanded into the Gold Coast. 500 cameras are now in use and this figure is expected to grow in 2016.
New South Wales Technology: Have trialled Taser Axon, Wolfcom and are in the process of rolling out tailored equipment. Extent of use: Staged implementation following successful trial in police units such as Public Order, on trains and regional enforcement. Currently approximately 60 in use, with 300 due to roll out in the next month.
“The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence found that body-worn cameras have potential benefits for victims, police, prosecutors, courts and the community, but it also recognised that there are potential pitfalls associated with its use.”
Why the use of body-worn cameras is on the rise among Australian police: • Assists with member safety • Contemporaneously documents statements and events • Prevents the escalation of volatile incidents • Strengthens evidence and increases early guilty pleas, minimising time at court • Provides greater transparency between police and the public • Enhances officer training during debriefing exercises • Complements other evidence-gathering tools
Below: Police in NT using Reveal body-worn camera technology.
The Southern Metro trial looked at three devices worn by 22 members: Wolfcom 3rd Eye, VIEVU PRO2 and the Revel RS3-SX. While this trial showed that body-worn cameras had the potential for positive outcomes, it was not large enough to allow definitive conclusions to be drawn regarding the extent to which cameras improved member safety, welfare and whether they had an impact on outcomes at court. The trial identified potential issues for widespread implementation that are very similar to those identified in other parts of the country. In Victoria, the storage of data was identified as the greatest challenge to the viability of body-worn cameras. At the time only notebookrecordable events were being captured. That is – evidentiary matters or operational situations that a member would ordinarily record using other means. This meant only around 30 minutes of data was recorded, on average, per member per shift. The Family Violence Royal Commission recommendations alone would see the total amount of data recorded by our members increase substantially. If devices are to be used to take statements or record police interactions at all scenes the size of daily recordings could easily be measured in hours. Think about how quickly images or video consumes your allocation of data on the police ‘G’ drive, or fills your police email inbox before it bursts at the seams. Challenges associated with data storage, bandwidth and computing infrastructure can also be an obstacle to body-
worn camera technology use, even in large agencies like Victoria Police. That’s not to say that the obstacles are insurmountable; solutions exist to help police manage these problems. Some jurisdictions are now using cloud technology to store data, removing many of the hardware limitations that would otherwise make this technology unworkable. The storage of data off-site, in the hands of a third party does, however, have its own implications, with strict data security and the need to maintain the continuity of evidence being important considerations. As technology develops we are seeing more and more solutions like this emerge, and camera manufacturers are now providing endto-end solutions for police around the world. Camera technology must also complement other operational equipment already used by police and ensure it doesn’t compromise member safety. The Southern Metro trial was briefly interrupted when it was discovered that two of the devices trialled had the potential to stop transmissions on the police radio network.
The issue of who can access recordings down the track and for what purpose requires explicit guidelines. Balancing the privacy concerns of citizens and police is paramount. All things considered, the Association would agree with the Family Violence Royal Commission recommendation that any trial and evaluation of body-worn camera technology must be extensive. We are open to properly evaluating body-worn cameras and note that their use internationally has been shown to support members through the reduction or resolution of complaints and has even served to clear some members accused of using excessive or lethal force. Like anything new, the devil is in the detail and the Association, while supportive of innovation, is keen to ensure that any policy surrounding the use of this equipment serves to protect members rather than expose them to additional risk.
Agreement between police management and associations around recording protocols is also essential if the use of the equipment is to be accepted by members.
That’s why the Association has already written to the Chief Commissioner requesting consultation on the introduction and trial of this equipment. Not to stand in its way – but to make sure that the detail required to protect police is not overlooked in the rush to see new technology implemented.
Policies must be developed to make absolutely clear what situations should be recorded, how recordings are activated, and when the public should be informed that a recording is being made.
We want to work with Victoria Police to ensure that the balance between safety, security and the public’s right to privacy is at the forefront when considering body-worn camera use. ∆
Do you have a view about body-worn cameras? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Police Association Victoria Journal
Fighting fatigue Brought to you by Police Health
olicing is one of those high-risk professions where you must always be at the top of your game – your safety depends on it.
Avoiding the downward spiral
But that’s not always easy when you are juggling shiftwork and facing the ongoing stresses of the job.
Exhaustion has classic signs that are easy to recognise – achy muscles and an overall feeling of tiredness.
These are the two key causes of burnout, when you find yourself sapped of energy and feel constantly fatigued.
The symptoms for low-grade energy drain are not so obvious – they creep up on you and if not addressed can lead to fatigue and ultimately to burnout.
Studies show that people who suffer from fatigue are less attentive, their physical and cognitive functioning is impaired and they are less able to deal with new challenges. This triggers a vicious cycle where a lack of energy makes it harder to deal with stress, which, in turn, worsens the level of fatigue. It’s a dangerous condition for a police officer, because being alert and having the ability to respond quickly and correctly in a stressful situation is critical. You need to be able to identify when you are becoming overly fatigued or, even better, take measures to avoid such a scenario.
The early signs can include difficulty in concentrating on tasks, becoming irritable and short-tempered, and your level of frustration rising even with seemingly simple challenges. As fatigue sets in you might find yourself becoming increasingly cynical about the job and colleagues, and feeling like you have to drag yourself to work. Even simple tasks become an effort, there is no job satisfaction and you feel disillusioned overall. To cope, you start abusing food and alcohol, and sleeping becomes even harder. Then the headaches, backaches and other
physical complaints start. There can be other serious health consequences if you fail to adopt coping skills and techniques to manage burnout. Stress is cumulative unless it is dealt with early, and the outcome can be serious. Excessive stress leads to changes in brain chemistry and can threaten your health by lowering the immune system. This can make you more susceptible to the common cold, cardiac problems, digestive issues and even cancer. Researchers now believe that left unchecked repetitive stress and severe burnout can be a precursor to post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition most commonly associated with a single overwhelming emotional trauma. This can leave a person feeling emotionally numb, you can lose interest in day-to-day activities and feel detached from friends and family.
Keeping your energy levels up and stress down Of course, it doesn’t have to end like this. There are numerous strategies and lifestyle changes that you should consider adopting to boost your energy levels and to keep the stress under control. Some of them are obvious and others not so obvious.
Beware of energy drinks & supplements
While you might feel too jiggered to exercise, the results will be worth it.
• Fill up with colourful vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes and spinach as they are loaded with revitalizing antioxidants.
Energy drinks and dietary supplements may be enticing to officers trying to make it through a long overnight shift – but care needs to be taken.
• Add tuna and salmon to your diet as they contain omega-3 which helps fight depression and leaves you more energised.
On the plus side, studies have shown that energy drinks can improve mental performance and reduce stress.
There are multiple other benefits of regular exercise. It helps keep your weight down and channels some of that pent-up frustration in a healthy way.
• Alternatives if you don’t like fish are walnuts and flaxseed. In addition to omega-3, they contain magnesium and fibre which are proven energy boosters.
However, severe adverse effects have also been reported, including convulsions, cardiac arrest, respiratory distress and psychiatric issues.
Exercise also burns off the chemical effects of stress and anger and helps you relax and reduces tension.
• Snack on berries as they are nutritional powerhouses whether they’re eaten fresh, frozen or dried.
It’s all about getting a good work-life balance. Play just as hard as you work and make sure pleasurable events are as important as the seriousness of the job.
• Consume yoghurt as it contains good bacteria which aids nutrient absorption and lifts energy reserves.
Research shows that increasing physical activity, particularly walking, increases energy levels. A US study found that the energy-boosting effects of a brisk 10-minute walk lasts for about two hours.
Program relaxation activities into your day and don’t bottle up your emotions. Find time to talk to your partner and friends. And when you have the time, try taking a power nap. Pushing our brains too hard can zap energy but this can be reversed with a short 60-minute sleep.
• Eat eggs as they are one of the best providers of protein. • Avoid high-calorie meals as they take longer to digest and take energy away from other cells. • Cut down on sugar to keep your blood sugar balanced so that energy stays constant. Eating sweet food causes a spike in blood sugar and an initial energy burst followed by a feeling of tiredness. • Opt for whole grains as they provide longerlasting fuel. White bread and pasta spike blood sugar but burn away quickly and sap energy. • Don’t skip meals as studies show this can lead to an overall feeling of fatigue at the end of the day. • Thirst can masquerade as fatigue so make sure you drink enough water. Go steady on the alcohol though as that affects sleep.
A big problem is that although much is known about caffeine, one of the main ingredients in energy drinks, little research has been done on many of the other additives. There are similar concerns about supplements, which can be tainted with substances not listed as dietary ingredients. This is a particular risk for police officers who could find themselves inadvertently taking illegal stimulants. Doctors advise people not to take energy drinks and supplements if you have high blood pressure, and don’t mix them with alcohol. Also remember that stimulants such as caffeine will impact your sleep.
The Police Association Victoria Journal
Check with your doctor If you are eating well and leading a healthy lifestyle yet still feel constantly low on energy, then see your doctor. There are several treatable conditions that can leave you feeling lethargic, including: Low magnesium levels – if these are even slightly down it can lead to an energy drop resulting in muscle cramps, poor sleep and chronic pain. Magnesium deficiency can be caused by drinking too many carbonated drinks. Thyroid dysfunction – this can be a particular problem for women and leaves them feeling sluggish even after a good rest. A simple blood test will identify the condition which can be treated with medication. Anaemia – a reduction in red blood cells prevents your body getting enough oxygen to sustain energy, causing you to tire easily. ∆
If you had an ordinary job all you’d need is an ordinary health fund.
But you don’t and that’s why you have us. Policing is all about looking out for each other, which is why it’s important to have someone look out for you. Register for an information session to find out why thousands of police officers choose Police Health, Australia’s only health fund exclusively for police and the policing community.
ONE HOUR INFORMATION SESSIONS Tuesday 28 June 2016
Wednesday 29 June 2016
Thursday 30 June 2016
LIMITED PLACES - REGISTER NOW! Your health is important to us, that’s why everyone who attends one of our information sessions will receive a $50 Rebel Sports voucher.
For session times and to register visit www.policehealthtpav.eventbrite.com.au Location: The Multifunction Room, The Police Association Victoria. 1 Clarendon Street, East Melbourne Police Health Limited. ABN 86 135 221 519 A registered, not for profit, restricted access private health insurer.
The Police Association Victoria Journal
Pick of the shelf The Long Way to Vladivostok By Brian Rix and Shirley Hardy-Rix
hen some police retire all they want to do is sit back and relax. Maybe they’ll hitch up the caravan and take a trip. For former Police Association President and Life Member of the Association Brian Rix there was really only one plan – pack up his motorcycle and explore the world with his wife, Shirley Hardy-Rix, on the back. Leaving Australia just a few weeks after retiring from the Association in 2011, their first trip took them from the bottom of South America to Alaska with a lap of Western Europe and Southern Africa thrown in. Even that 16-month journey wasn’t enough. Last year Brian and Shirley hit the road again, this time riding from Greece to the top of Europe, well above the Arctic Circle, then tackling the old Silk Road and Siberia. Their book, The Long Way to Vladivostok, takes readers on the journey with them, through Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the old Silk Road, Central Asia, Mongolia and Siberia. They encountered the extremes of climate, with snow, ice and temperatures as low as 2°C in Norway and the searing heat of 47°C in the deserts of Central Asia. They battled high winds to get to Nordkapp, the northern-most point of Europe,
and crashed out on the deteriorating roads of Tajikistan. Still enjoying their retirement, Shirley and Brian pushed the boundaries, tackling icy roads and gravel tracks. They rode through water crossings, deep sand drifts to get to some of the most beautiful cities on the Silk Road. Returning to Russia for the first time in decades, Shirley introduced Brian to the beauty and history of the world’s largest country. The Long Way to Vladivostok takes readers on the road through some of the world’s most beautiful and remote areas, sharing the joys and hardships of life on the road. A six-month motorcycle trip through some harsh environments might not be on your bucket list, but their adventures show life doesn’t end when you hand in the badge. ∆
Win a copy of this book
The Long Way to Vladivostok will be available at good bookstores and online shops from 1 June. You can purchase autographed copies direct from the authors – www.aussiesoverland.com.au. The ebook is available through the usual online retailers.
For your chance to win a copy of this fabulous book, simply email journal@tpav. org.au and answer the following question: Which capital city is closest in distance to the Russian town of Vladivostok – Seoul, South Korea, or Moscow, Russia?
WhaddaYaKnow Test your knowledge with these brain-teasers and you could win a recently released mystery crime fiction novel.
Waxing Lyrical Name the song title and artist belonging to each set of lyrics:
11. She don’t like that kind of behaviour; So throw down your guns…
1. Cause they’re waiting for me, they’re looking for me; Every single night they’re driving me insane; Those men inside my brain
12. 99 Düsenflieger; Jeder war ein großer Krieger; Hielten sich für Captain Kirk; Es gab ein großes Feuerwerk
2. By order of the prophet, we ban that boogie sound: Degenerate the faithful with that crazy Casbah sound
13. I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes…
3. Nothing’s as precious as a hole in the ground
14. When you walk through a storm; Hold your head up high: And don’t be afraid of the dark
4. Well, I heard it on the radio, and I saw it on the television; Back in 1988, all those talking politicians
15. All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey; I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day
5. I saw him dancing by the record machine; I knew he must have been about seventeen
16. Tommy used to work on the docks; Union’s been on strike; He’s down on his luck; It’s tough, so tough
6. Fly like an angel, you’re out there to win
17. Don’t wish it away, don’t look at it like it’s forever; Between you and me I can honestly say that things can only get better
7. And Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon 8. Welcome to a new kind of tension; all across the alienation: where everything isn’t mean to be okay 9. I feel a little crazy, I feel a little strange; Like I’m in a payphone without any change 10. I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck with a pink carnation and a pickup truck; But I knew I was out of luck the day the music died
Compiled by Sandro Lofaro
18. Some people call me the space cowboy, yeah some call me the gangster of love 19. Hey now, you’re a rock star, get the show on, get paid 20. And in the naked light I saw, ten thousand people many more; People talking without speaking; People hearing without listening
Answers Waxing Lyrical: 1. Dream Police, Cheap Trick, 2. Rock the Casbah, The Clash, 3. Blue Sky Mine, Midnight Oil, 4. Treaty, Yothu Yindi, 5. I love Rock ‘N’ Roll, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (or ‘the Arrows’), 6. Answer in next edition, Mike Brady, 7. I was only 19, Redgum, 8. American Idiot, Green Day, 9. Living in the 70s, Skyhooks, 10. American Pie, Don McLean, 11. Reckless, Australian Crawl, 12. 99 Luftballons, Nena (German Version), 13. Love is all around, Wet Wet Wet, 14. You’ll Never Walk Alone, Gerry and the Pacemakers, 15. California Dreaming, The Mamas & The Pappas, 16. Livin’ on a Prayer, Bon Jovi, 17. I guess that’s why they call it the blues, Elton John, 18. The Joker, Steve Miller Band, 19. All Star, Smash Mouth, 20. Sounds of silence, Simon & Garfunkel He said, She said: 1. Linda Evangelista , 2. Bob Hawke, 3. Neil Armstrong, 4. John Lennon, 5. Christopher Pyne, 6. Queen Elizabeth II, 7. Answer in next edition, 8. Groucho Marx, 9. Jack Dyer, 10. Mae West Who are you, sport?: 1. Netball, 2. Football (Soccer), 3. Basketball, 4. Basketball, 5. Answer in next edition, 6. Cricket, 7. Football (Soccer), 8. Tennis, 9. Swimming, 10. Cycling Last Edition: Waxing Lyrical: Solid Rock, Goanna, Remember me?: Joe the cameraman, What’s my scene?: Cricketer
10. “Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.” 9. “He’s just a good ordinary footballer.” 8. “I once shot an elephant in my pyjamas. What it was doing in my pyjamas, I don’t know.”
10. Anna Mears
He said, She said
Who are you, sport?
Name the well-known identities responsible for these quotes:
With which sport do we associate these Australians?
1. “I don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.”
1. Laura Geitz
2. “Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum.”
2. Massimo Luongo
3. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
3. Matthew Dellavedova
4. “Is Ringo Starr the best drummer in the world? He’s not even the best drummer in the Beatles!”
4. Elizabeth Cambage
5. “I’m a fixer. I fixed it.”
6. Moises Henriques
6. “Let us not take ourselves too seriously. None of us has a monopoly on wisdom.”
7. Melissa Barbieri
7. “For the people who waited 72 years for the South Melbourne/ Sydney Swans to win the premiership – here it is!”
9. Mack Horton 8. Daria Gavrilova 5. Jacob Weitering
For your chance to win a mystery fiction novel, simply email the correct answers to the three questions highlighted to email@example.com by 30 June.
Win a book! The Police Association Victoria Journal
Where there is a will, there is a much easier way
The Police Association Victoria Journal
Having a legal will makes management of your estate much easier for those you leave behind and ensures your assets are divided up in accordance with your wishes C
ontemplating death is not something many of us do, which is why drafting a will is rarely at the top of most people’s list of priorities. In fact, statistics show that approximately 45 per cent of Australians do not have an up-to-date will, suggesting many of us underestimate the importance of planning ahead in preparation for the unexpected. When that moment arrives – regardless of whether or not it is expected – it is important that your assets and estate are distributed in accordance with your wishes among family, friends and/or charities. For instance, many people want certain family members to inherit specific items of sentimental or emotional importance, or want to allocate a proportion of their inheritance to children from previous relationships. Having a will also provides an opportunity to appoint your chosen executor to administer your estate, and enables you to identify the guardian/s of your children. While there is a perception that if you don’t own much, you don’t need a will, this is not necessarily the case. If you die without a valid will (known as dying intestate), for example, a standard formula is applied to distribute your property, wealth and any possessions, which may be contrary to your wishes. This will usually mean that all of your assets will pass to your spouse or children, but
the situation can become complicated if: • you die with no spouse or children • you are separated and have a new partner (that is, you have a legal spouse as well as a new de facto partner), or you have children from different relationships, or • you have a de facto spouse but have not registered the relationship. Maurice Blackburn principal Andrew Simpson has been working in the wills disputes and administration area for 20 years and suggests people should think of a will as “a gift you leave your family and loved ones because it makes the management of your estate a lot easier and clear. Taking control of these decisions also means you can secure your family’s financial future.” He said seeking proper, informed legal advice will ensure you express your intentions clearly and can help avoid unnecessary tax liabilities for your beneficiaries. It is also likely to reduce the chance that your will may be contested one day. Mr Simpson said it was also important for people to update their will as their circumstances changed, such as: • when there are births, deaths, marriages and divorces in the family, particularly if any executors or beneficiaries die • if you change your name, or anybody named in the will changes their name
• when there is a purchase or sale of a significant asset, or • if there is an inheritance or significant change to your financial circumstances. Australian law societies generally advise against making your own will, due to the fact that the law around wills can be complex. Members of The Police Association Victoria and their partners are entitled to a free standard will, so for more information about writing a will, talk to the Association’s lawyers, Maurice Blackburn. They can also help if you’ve been injured on duty in any other way as well. They can also assist if you or a loved one have been involved in a road accident, have a public liability or medical negligence claim, or want to dispute a will. For all Police Association members the initial consultation is free. ∆ For more information about how Maurice Blackburn Lawyers can help you on a no win, no charge basis, visit www.mauriceblackburn. com.au or free call 1800 810 812.
Are you covered?
Brought to you by ESSSuper – proudly serving you.
Nobody likes to think that they’ll be injured or worse while they’re on the job. But what if something were to happen to you and you couldn’t work for even a short period? How would you continue to pay the mortgage, bills and household expenses? The truth is that no one wants to believe it could happen to them, but the reality is, accidents do happen. That’s why it pays to make some well-considered decisions.
t doesn’t matter what you do to stay healthy or how diligent and professional you are, the simple truth is that Victoria Police members are often exposed to unpredictable, stressful and potentially dangerous situations during the course of their working lives. And that can lead to an increased likelihood of physical or mental trauma. While it’s true there are no guarantees in life, there are things that you can do that will bring greater stability and certainty to your financial health and wellbeing should you ever find yourself ‘out of action’ due to accident or incapacity.
The Police Association Victoria Journal
Here are two strategies for members to consider:
If you’re a Defined Benefit Fund member, you have a default insurance cover that will provide a safety net in the event of total and permanent disablement or death. Most people would prefer not to think about the negative impact on the quality of life that a sustained time off work could bring.
Consider the need for additional insurance. Defined Benefit Fund members are able to join the ESSSuper Accumulation Plan, which can offer the flexibility to make additional contributions and purchase total and permanent disablement or death insurance, including income protection, to suit your needs.
That’s why you should consider making maximum contributions to the Defined Benefit Fund. By doing this you’ll always be certain of maximising your total and permanent disablement or death entitlements.
One of the major benefits of additional insurance protection within the Accumulation Plan is that it provides greater flexibility to select between the types of cover available – Death cover only, or Death and Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) cover^. Income protection cover is also offered with protection of up to 85% of gross income.
Let’s look at the difference maximum contributions can have on your disability pension benefits. Andrew is in his early 40s and has been a police officer since 1998. When he joined he had every intention of looking into his super contributions but life just got in the way, so Andrew hasn’t been making any contributions to his Defined Benefit Fund. About a month ago he sustained an injury and is currently relying on disability pension benefits. He receives $1248.72 per fortnight. Had Andrew chosen to make the maximum contribution allowable, over the same period, he would be $607.97 better off per fortnight.
Cover is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (subject to certain conditions and exclusions), for total and permanent disablement or death. The three reasons why you should consider income protection insurance: • Peace of mind to get on with life • Coverage for your financial commitments • Helps you get back to work without the financial stress If you’ve ever considered taking out some extra protection, taking out income protection insurance through your super fund can be one of the cheapest ways to obtain cover. In fact, insurance within a group policy is generally much cheaper than taking out individual cover.
“51% of Australians are underinsured by $100,000 for death cover.” “74% of Australians are underinsured by $100,000 for total and permanent disablement.” “45% of Australians are underinsured by $1000 per month for income protection.” Source: Australian Institute of Super Trustees (AIST) Media Release
See for yourself the impact different contribution rates can make to your retirement and disability benefits by using our online salary-sacrificing tool or the retirement multiple estimator calculator at: esssuper.com. au/resources. Or to check your current cover, simply log into Members Online at esssuper. com.au or call our Member Service Centre on 1300 650 161.
* Please note: For members’ who joined before or on 1 July 2007, any increase in contribution rates will cancel any grandfathering of contribution caps, which may mean you’ll incur additional tax. Refer to the relevant handbook or PDS for more information. ^ Insurance cover is subject to eligibility criteria and other terms and conditions in the Policy. Please read the Product Disclosure Statement relevant to your particular fund, available from ESSSuper, for more information. # You should check any relevant exit fees you may incur, or any insurance arrangements that may be forfeited, or any other effects this transfer may have on your benefits, before rolling your money into our fund. The information contained in this document is of a general nature only. It should not be considered as a substitute for reading ESSSuper’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) that contains detailed information about ESSSuper products, services and features. Before making a decision about an ESSSuper product, you should consider the appropriateness of the product to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. It may also be beneficial to seek professional advice from a licensed financial planner or adviser. An ESSSuper PDS is available at www.esssuper.com.au or by calling 1300 650 161
Take a closer look at extra insurance cover If something happened that meant you couldnâ€™t work for a while, what would happen to your income and lifestyle? In addition to the cover offered to members in the Defined Benefit Fund, the ESSSuper Accumulation Plan offers flexible insurance options to cover members in case of terminal illness, total and permanent disablement or even death. Plus, members are covered 24/7, anywhere, anytime^, not just at work. To take a closer look at how much cover you currently have, login to Members Online, then run the numbers on what you might need with the Insurance Calculator at esssuper.com.au/resources
^ Insurance cover is subject to eligibility criteria and other terms and conditions in the Policy. Please read the Product Disclosure Statement relevant to your particular fund, available from ESSSuper, for more information. The information contained in this document is of a general nature only. It should not be considered as a substitute for reading ESSSuperâ€™s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) that contains detailed information about ESSSuper products, services and features. Before making a decision about an ESSSuper product, you should consider the appropriateness of the product to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. It may also be beneficial to seek professional advice from a licensed financial planner or adviser. An ESSSuper PDS is available at www.esssuper.com.au or by calling 1300 650 161.
The Police Association Victoria Journal
Angela Taylor Fun Run
Epping 2016 Team.
Participants of the Angela Taylor Fun Run.
More than 400 members of the Victorian policing family ran, walked or strolled around Albert Park Lake last month in the annual Angela Taylor Fun Run/Walk. This yearâ€™s event held even greater significance, as it marked the 30th anniversary of Angelaâ€™s passing. Perhaps not coincidentally, participant numbers for the annual event were up on previous years. All proceeds from the event went to the Blue Ribbon Foundation.
Rachel, Lee, Kim.
Chief Commissioner Ashton with Angela Taylorâ€™s parents Marilyn and Arthur during the event formalities led by Blue Ribbon chairman Bill Noonan.
Mike, Jo, Elyse, Dylon.
Hazel, Dermot, Leo.
Moira, Sandra, Christine.
Visiting Beijing Police.
Angela Taylor Fun Run 2016
Drive away from just $45 per week The Police Association Victoria Journal
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Example loan amount and repayments Car loan 6.99%pa
The interest rate and comparison rate for this car loan are the same. Weekly payment figures have been rounded up or down to the nearest whole dollar. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. The comparison rate applies to a secured car loan only, for an amount of $30,000 over a term of five years. All loan applications are subject to our standard credit assessment criteria. Fees and charges apply. Information on interest rates and fees and charges are available on application or request. Minimum car loan amount $10,000 for the period 1 May 2016 â€“ 31 July 2016. Interest rate is current as at date of print and valid from 1 May 2016 to 31 July 2016. For more information, please visit bankvic.com.au/getacar. BankVic, as an AFSL holder, sells general insurance products under an agreement with the issuer CGU Insurance Ltd (CGU) ABN 27 004478 371 AFSL 238291. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. If you purchase insurance we will receive a commission that is a percentage of the premium. This advice is general and has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, before acting on the advice you should consider whether the advice is appropriate for you. Before acquiring any product or service you should obtain and consider the relevant product disclosure statement available from our website, any branch or by calling 136373. Police Financial Services Limited ABN 33 087 651 661 AFSL 240293 Australian Credit Licence 240293 (BankVic). 5.16 5972 6008bv
Pajero Sport Like a lively SUV, because, for one thing, it performs with such smoothness and agility on rough surfaces
Value for money
• Trailer-sway control.
Pajero Sport might share some underpinnings with Triton Ute, but any similarities are hard to pick.
The entry GLX costs $45,000. Standard features include:
• Hill-descent control.
It has a sharp, modern front end and athletic profile, but looks narrow at the rear, perhaps owing to its long, vertical tail lights.
• Electric park brake.
Roomy inside, it offers comfortable seating for five, a commanding driving position, and a sporty dash, which features a gauge and trip computer layout common to other Mitsubishis.
• Push-button entry and start.
Top-spec Exceed boasts advanced safety features including forward collision mitigation, blind-spot monitoring and a multi-camera system that displays a bird’s eye view around the vehicle.
• Auto climate control.
• DAB+ digital audio.
The 2.4-litre diesel produces 133kW of power and 430Nm peak torque at 2,500rpm. Combined fuel economy is claimed to be 8.0 litres/100km. Braked towing capacity is 3,100kg and warranty is five years/100,000km.
• Eighteen-inch alloy wheels.
• Reach and rake adjustable steering. GLS costs $3,500 more and gets:
Central in the sweeping console is a seven-inch touch screen with smartphone display audio. This enables smartphone connectivity through both Android and Apple systems, on which users can connect to various apps, including navigation via the touch screen or voice control.
• Rear diff lock.
Power is courtesy of Triton’s new 2.4-litre turbo diesel, coupled with a completely new eight-speed automatic transmission.
• Rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
All models score Mitsubishi’s Super Select II 4WD system which can run in either 2WD or 4WD on bitumen. The centre diff can be locked in High or Low range for more difficult terrain. Selections between 2H and 4H (up to 100km/h) are made via rotary dial on the console. An off-road mode switch enables drivers to toggle between Gravel, Mud/Snow, Sand and Rock.
• Auto headlights and wipers. • Dual-zone climate control. • Leather trim. Top-spec Exceed costs $52,750. Its extras include: • Eight-speaker audio.
On the road Pajero Sport feels more like a lively SUV than a serious diesel 4x4 sitting on Triton’s ladder chassis. It’s surprisingly smooth and agile on rough surfaces and corners confidently.
• Heated front seats with power adjustment.
The engine, more powerful than expected, is both smooth and quiet at all but high revs.
Safety Pajero Sport has won a five-star (ANCAP) safety rating. Standard items include:
The superb new eight-speed auto provides excellent flexibility and easy manual control via the stick shift or paddle shifters.
• Seven airbags.
• Rear-view camera.
Pajero Sport is a refined, versatile 4x4 wagon at a realistic price. Pity the genuine tow bar looks like a tacked-on afterthought.
• Reversing sensors. • Auto door locking.
Reviewed by Jim Barnett
For the young... and young at heart. And the buyer can personalise it with his or her own colour scheme
Value for money
Vitara, a compact SUV, comes in two spec-levels with a choice of two engines. Entry RT-S (2WD only) features a naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine coupled to manual or automatic transmissions.
RT-S is priced at $21,990 (add $2,000 for auto). Standard items include:
The RT-S 1.6-litre petrol engine produces 88kW of power with claimed fuel economy of 5.8 litres/100km (manual).
Top-spec S Turbo (2WD or 4WD) features a more powerful turbocharged petrol engine coupled to an automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
• Climate-control air conditioning.
S Turbo’s 1.4-litre turbo petrol four produces 103kW of power with economy of just 5.9 litres/100km.
• Bluetooth, iPod and USB connectivity.
On the road
Inside Vitara, a smart dash layout features a seveninch colour touch screen. Drivers score a thick steering wheel with reach and rake adjustment and a height-adjustable seat.
• Privacy glass.
Vitara, with its airy cabin and good visibility, is comfortable, light and easy to drive.
Storage around the cabin consists of large door bins with bottle holders, a sizeable glovebox and various trays. The absence of a lidded console bin doubling as an armrest is obvious.
• Leather seats with suede inserts.
The rear seats come in a 60/40 split-fold design and, like the front seats, are comfortable. Cargo space ranges from 375 to 1,120 litres while a two-tiered floor creates a hidden shelf. An emergency-style spare sits under the floor.
• Satellite navigation • Seventeen-inch alloy wheels.
• Touch-screen audio with Apple Car Play. S Turbo 2WD auto ($28,990) also comes with:
• Speed limiter. • Keyless entry and start system. • Black 17-inch alloy wheels.
The 2WD S-Turbo provides effortless performance, brisk acceleration and easy cruising. The smooth turbo four never sounds stressed and is well matched to the six-speed auto. Vitara remains quiet inside, has a firm but compliant ride and is agile in corners.
• Auto wipers.
Its voice-control system is excellent. It seems easier to use than many others, particularly when entering a destination into the satellite navigation system.
• Front and rear parking sensors. • Self-levelling, auto on/off LED headlights.
S Turbo can be optioned ($4,000) with a 4x4 system with four driver-selectable modes: Auto, Sport, Snow and Lock.
All models feature seven airbags, daytime running lights, ISOFIX child seat anchorages and reversing camera. S Turbo 4x4 also has hill-descent control.
Vitara is a trendy, versatile compact SUV that will appeal to the young at heart. ∆
Buyers can personalise their car by selecting various colour combinations both inside and out.
Suzuki Australia is confident Vitara will be awarded a five-star (ANCAP) safety rating.
Your Say Engage with us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org We welcome readers’ correspondence to our magazine. In all cases the writer’s name must be supplied, unless there is good reason for anonymity. The editor reserves the right to edit, abridge or decline letters without explanation. Letters fewer than 400 words are preferred.
TPAV’s support appreciated In 2013 I commenced what was to be a lengthy WorkCover process due to the behaviour of management at a regional station. The issues stemmed from the serious inaction of one supervispr and a slanderous email from another supervisor attacking my integrity and work ethic, left for other members to view. The inaction by a manager to clarify and resolve the above issues at the time was catastrophic for me. Over the 10-month period additional managers failed to deal with these issues and had a continued pattern of behaviour towards me that ensured my health, reputation and career were severely threatened. It was the constant support and hard work by Les Beslis and Luke Oliver at TPAV and subsequent intervention by a Deputy Commissioner that ensured my return to work in another region. Name Withheld Leading Senior Constable Regional Victoria
Parting thanks On the 8th of April I retired from Victoria Police after 25 year’s service. Along the way I’ve worked alongside some wonderfully talented and dedicated members. I leave the organisation knowing that on the front line there is a solidarity that serves the community with pride, to the best of their ability. For those in management and supervisor roles, please do what is right for your staff – look after their welfare, as they are the best asset you have. Lead with a servant leadership style; lead your staff with their best interest at the forefront. Trust your staff, invest in your staff and the service delivery and key targets will be exceeded. Thank you to the Association for always being there watching our backs. A thank you to Peter Abbey for his support; he is an asset to the Association members. Lastly, as the former President of the Police Overseas Service Club Victoria, I again thank the Association for the support of returned peacekeepers and the like. Darren Wiseman Senior Sergeant 29226 (retired)