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The Victoria Police Magazine

Summer 2014

IN THE COMMUNITY On the beat in the Melton Police Service Area

PLUS > Road Policing > Police Volunteers > True Crime



COVER: IN MELTON Police enjoy working at Melton Police Station. POSTER: PREPARED TO PROTECT The Public Order Response Team is trained to keep you safe. Police Life is produced by the Media & Corporate Communications Department, Victoria Police, GPO Box 913, Melbourne, 3001. Fax: 9247 5982. Online Email Acting Managing Editor Sandra Higgins Acting Editor Janae Houghton Journalists Anthony Loncaric Mandi Santic Sara-Jane Hooper Katy Ferguson Graphic Design Vetro Design Pty Ltd Subscriptions 9247 6894 ISSN 0032-2598L Crown Copyright in the state of Victoria. For permission to reprint any part of this magazine, contact the editor. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Victoria Police.

REGULARS 03 MAKING NEWS 05 BEHIND THE BADGE 07 NUMBER CRUNCHING 16 POSTER COVER STORY 12 OUT AND ABOUT Police work with local agencies in Melton to be proactive. FEATURES 08 SAFE DRIVE Victoria Police will be out in force over the holiday period to ensure the public reach their destination safely. 10 WATER WATCHERS The new Marine Investigation Unit will investigate deaths and serious injuries on the water.


14 KEEPING ORDER The Public Order Response Team is highly trained and ready to respond. 24 DAM DEATHS Robert Farquharson killed his three young boys by driving them into a dam in 2005. ALSO IN POLICE LIFE 18 Police who volunteer their time to help others. 20 Protecting property. 26 Protective Services Officers and a policeman save a life. 30 Detective Training School turns 75.




lder readers might remember a Victorian road campaign from 1969: ‘Declare War on 1034’. One thousand and thirty four was the number of Victorian lives lost on the road that year. But it did not work. In 1970, 1061 lives were lost. It was a staggering loss of life, even more remarkable given how much smaller our population was. Today, our road toll is at an historic low. At the time of writing, 210 people had lost their lives in 2013. That is 210 lives gone, and 210 families and groups of friends profoundly devastated. But it is also a dramatic improvement on just a few decades ago. In fact, since the ‘Declare War on 1034’ campaign, we have experienced almost continuous declines in the road toll. The reasons are varied: mandatory seatbelts, random breath testing, safety cameras, safer cars and better roads. But the hard work of Victoria Police has



played a role, as has an increasing public awareness of road danger. All of this means that we are on our way to securing a Victoria Police goal of less than 200 road fatalities by 2022. But we must also be wary of the so-called “hidden road toll”—that is, the number of injuries occurring because of road trauma. In Victoria, injuries have not fallen commensurate with the fall in fatalities. Despite all of this, we are on the cusp of holidays when we would expect to see a spike in trauma. It has become a cliché, but none of us should become complacent behind the wheel. The holiday season is one in which fatigue and alcohol can play a part, so please think of your families when you are driving. Stay safe, enjoy the season and best wishes for the new year.

Making news

FOR the latest police news VISIT

NEW USE .01 CFA's Martyn Bona, Victoria Police's Roger Williams and SES's Leanne Simpson at the impound yard in Preston.


REUSING HOON VEHICLES Victoria Police will donate hundreds of ABANDONED hoons’ cars to help road rescue service providers train their volunteers.


ince the State Government introduced tough anti-hoon laws in 2007, thousands of cars have been taken off dangerous drivers and impounded for up to 30 days. Designated costs which include towing fees must be paid upfront to have these cars released back to the owner. On some occasions the money owing to release the car is worth more than the vehicle itself, so the owner never bothers to pick it up, leaving it in the hands of the staff at the impound yard in Preston. Victoria Police Logistical Support Branch manager Roger Williams said the majority of these cars would have previously been crushed for scrap metal, but not anymore. “We now have an opportunity to donate some of these abandoned vehicles to the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and the State

Emergency Service (SES), and they will be used to train their volunteers in road rescue. “Victoria Police has a strong commitment to road safety and by having a partnership with these agencies and allowing them to be better trained, could result in fewer deaths from collisions.” Mr Williams said Victoria Police would provide the SES and CFA with the vehicles on an as-needs basis. SES operational performance manager Leanne Simpson said it would be a massive help. “We often rely on donations of vehicles or else we have to pay for them at auctions. We could easily use more than 100 cars per year and Victoria Police will be able to give us these,” she said.

“This will mean better quality training for our volunteers, as they will get to practice scenarios in a range of vehicles, both new and old. “It will enhance volunteers’ confidence and capability when attending incidents.” CFA state training college facilities manager Martyn Bona said the CFA also relied on older donated cars. “Many of the cars we receive are already at the end of their life. Getting newer cars means we can practice with modern technologies and the plastic that cars are made out of today. This arrangement will be so beneficial to us.”



Small talk voxpoP


How can drivers keep safe on the road during long journeys over the holiday period?


Constable Lee Brown BALLARAT NORTH POLICE STATION “Drivers should regularly stop to take breaks. This will help them refresh their mind and body. ”

Constable Daniel Dalton BALLARAT NORTH POLICE STATION “It’s wise to always plan your trip. Be aware of driving conditions. Always be mindful not to speed and not to use your mobile phone when driving.”

Constable Brett Eden BALLARAT NORTH POLICE STATION “Plan ahead. Before driving long distances drivers should check if their car is roadworthy. Take advantage and share your driving with a passenger if possible. Take regular coffee stops.”


Police Life loves hearing what you think about the magazine, your local police and Victoria Police in general. Write, fax or email Police Life at: Police Life, GPO Box 913, Melbourne, 3001. Fax: 9247 5982 Email: Follow us on Facebook at

Similia Ion I want to personally thank Victoria Police for working constantly for the safety and protection of honest people, family and friends. Lisa Mazing Appreciate your work, Vic Pol. It has made us feel so much safer. (In reference to Protective Services Officers). Rina Donarelli Sad to know that there are so many drunk drivers on our roads but so glad to hear that Victoria Police is doing an AMAZING job catching them!



It may not be as impressive as some of the gadgets in a Batman or James Bond film, but the round shield used by Public Order Response Team (PORT) members is useful in a range of critical situations. PORT members, who respond to demonstrations and public order incidents in and around Melbourne, use this piece of equipment to protect themselves from volatile crowds or individuals. The shield is small and lightweight and is especially handy for members on the move. PORT’s Sergeant Nicole Williams said the round shield was one of the most important pieces of equipment for her team.

MUCH APPRECIATED I am writing this letter in formal appreciation of the police and Coroner who attended my parent’s home earlier this year. The care, compassion and quiet nature of the members from the Hastings Police Station was our experience when my father lost his one true love, my mother. Our only avenue to thank these members is in the form of a letter. Please let all police personnel know that the experience of such sadness was lessened by the competence and compassion of these policemen. Thank you very much. D DUTHIE LANGWARRIN

“We have three types of shields including the round shield, an intermediate one and a long shield,” Sgt Williams said. “The round shield offers slightly less protection than the others but is less cumbersome and members don’t get fatigued holding it. “The intermediate and long shields are useful for level two and three scenarios, which can involve PORT members coming under heavy attack. “We can get objects thrown at us so we use the shields to keep us safe.” Sgt Williams said the shields can also be used for tactical purposes including moving large groups in a particular direction.

GENEROUS POLICE I am writing to express my sincere thanks to Victoria Police, particularly the Victoria Police Soccer Club (VPSC) for the strong and valuable support they have provided to the Birla Children’s Orphanage in Hanoi. The VPSC has engaged with the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Embassy in Hanoi to raise funds to improve the soccer pitch within the orphanage and to provide clothing, toys and sporting equipment for the orphans. The soccer pitch, which is now completed, will play an important role in the children’s health and welfare. It is a truly meaningful and practical gift. On behalf of all the children and staff at the orphanage, I would like to wish the Victoria Police members’ good health, happiness and prosperity. Sincere thanks for your generous support. CHU DINH DIEP DIRECTOR


HELPING HAND .01 Ldg Sen Const Darcy enjoys helping people, even saving a 94-year-old woman’s life.

Anthony Darcy

Editorial Mandi Santic PHOTOGRAPHY Shane Bell

Age LEADING SENIOR CONSTABLE Age 52 GRADUATED 1989 Station Keilor Downs Why did you want to become a policeman? I love helping people and being out there catching the baddies. I also like showing young people who come through Brimbank the right way to do things. You have been working on the divisional van for 24 years. What do you love about it? Rather than waiting to be called for a job, I love being out there and ready to respond first on the scene - whether it is a murder, domestic violence or a shop theft. What is the most challenging aspect of your role? The biggest challenge for me is the unknown. When you are first on the scene, you do not know what you are walking into – it could be someone who is armed or a deceased person – you just don’t know. Issues you face working at Keilor Downs Police Station? An ongoing issue being addressed is domestic violence. We are dealing with it by charging any offender who commits family violence and taking out complaints and warrants on their behalf. In turn, victims gain intervention orders to help keep them safe.

What has been your most memorable moment? Recently a 94-year-old woman fell in her home and was unable to get up. The elderly woman’s carer could not get into the house and called us to assist. We broke her door down and pretty much saved her life. If she had been there much longer she probably would have passed away. TELL US A FUNNY STORY FROM THE JOB? Recently there was a crime scene set up where two people had found what they believed was a deceased body in a burnt out car. About 30 police, from uniform to the Homicide Squad, were in attendance. A pathologist who had come onto the scene realised the deceased was actually a mannequin from a film set. It stunned us all because it looked so real. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE JUNIOR MEMBERS? Come out to the western suburbs, particularly Brimbank. After six months our trainees are as good as someone who has been on the job for at least two years, because they are exposed to everything straight away. You will have all the excitement of what you actually joined for.




Victoria police Top 5 proactive policing stories

4 2 5


2. Secure your plates with SAFEPL8


P 1. A  -League clubs support Go4Zero Melbourne-based A-League clubs have thrown their support behind police by joining Go4Zero, an antiviolence campaign run in partnership between the State Government and Victoria Police. The initiative aims to stamp out violence of any form in the community by providing support to those who may be threatened with violence or intimidation. It provides a resource of information and ideas on how we can all play a role in reducing violence in the community. Melbourne Victory’s Kevin Muscat and Melbourne Heart’s Clint Bolton have been appointed Go4Zero ambassadors to help spread the message. Visit the Go4Zero page at on the internet to find out ways to get involved, access safety advice and view a range of exciting campaign videos.

3. Operation Firesetter heats up



olice have been targeting number plate theft across the state and will continue to do so until the end of January 2014. With more than 10,400 number plates stolen in 2012-13, Operation SAFEPL8 was launched to call for community assistance to tackle the problem. Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp said number plate theft was often a gateway to more serious crime such as petrol drive-offs, drug trafficking and burglary.


“We’re calling on the community to help prevent number plate theft by fitting one-way screws and where possible, parking off the street and in well lit areas.” For information about SAFEPL8 and where you can obtain screws, please visit the Victoria Police website. Anyone with information about number plate theft is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

n the lead up to the bushfire season Victoria Police launched its annual bushfire arson initiative, Operation Firesetter. In its fourth year, the initiative is a high visibility, statewide bushfire arson prevention and detection operation with a focus on high-risk locations and times, crime prevention activities and managing and monitoring people of interest. The operation is conducted in identified at-risk Police Service Areas by local area commanders, with support from the Arson and Explosives Squad and the Operations Response Unit. This year, the Victoria Police bushfire arson campaign will also have a strong focus on reckless behaviour that can cause devastating bush and grass fires. Crime Command Acting Assistant Commissioner Tess Walsh said in Victoria, more than three quarters of all bushfires were deliberately lit or caused by recklessness and could have been prevented. “Victoria is one of the most fire prone areas in the world, yet some people are still complacent when it comes to reckless behaviour during high fire danger periods,” A/AC Walsh said. “Like arson, a recklessly caused fire is a serious crime.” OVERSEAS NEWS: What is happening in the world of policing? 1 UNITED KINGDOM


Police have helped rescue three highly traumatised women from slavery after being held captive for more than 30 years in London. One of the alleged victims, a 30-year-old British woman is believed to have been held captive her whole entire life, with no contact to the outside world. Two suspects - a male and female in their sixties, have been arrested.


2 USA More than 10,000 people, including the San Francisco police, were involved in an extraordinary event which involved a boy with cancer becoming a superhero for the day. Five-year-old Miles Scott became ‘Batkid’ thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation which saw the city transform into Gotham City.

4. United through art


ome indigenous flavour was added to the wall beside Shepparton Police Station after local artist Neva Atkinson painted an artwork symbolising police and Aboriginal people working together for better outcomes. The artwork includes two turtles representing the land of the Yorta Nation and signifies the relationship between police and Aboriginal communities. The colourful piece also makes reference to activities local police are involved in with Aboriginal residents including Cultural Camps, where all new police are exposed to Aboriginal communities to learn about the people and their culture, and the Murray Marathon, which involves police and Aboriginal youth creating friendships and partnerships while tackling a five day flat water paddling challenge along the Murray River. Speaking to the Shepparton Adviser in August, Ms Atkinson said her painting was all about police and Aboriginal people working together and dispelling the stereotypes that police might have toward Aboriginal people or vice versa. “Police and Aboriginal relationships in the past weren’t so good and what we are trying to show with this painting is the creation of better relationships between the Aboriginal community and police Australia wide,” she said. Photo courtesy of The Adviser, Shepparton.

5. Trauma Bear project helping children


nspired to make a difference in the community, Bacchus Marsh Leading Senior Constable Yvette Brown created the Trauma Bear Project, which involves volunteers and elderly citizens making teddy bears for children affected by traumatic incidents. The project has received an overwhelming response from the community with people from all over the state contacting Ldg Sen Const Brown to find out how to donate. When posted on the Victoria Police Facebook page, more than 23,000 people viewed the story and 1011 liked the post. Ldg Sen Const Brown said many general duties police attend jobs that involve children as victims or witnesses to horrible things. “You can see the terror in their eyes when we attend an incident. This project is about lessening that impact and if we can leave them with a bear, maybe in some small way it will make their involvement with us that little less traumatic,” Ldg Sen Const Brown said. Ldg Sen Const Brown said the project makes the elderly residents at Bacchus Marsh Retirement Village feel more connected to the community. “The ladies and gents at the Bacchus Marsh Retirement Living are very excited about the project and feel very proud to be contributing to the community,” she said. “This is about hopefully reducing trauma impact and leaving children with something positive about police.” Numb e r


Victoria Police recently launched its statewide bushfire arson prevention and detection operation, Operation Firesetter. With 4400 bushfires occurring last season, Victoria Police is once again reaching out to the community in an effort to ensure such destruction does not happen again.


Altona North Armed Robbery Taskforce detectives have charged three men in relation to a series of armed robberies in Footscray West, Brooklyn, Hoppers Crossing and Laverton.

cru n chi n g


Victoria Police Rescue Coordination Centre launched an air and sea search after a mayday call in Port Phillip Bay. A Bacchus Marsh man aged in his 40s was rescued, however his vessel is believed to have sunk.


Morwell Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT) detectives have charged a 53-year-old truck driver from Broadmeadows with a number of sexual assault charges allegedly committed between 1989 and 2004, throughout Victoria.




This holiday period, Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill wants the community to put a stop to collisions on our roads that cause serious injuries.

Out in Force .01



BOOZE BUS .01 Police man a booze bus on Victoria Parade in Melbourne. .02 A driver is breath tested.




ictoria Police launched its state wide Summer Stay campaign on 15 November, which includes four operations running consecutively until Sunday, 5 January. Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill said during Summer Stay, police will be focusing on the fatal five factors that contribute to road trauma during the Christmas and New Year period-speed, impairment, fatigue, driver distraction and seatbelt offences.

“Over the past five years we have been able to steadily decrease the road toll but our intelligence tells us that there is a lot more work to be done to reduce serious injuries,” AC Hill said. “Our road toll shouldn’t be the only thing we focus on. We don’t want people to be struggling with serious and debilitating injuries for the rest of their lives because of inattention or poor driving behaviour.” AC Hill said intelligence showed that at this time of the year, fatalities often occurred in rural locations involving single vehicles and sometimes as a result of speed. The data also showed serious injuries are more likely to occur in Melbourne’s Central Business District and metropolitan areas (CBD). “This is just happening too often and one of the biggest, emerging factors is a lack of concentration,” AC Hill said. “While speeding and impairment still remain common risks, people using their mobile phones are on the increase. But it is not even just talking or texting anymore, we are seeing more and more people stopped at lights or driving and checking social media.” To combat this dangerous practice, the State Government introduced tougher laws, higher

fines and more demerit points for drivers caught using their mobile phones while driving. From 25 November, drivers cannot use their phones unless it is in a cradle, fixed inside the vehicle. Fines have increased from $298 to $433 and demerit points have gone from three to four. Victoria Police members make no secret of the fact they will be out in force over this period and yet people continue to drink drive and speed. Police Life attended a booze bus set up on Victoria Parade, Melbourne on 15 November, as part of Operational Ring of Steel. During the two night operation seven booze buses and one drug bus were placed on major roads leading out of Melbourne’s CBD, as well as three mobile police facilities which were supported by random breath test stations. North West Metro Road Policing Inspector Frank Sells said Ring of Steel was a large scale operation aimed at stopping drug and alcohol affected drivers from leaving the city. “We had a massive police presence with members coming from all regions, State Highway Patrol, the Heavy Vehicle Unit, Solo Unit, and the Road Policing Drug and Alcohol Section.

“We effectively provided a Ring of Steel around Melbourne. The intention is to remove drug and alcohol affected drivers from the roads before they've had a chance to drive any significant distance. We wanted to stop them from leaving the city.” Over the two nights, police detected more than 100 people over the legal alcohol limit. “It is just not good enough that we continue to see this amount of drivers over the limit,” Insp Sells said. “Even though it is widely-known police will be out in force at this time of year, people continue to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. If you are going to do this and risk your and other road users’ lives, we will most likely catch you.” AC Hill reminded all Victorians that while there will be a major police presence over the Christmas and New Year period, road safety is a year long Victoria Police commitment. “Christmas is a time for celebrating and enjoying yourself. We want you to get home and to your destination safely. “Don’t get involved in any guessing games, if you have to ask yourself if you may be over the limit, you probably are, so don’t risk it and catch a cab. “At Victoria Police, road policing is everyone’s responsibility. There is an expectation all members, regardless of their work environment, will respond if they observe irresponsible behaviour on our roads.” AC Hill said the organisation would continue to introduce contemporary and emerging technology into its road policing fleet. “This includes the introduction of Automated Number Plate Recognition technology, BlueNet vehicles and enhanced drug testing capabilities. We want to ensure we continue to remove dangerous drivers from our roads. ”








MARINE INVESTIGATION UNIT .01 Sgt Adrian Sinclair, Ldg Sen Const Lee Barton and Ldg Sen Const Brett Colley. .02 Ldg Sen Const Colley preparing to look through a suspect boat. . 03 Sgt Sinclair and Ldg Sen Const Barton inspect a boat. .04 Ldg Sen Const Barton working on a vessel. .05 Analyst Emma McInnes, Water Police Sergeants Keith Dixon and Ed Formosa and Ldg Sen Const Barton.



WATER The newly-created Marine Investigation Unit is dedicated to investigating the six to eight deaths and 30 serious injuries that happen on Victorian waters each year.


ith most crimes, there is often easily accessible evidence left behind at the scene - blood, DNA, weapons and witnesses who can give an account of what went wrong. But when a person is killed in isolated waters, the sea washes a lot of these clues away. That is where the experts come into play. Made up of three members, including a sergeant and two leading senior constables, the Marine Investigation Unit is being trialled for 12 months. Sergeant Adrian Sinclair was instrumental in getting the team up and running because he wanted to ensure victims on the water received justice.


Some deaths on Victorian waters in recent years include speeding jet skiers, drunk and drug affected boat operators, and people not checking that their vessel is seaworthy. “There are a lot of similarities between deaths and serious injuries on the water and the road, ” Sgt Sinclair said. “The Crimes Act considers operating a boat the same as driving a car and offences like culpable and dangerous driving also apply. It is important to me and my team that victims of vessel incidents receive the same attention as those of road trauma.” Members in the team all have extensive experience in crime investigation and policing waterways. This exclusive skill set is crucial because of the difficulties associated with investigating marine incidents. “When it comes to a collision on the water that has resulted in a death or serious injury, we use a mix of traditional investigative techniques such as eyewitness interviews, analysis of impact damage and assessments of the vessel,” Sgt Sinclair said. “But unlike a road collision where crime scene evidence is accessible, our scenes are blown away by the wind or sink under the water. That is why we use underwater robots, sonars and divers to conduct searches for debris, exhibits and deceased bodies, and have specialist techniques to piece together what happened.” In complex investigations the squad calls on the assistance of their uniformed Water Police colleagues to help solve the crime.

“Most of our investigations start off as a marine search and rescue operation, and our Water Police colleagues are experts at finding vessels and people in distress. It’s after that we investigate if a crime has been committed. If a person died or was badly hurt then criminal charges could be laid against the skipper of the boat. Each incident is investigated. We don’t use the word accident anymore,” he said. “In some circumstances a reconstruction is required to fully understand what took place. This is a challenging task because we are at the whim of nature having to replicate as closely as possible the conditions of the day and time the crime took place.” Sgt Sinclair warns that summer is bound to be busier for his team in relation to injuries and deaths on the water. “The summer period is obviously a more dangerous time to be on the water. It is always a higher risk for collisions particularly involving jet skiers,” he said. “The message is simple. Do not speed when driving a boat or jet ski. The consequences of speeding on the water can be as bad as speeding on the road. You can certainly harm someone just as severely.” Another major element of the squad’s work is investigating boat thefts. Around 300 boats are stolen

every year in Victoria not including stolen boats that are brought across the border from interstate. “Most thefts of boats are organised,” Sgt Sinclair said. “In a majority of cases boats are taken from residential properties. It can be easy for the offender because the boats are left on the nature strip or in the driveway on the trailer.” Boats do not have a lot of identifying factors, Sgt Sinclair said, so it is easier for offenders to rebirth them, which means stripping the vessel of identifying factors such as stickers and paint, than motor cars. “Boats aren’t usually stolen for a joy ride”. Luckily the Marine Investigation Unit members have access to technology that makes it easier to identify a stolen boat. As always, the public can play a part in preventing theft. “The message to boat owners is make sure your boat is secured by locking the tow hitch and keeping it behind a locked gate,” he said. “Any member of the public can assist us in targeting these criminals by taking notice of what is around them. If a boat shows up in your neighbourhood unexpectedly and you feel a little suspicious give Crime Stoppers a call.” The squad also works closely with Victoria Police taskforces and external agencies that tackle issues with drugs and poaching on the water. They offer help and expertise wherever possible to ensure justice is served on land and water.

Sgt Sinclair’s safety message for water users this summer Safety is always a priority. The main thing for boat drivers to remember is that it is not just a sport. There are speed rules, and operators have a responsibility to their passengers and everyone else around them. When things go wrong, you cannot get out and walk home.



MELTON Police Station


ab ut

Building great relationships with the local council, schools and other agencies is helping the members at Melton Police Station proactively tackle crime.





Sgt Graham Scott goes through incident reports from the night before.

Const Hocking and Sgt Cooke leave the station to go out on patrol.

Melton police patrol some of the new estates in the area.





nspector Steve Mutton took over as boss of the Melton Police Station about a year ago and has enjoyed the variety of work in the outer western suburbs. “It is a unique Police Service Area (PSA) which is semi-rural with about 122,000 people. It is one of Australia’s fastest growing areas and we have a real mix of socio-economic diversity.” Insp Mutton sits on more than 10 community committees and said this helps him know what is going on in the area. “I, and other members are heavily engaged with the community, particularly with the council, and we work well together to tackle local safety issues.” One of those issues is young drivers on the roads. Together, Melton police and the Melton Shire Council have organised a Road Safety Forum. It has been running for about five years. “Our aim each year is to entice parents and young people who are about to get their licence to come along, so we are able to influence their road behaviour and decision making,” Insp Mutton said. He has also worked with council officers and local schools to produce pamphlets to hand out to parents.

“We did have some real issues around our schools at drop-off and pick up times. There were road rage incidents and double parking, so a handout was developed to parents explaining the road rules around schools and the reasons for them. “Since doing this we have seen a decrease in these incidents.” Melton police hosted a Community Safety Day on 20 October held outside the local library. The day attracted hundreds of local families with Victoria Police, the State Emergency Services and the Country Fire Authority providing vehicles for the public to see. “It was a great event, everyone seemed to have a really good day. It was all about enhancing public safety and perception.” There are a number of proactive and specialist units operating within the Melton PSA. A Corrections Crew, comprising of a detective sergeant and two uniform members, has been established to investigate any incidents within the two prisons in the PSA. The Metropolitan Remand Centre in Truganina and the Dame Phyllis Frost women’s prison in Ravenhall. There is also the Burglary Crew, the Crime Investigation Unit, the Family Violence Unit and the Recidivist Offender and Active Reportee (ROAR) team. As well as chasing up parolees, the ROAR team members also investigate drug jobs, specifically targeting methamphetamine (ice) dealers. On the day Police Life visited Melton Police Station, ROAR members were unloading a hydroponic set up they had located the night before.

Detective Acting Sergeant Michael McCormack said police were called to a house in Melton, after residents had noticed the front door had been open for a few days. “Police attended the property, doing a welfare check, and could instantly smell that marijuana was growing inside. We were able to go in and dismantle it and found hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of plants and equipment,” he said. Sergeant Graham Scott has been working at Melton and within the western suburbs for 36 years. “I love working out here and I have seen so many changes over the years,” he said. “When I first started at Melton there was a population of 20,000 that has now grown to more than 122,000. “I, like many members who work here, live close by and there is a lot of satisfaction in working and getting to know the community where you live.” He said Melton had a large youth population and with that sometimes came antisocial behaviour. “Most of the kids are pretty good, but of course we do have our issues sometimes with underage drinking and graffiti, that sort of thing. But we work hard to build relationships with families and their children.” Sgt Scott helps organise various events, such as an outdoor movie night, to encourage families to spend time together and to get to know the police as part of their community.

Sergeant Alistair Cooke has been doing temporary duties at Melton Police Station for about three months and is assisting with the Protective Services Officers (PSO) as they begin work at train stations in the outer west. “The PSOs have been a great addition out here,” Sgt Cooke said. “They are working at Melton Train Station now, the first PSOs to work at a VLine train station, and so far we have had a great response from the public.” First Constable Claire Hocking moved from St Kilda Police Station to Melton Police Station about 18 months ago and loves the challenge. “It is a completely different demographic with various issues, but I am so glad I decided to come to Melton. I have had such a broad range of experiences working in this PSA.” During her time at Melton, Const Hocking has also worked in the ROAR team. “It was a great experience for me. We have begun to see more ice around the streets and the ROAR team, in addition to monitoring recidivist offenders, works really hard acting on local intelligence, to conduct search warrants and to arrest and charge local dealers.”




Const Hocking radios in a job.

Det A/ Sgt McCormack hangs a marijuana stash, after dismantling a hydroponic set up.

Sgt Cooke and Const Hocking leave a house in Melton after making inquiries about an incident.



HARD AT WORK PORT members regularly perform tactics training to ensure they are ready for all challenging situations that come their way.






he chanting grew louder as the 20-strong protest group approached the corner of the warehouse. Some were holding bricks and most were wearing balaclavas or scarves to cover their faces. A crew of 18 Public Order Response Team (PORT) members stood in perfect formation, in the laneway around the corner. The protesters ran towards the PORT crew and threw the bricks and other objects at them. The missiles bounced off the large protective shields held by the members and the crew blocked the laneway to prevent the angry group from advancing. The protesters backed down once they realised they were not going to achieve much with their attacks. PORT had the situation under control.

This was one of a number of scenarios I saw the PORT members being exposed to on this training day at an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of Melbourne. I also got to spend a night on patrol with them and realised the things they come up against on the job can be confronting. PORT’s core function is to respond to demonstrations and public order incidents in and around Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD). They patrol the CBD on Friday and Saturday nights, assist with crowd control at large sporting events and step in to stop out-of-control parties from turning into riots. PORT’s Senior Sergeant Keith Jordan said the members have, on occasion, come under a fair bit of physical abuse and attacks. “We’ve had scenarios where bottles and missiles have been thrown at us, but our guys are equipped to respond to these situations with the training and level of protection we have.”

Police Life’s Anthony Loncaric spent some time with the Public Order Response Team as it prepared to keep Victorians safe over summer. He said events involving large, hostile crowds could be challenging. The Grocon industrial dispute in 2012 was a classic case of a violent confrontation with a large group. “We had a couple of members injured on that job and it was daunting because of the sheer number of people involved,” he said. “But we are trained to respond as a team and we work with other specialised units like the Mounted Branch and Dog Squad.” PORT members were also involved in the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang raids that took place at 60 premises across the state recently. “We had members at all the major clubhouses to assist the ECHO Taskforce and provide external security,” Sen Sgt Jordan said. “In situations like that you can have bikies turn up to see what is going on. If we are positioned at the front door we can deter anyone from trying to get in and this allows the investigators to do their jobs.” Everything PORT does is planned for and the members are briefed on risks that could emerge on a shift. Sen Sgt Jordan said the team works closely with general duties police. “Our role is to support local members,” Sen Sgt Jordan said. “If we have to clear a house party or local venue we will work with local police to come up with a strategy or game plan. There is quite a bit of tactical thought and preparation put into everything we do.” Other than extensive training for arrest and crowd control tactics, the thing that sets PORT members apart from other police is the level of protective equipment they use on the job. The two members I went out on a shift with, Sergeant Robert Jamieson and First Constable Brad Miles, each loaded their police car with large black bags filled with three different types of shields, a gas mask and other protective equipment. Their uniforms are fire resistant.

Sgt Jamieson said most of the team’s call-outs were related to heavy alcohol and drug use and the protective equipment meant they were prepared for any situation. “Alcohol and drug use is a problem and often leads to people displaying irrational behaviour,” he said. “The days are gone where people will respond to verbal requests, especially in situations where drugs like ICE have been used. If someone is drug affected, it often takes three or four members to escort them off the premises.” Teamwork is a big part of what PORT is about and Sen Sgt Jordan said it was easy to keep the 65 qualified PORT members motivated. “All of our members really want to be here,” Sen Sgt Jordan said. “They work hard and can be relied on and all the training we do is based around working together as one unit. With the types of jobs we are called out to, safety is a high priority and that is why we are trained to respond as a team.” The team includes six female members and Sergeant Nicole Williams said the culture and camaraderie made it easy for females to settle in at PORT. “Occasionally it can be physically demanding but it is not something that can’t be managed,” she said. “You get some confronting moments but the tactics we use keep us well protected. A lot of the work involves getting into formation, holding a line and protecting space.” The team will be busy working to keep people safe over the warmer months, but after seeing them in training and on a shift it was clear they are well prepared for whatever comes their way.






LIFE SAVER .01 Sen Sgt Bills has made more than 250 blood donations. .02 Sen Const Blair enjoys her volunteer work. Photo reproduced courtesy of Sunraysia Daily – Mildura.




BIG CHALLENGE .03 Sen Const Spiteri likes to push the limits to raise money for charity.


Even off the clock, police work tirelessly to make Victoria a better place by volunteering and competing in physical challenges to raise money or help those who need it most. EDITORIAL ANTHONY LONCARIC PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW Henshaw



enior Sergeant Steve Bills does not understand why more people don’t give blood. The 44-year-old has been doing it since the age of 18 and said he will keep going until he is told he can’t do it anymore. “It amazes me what hospitals can do with blood products and the fact is one in three people will need blood at some stage in their lives,” he said. “Such a small commitment like a standard whole blood donation takes 15 minutes and can save a lot of lives. I have a young family and a busy lifestyle so it also gives me a chance to have some peace and quiet time.” Sen Sgt Bills, who works at St Kilda Road Police Station, has made more than 250 donations so far, including whole blood, plasma and platelets. “I do about 15 donations a year,” he said. “I find donating plasma and platelets fascinating because you are connected to a machine that takes your blood out, splits the components in a centrifuge and then gives you the red blood cells

back. Because you get your red cells back, you are able to donate more regularly and I donate roughly every three weeks. “A platelets donation takes me about an hour and a half and you often end up getting quite cold because whilst the blood leaves your body warm, it is cooler when it goes back in, so I'm often wrapped in a blanket during the donation.” Each year a celebratory event is held for milestone donors and this year Sen Sgt Bills was asked to speak on behalf of donors. Ironically it was another police officer, Moorabbin Divisional Intelligence Unit Sergeant Kevin Vanstaveren, that spoke at the same ceremony on behalf of recipients. He had suffered from bone cancer and received a variety of blood products as part of his treatment. “You just don’t know who you can help with a donation, it could be a small child suffering from a disease or someone involved in an unfortunate accident,” he said. “It’s why I always tell people to donate.”





ildura Police Station’s Senior Constable Cherree Blair also donates blood, but her main charitable focus is on raising money for the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation. The foundation supports a range of community projects, including the development of hospital units, in memory of fallen police. Sen Const Blair, 31, is president of the foundation’s Mildura Branch and coordinates a number of events throughout the year. “We run inside story nights where detectives come along and talk about some of the intriguing investigations they have worked on,” she said. “I organised the local Remembrance Day service in September as well as barbecues and other fundraising events and have helped run Blue Light Discos for youths.” She recently assisted a local police member to run an emergency services biggest loser challenge, which raised $6000 for Blue Ribbon. Her work enabled the purchase of specialised equipment for the Resuscitation Unit at Mildura Base Hospital, which provides critical care and life support to patients admitted with a range of conditions including respiratory distress and heart attack. The unit was dedicated as a police memorial in memory of Constable John Glen who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1956. Giving back runs in her family with her father, Jeparit Police Station’s Leading Senior Constable Graham Blair also big on volunteer work. “He tends to volunteer in every committee he comes across,” she said. “I sometimes feel overcommitted but it is all worthwhile in the end and a great way to engage with the community. I only moved up here a couple of years ago and I have made so many friends through this work.”

orthcote Police Station’s Leading Senior Constable Tim Spiteri believes anything and everything is possible. It is this attitude that has helped him achieve things most people would think are unachievable, and it has probably kept him alive. With a love for the outdoors, Ldg Sen Const Spiteri decided to take on a mammoth rowing challenge to raise money to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – a disease his mother suffers from. He put together an eight-person crew in January 2013 to row from the Canary Islands to Barbados. The row was completed in 35 days, 12 hours and 41 minutes, using the same method of rowing for two hours and having two hours off for the entire journey. Ldg Sen Const Spiteri, 35, said the row was extremely dangerous, with the crew having to face strong winds and 10 metre waves. “We had a number of issues along the journey including the steering on the boat not working for five days and problems with our water desalination machine,” he said. “At one stage I suffered from terrible back pain and was in agony for days. While I was resting I read an email from a man who was diagnosed with MS two years earlier and he said I was an inspiration to him. It spurred me on and gave me strength to complete the journey and it was the most amazing feeling to arrive at the port in Barbados and see my parents waiting there for me.” His next adventure will see him attempt to row more than 8000 kilometres with a team of six from Western Australia to South Africa, non-stop and without support in April. “My goal is to raise $250,000 for MS Australia,” he said. “It will be tough but not as tough as what people living with MS have to face each day.”






IF you are going away this holiday season, it is always important to keep your home and valuables safe while your house is unoccupied. Police Life offers tips to protect your home.

Tips to keep your property safe • Keep your garden well maintained to ensure your property looks lived in. • Have a trusted friend or neighbour mow your lawn if you go on holidays. • If you like pets, then dogs can be your best burglar alarm. If not, a 'beware of the dog' sign may still deter a burglar.


hen a person’s home is broken into, they are left feeling distressed. No one likes the thought of a stranger going through their house and personal belongings. In the last financial year, police investigated more than 28,000 burglaries in Victoria, with burglars stealing a staggering $95 million worth of property. However, police have worked hard to reduce home break-ins and have achieved dramatic results. The Brimbank Police Service Area (PSA) recorded an 18.5 per cent drop from the previous year. Sunshine Police Station’s Senior Sergeant Matt Noy said the result was due to the work of the Brimbank Burglary Unit. The unit has successfully identified and targeted repeat offenders who are active within the area. “The unit receives assistance from the Sunshine Crime Desk and the local Divisional Intelligence Unit in relation to burglary patterns, specific crime traps, hot spot areas and proactive targeting. This support has led to the reduction of burglaries and the arrest of offenders,” Sen Sgt Noy said. In order to prevent further burglaries the Brimbank Crime Investigation Unit (CIU) focuses on repeat offenders and also looks at taking immediate action on fingerprint and DNA identifications. “Uniform units really help by patrolling hotspots and investigating offenders who have been charged with burglary offences.” As many burglars do not want to be seen or heard, Sen Sgt Noy said one major deterrent is to install a home alarm system. “The majority of houses which get burgled do not have alarm systems installed. Depending on a person’s financial situation, installing an alarm system in the house would be a major contributor to reducing the possibility of being broken into.

• Install sensor lights around your house, as lights coming on will scare off most offenders. • B  ack-up computer hard drives and keep these copies in a different location to prevent the loss of information on your computer. • If you are going on holiday get a friend or relative to house sit. • W  herever you can, place mail and documents with personal information through a shredder. • T ake a digital photograph of valuable items and mark property using an engraver or ultra-violet marker. • A  llow neighbours to park vehicles in your driveway whilst away to make it look like someone may be home.

“It’s pivotal to be security conscious. Have a security door and deadlocks fitted in your house, as well as locks on windows.” Sen Sgt Noy said the public could assist with curbing burglaries, by being vigilant in relation to people or vehicles loitering around the area. “Contact Triple Zero (000) if you witness any suspicious behaviour and try to be specific in descriptions of people or vehicles of interest.” The Mornington Peninsula has an influx of tourists over the holiday period, which results in an increase of holiday house burglaries. Rosebud CIU Detective Senior Constable Peter Butland said his team continually liaised with the media to help inform the public about securing their homes. “We utilise all the usual methods of solving crimes including fingerprinting, DNA testing, tracking property and we also speak to many locals who hear about what is going on through the grapevine. “As a result there is a higher rate of burglaries being solved within our area –with a majority being holiday house burglaries,” Det Sen Const Butland said. To those who have holiday houses, Det Sen Const Butland recommends not having valuables on view from inside windows and avoid keeping expensive goods in the homes.

“Record model and serial numbers on all items including engraving your licence number on all televisions and hi-fi equipment, and spray paint power and garden tools in different colours as this will discourage offenders from taking them and aids in the recovery of items. “I also recommend liaising and being friendly with neighbours in your street as they can remove any junk mail for you. Also get someone to regularly check up on your house.” Det Sen Const Butland also recommends installing CCTV cameras inside your property. “Real or fake security devices put off offenders. The technology nowadays is fantastic in the sense you can wirelessly connect CCTV cameras to your mobile phone.” It can be difficult to locate owners of recovered property because items have not been recorded properly. Det Sen Const Butland said it is not uncommon to eventually find and charge an offender who has been involved in more than 100 burglaries. “Photograph any items of value, particularly expensive paintings, rugs, ornaments, and manchester. This will aid police to identify items in the recovery process.”











TIGHT KNIT .01 Sgts Aleksovski and Gurdag have built a close relationship with ICV President Nadeem Hussain. IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL .02 The Islamic cultural awareness training is strongly supported by Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp (second from left) and Senior Sergeant Andrew Falconer (far left), as well as members from Melbourne’s Islamic community. .03 Sgts Aleksovski and Gurdag talk with Mr Hussain outside the Carlton Mosque.

A relationship between Victoria Police and the Islamic Council of Victoria is helping members better underSTAND Muslim communities and their culture.



hen Islamic Council of Victoria’s President Nadeem Hussain visits members at Melbourne East Police Station the conversation always starts the same way. The members don’t hold back in giving Mr Hussain a ribbing on the failings of his football team, but he is more than happy to return fire. It is the type of banter that is shared between friends. The relationship was formed just over a year ago when Melbourne East’s Senior Sergeant Andrew Falconer and Sergeant John Aleksovski made contact with Mr Hussain to discuss ways to strengthen ties between police and Muslim communities in Victoria. The pair had identified a gap across Victoria Police in understanding Islamic beliefs and culture and suggested running Islamic cultural awareness sessions. Mr Hussain said he was open to their ideas but wanted to make sure any undertaking would not only benefit police, but also the wide and varied community he represented.

“I told them it wouldn’t work if it was a one way thing. Other groups and organisations have shown enthusiasm in the past but not followed through with their initial endeavour,” Mr Hussain said. “Sgt Aleksovski was really passionate about this project and I have been impressed with him as an individual, with his energy, and it has been really refreshing to work with someone like him. All the signs suggest he wants this to be ongoing and worthwhile for all parties involved.” The members, together with Mr Hussain, ran six three-hourlong Islamic cultural awareness sessions for general duties police working in North Melbourne, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Richmond and Melbourne’s Central Business District. The sessions started with Mr Hussain discussing the fundamentals of the Islamic faith and the history of Muslims in Australia. Melbourne East Police Station’s Sergeant Ali Gurdag, a proud Muslim, then discussed some of the challenges members could face when coming into contact with people from Muslim communities. “I provided an overview of the Muslim community here in Melbourne,” Sgt Gurdag said. “I discussed the different groups, how they are aligned in terms of Islamic doctrine and political alignment because the perception out there is they are all extremists or one homogenous group, but the fact is they are not.”

He said there were many differences between Muslim community groups that members needed to be familiar with. “Every Muslim community group is united in faith but very independent in terms of culture and political belief and members may need to take a different approach when dealing with alternate groups,” he said. “I covered the practical and organic stuff that is relevant to operational police members by presenting them with a range of scenarios like what they would do in a critical incident when they enter a Mosque. In this situation members need to be mindful of sensitivities or potential resistance with entering a mosque, masjid or musallah. “We covered human rights charter issues and how members can effectively perform their roles within this context. The main aim is to equip members with the appropriate information for them to confidently perform their duties whilst being cognisant to the cultural and religious needs of the community and fellow employees. “I talk to them about what they should do if they intercept someone on the road and it turns out the driver is a female Muslim wearing a niqab who is refusing to remove her face covering as a result of her beliefs.” For Mr Hussain, the sessions gave him a chance to build understanding among operational police about his faith.

“It is good to have access to members who are at the coal face because they are in direct contact with the community on a daily basis and often represent the organisation as a whole,” Mr Hussain said. “With many migrant communities, not just Muslim migrants, there can be hesitation among some groups to engage with police because they may come from countries where police are quite aggressive. “The great thing Sgt Aleksovski and Sgt Gurdag provided was an opportunity for police to ask questions about Islam and Muslims in a comfortable environment and I was happy to answer any questions that were put to me.” Sgt Aleksovski said he was hoping to run the training across other areas in Victoria where police interact with Muslim communities. “We have been supported along the way by Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp and Melbourne East Inspector Lisa Winchester and have been contacted by other police divisions to run similar programs. We have also run the sessions for staff at the Department of Justice and the City of Melbourne,” Sgt Aleksovksi said. “This type of training is not specific to the Muslim community and today it is Muslim awareness training but next it could be for any faith group.” Mr Hussain, who was awarded the Police and Community Multicultural Advisory Committee’s Police Community Exemplary Award in December 2012, said he looked forward to catching up with his friends and mapping out the next phase of their journey. Hopefully his football team will be in better shape by the next visit.



The Cruellest Revenge More than eight years ago, Robert Farquharson drove his car into a dam, killing his three young boys. The incident left the public asking, how could he? EDITORIAL ANTHONY LONCARIC PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW HENSHAW





t is hard to believe this was the place where Robert Farquharson murdered his three children on Father’s Day, 4 September, 2005. The dam, where he drove 10-year-old Jai, seven-year-old Tyler and two-year-old Bailey to their deaths, sits on the north side of the Princes Highway. It is about seven kilometres east of Winchelsea, and can easily be missed by drivers if not for the three white crosses planted at the foot of the wire fence that runs along the edge of the water. For Detective Senior Sergeant Gerard Clanchy, the location brings back memories of what he describes as the most tragic investigation he has worked on, in close to 10 years with the Homicide Squad. “Any murders are tragic, but ones that involve children are even worse,” he said. “It was horrible due to the deliberate callousness of the offender. His motive was to pay back his ex-wife, it’s as callous as you can get.” On the day of the incident, Farquharson, who was separated from his wife and had no prior criminal history, had taken the

children to a shopping centre in Geelong and to visit his sister and was heading back to Winchelsea to return them to their mother. He claimed he had suffered a coughing fit and blacked-out before the car veered off the highway and plunged into the dam at about 7pm. Farquharson was able to escape, but his children drowned. Det Sen Sgt Clanchy, who now works with the Major Collision Investigation Group (MCIG) in Brunswick, was one of a number of Victoria Police members who attended the scene and worked to establish if a criminal act had taken place. He said the investigation centred on trying to explain how the car left the road and went into the dam. “It was a challenging investigation because it involved a number of different factors coming together to prove a crime was committed including the medical condition of Farquharson, the dynamics of his relationship with his ex-wife, the accounts of people who had spoken to him after the incident, the path the vehicle took to get to the dam and a conversation he had with a friend in the weeks before the drowning.” The MCIU conducted a number of tests at the scene including driving tests at different speeds using a vehicle of the same make and model, road tests and an examination of Farquharson’s car.

BAD MEMORIES .01 Det Sen Sgt Clanchy said the Farquharson case was the most tragic investigation he has worked on.

“The investigation certainly showed the car could only get to that part of the dam with someone deliberately steering it,” Det Sen Sgt Clanchy said. “Other testing showed a steering input was made to avoid hitting the middle of a tree near the path where the car drove in. “If he blacked-out as he claimed, the car would not have ended up where it did. “The tyre marks and marks on the grass leading into the dam showed there was no attempt to brake and the headlights were off even though it was pitch black.” While at the hospital, Farquharson told police his son opened the door and the car nose dived so he shut it and tried to get them out. He said he thought the car was in shallow water and that he could walk out and get them but the car sank deeper when he opened his door and got out. He claimed he made three or four attempts to save them. Victoria Police’s Search and Rescue Squad performed tests at a dam on a private property outside Melbourne in October 2005 where they submerged a vehicle into the water with a diver in the driver’s position to simulate Farquharson’s actions in the car. “It helped the jury understand what was going on in the car and what affect the water had on Jai

trying to open his door and Farquharson’s perception of being in foot-deep water,” Det Sen Sgt Clanchy said. “It showed that when a door opens the water would tilt the car to that side, so he would know he was not in shallow water.” Det Sen Sgt Clanchy interviewed Farquharson after the drownings and said he seemed withdrawn and was concerned about himself and did not talk much about the children. “It was hard to tell if what he’d done had sunk in and he was just talking about what it all meant for him,” Det Sen Sgt Clanchy said. The evidence gathered by police led to Farquharson being found guilty of murder in late 2007 and he was sentenced to three terms of life imprisonment. He maintained his innocence throughout the trial and appealed the verdict. The second jury also found him guilty and he was sentenced to life in prison, with a 33 year minimum, which he cannot contest. Det Sen Sgt Clanchy said Farquharson has yet to give his ex-wife a truthful account of what happened on that Father’s Day evening. “I have been in the job a long time and you find people can convince themselves they are not responsible for what they have done. “But when he’s locked away in his cell at night, he’ll know exactly what he did.”



LIFE SAVERS .01 Excellent team work from PSO Correa and Singh ensured a lifesaving result.


An off-duty member, Constable Tristan Kassis, who was catching the train into the city with his girlfriend, witnessed the PSOs with the man in the recovery position and went over to help. “I commenced CPR on the male before ambulance members arrived. The man stopped breathing, and then started breathing again,” Const Kassis said. The man was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for treatment where he recovered. The incident highlights the importance of mandatory Victoria Police first aid training which helped the men know exactly what to do.

LIFE SAVING ACTIONS Protective Services Officers and police work to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the public and save lives literally. EDITORIAL MANDI SANTIC PHOTOGRAPHY SHANE BELL




hat started off as any ordinary shift for Protective Services Officers (PSO) Juan Correa and Ramandeep Singh turned into something quite extraordinary. On 26 August at 6.20pm, PSOs Correa and Singh were on duty patrolling Essendon Railway Station when they witnessed a man on the platform who looked like he was in pain, grasping his chest. “He could hardly stand up and his face was turning bright red, so we rushed over and sat him on a bench. That’s when he collapsed,” PSO Singh said.

The PSOs switched into safety mode and helped the man, a 51-year-old from Diggers Rest who was having a heart attack, from falling to the ground. They then positioned the man on his side and noticed he had stopped breathing. “I started chest compressions. Then I put my finger in his mouth and pushed his tongue back. That’s when he started breathing,” PSO Correa said. However, after a short time, the man stopped breathing again and began to foam from the mouth.

“I’m happy that I performed what I remembered from training. The experience has definitely changed the way I see my job,” PSO Correa said. The team effort from the PSOs and Const Kassis was an integral part of the life-saving process. “Const Kassis was a great help, we really appreciate what he did,” PSO Singh said. He said part of the PSOs’ job was to help people in need. “It’s a great role; to go out and help people on the streets and at train stations. We’re here for everybody’s safety. If you need help, just give us a yell.” Const Kassis said saving a life was a surreal experience. “It would be good to have a beer with him down the track to see how everything is going.”

FEELING SAFER Victorians are feeling safer using public transport WITH the deployment of hundreds of Transit Protective Services Officers across the state. EDITORIAL KATY FERGUSON


ver the past 18 months more than 500 Protective Services Officers (PSO) have begun patrolling the rail network with a target of 940 being at stations by the end of 2014. Transit Safety Division’s Superintendent John Hendrickson said surveys conducted by the State Government and Metro have shown an increase in the perceptions of community safety on the public transport system. “Commuters feel much safer with the additional PSOs and their visibility is helping to make train users feel safe, especially at night.

“The deployment of PSOs has also seen a decrease in reported crime and a substantial increase in action for public order offences, additional deployment to railway station platforms each fortnight will continue to enhance community safety on the public transport system,” he said. Since the first squad began working at Flinders Street Station in February, 2012 more than 8390 penalty notices have been handed out including 435 for being drunk in a public place and 2371 for possessing an open container of alcohol. On top of this, more than 1397 people have been arrested for offences including breach of bail and almost 300,000 people have been formally spoken to by PSOs. Transit Safety Division’s Inspector Anne Pattison said she constantly received positive feedback about the PSOs. “I am very proud of them. They are very observant and keen. They are rising to every challenge that they are faced with,"she said.

KEEPING WATCH .01 Victorians are feeling safer when catching public transport with the PSOs patrolling.

“They have been far more successful than many would have thought. We are seeing a corresponding increase in the community's perceptions of safety on public transport at night. “We encourage potential applicants to apply. It’s an incredibly important and satisfying role that helps make people feel safer when they are catching public transport.” The recruitment process is open and anyone interested in a career as a PSO should visit on the internet.



Brave Rescue




Lorne Police Station Sergeant David Cooper was PRESENTED the Australian National Search and Rescue Award for his courageous efforts whilst rescuing a 12-year-old boy from heavy turbulent surf earlier this year. EDITORIAL MANDI SANTIC


ergeant David Cooper said he was honoured to receive the award. “I see this award as recognition to all emergency workers who daily without fear or favour carry out some of the bravest and most heroic efforts,” Sgt Cooper said. Just after midday on 9 March, Sgt Cooper was notified that a boy had been swept out to sea by a strong rip at St George River. He ran to the beach and spotted the boy about 100 to 150 metres offshore struggling to stay above the surface of the water.

Sgt Cooper grabbed a surfboard from a beach goer, stripped down to his boxer shorts and handed his police radio to a bystander, telling her she was now his communications assistant. Alongside another swimmer, Nicholas Costello, Sgt Cooper paddled out and reached the semiconscious youngster and together they got him on the surfboard. They made it back to shore where a visiting doctor took over care of the boy, providing medical treatment on the beach. Sgt Cooper was informed that a second person was also swept away in the rip, a 62-year-old Noble Park man. After seeing the man floating face down in the water, Sgt Cooper once again paddled out on the board, struggling against rough seas, to reach the man who was also the boy’s father. Two men on surfboards came to his assistance, followed very quickly by members of the Lorne Surf Life Saving Club in a rubber dingy and

WORTHY WINNERS .01 Nicholas Costello and Sgt David Cooper with their SAR Awards.

together they managed to get the man into the boat where Sgt Cooper commenced CPR. A holidaying paramedic helped work on the man, with Sgt Cooper doing compressions while the paramedic did the breathing. The two emergency workers conducted CPR for nearly an hour but unfortunately the man was not able to be revived. Sgt Cooper said: “I would like to thank everyone who assisted during this rescue and pass on my condolences to the boy and his family on the passing of his heroic dad.”

where are they NOW?


Andrew Allen

IN CHARGE .01 Supt Allen is in charge of just under 300 Victoria Police personnel in the Ballarat and Moorabool PSA’s.


Graduating as Dux of his Cadet Squad in 1975 was an early indication that Ballarat Divisional Commander Superintendent Andrew Allen was going to lead a promising career in policing.


DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS GONE ON TO HAVE AN IMPRESSIVE POLICING CAREER? Police Life wants to hear about them. Send suggestions to via email.

n his 38 years with Victoria Police Superintendent Andrew Allen has worked in the Armed Robbery Squad, Community Policing Squad, Police Academy Sub Officers’ Course, Rape Squad, Child Exploitation Unit, Organised Crime Squad, Tactical Response Squad, Homicide Squad and the Purana Taskforce. Branded ‘the hottest job in policing’ at the time, Supt Allen took charge of the Purana Taskforce in 2003, investigating a number of underworld murders in Melbourne. This role was a challenging yet rewarding role for Supt Allen. “The ultimate reward was seeing that all the hard work, including intelligence gathering and pressure placed on the organisation, paid off in the end. The Purana Taskforce was able to take out major players and in turn, prevented murders,” Supt Allen said.

He then spent two years as chief of staff to former Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon. In this position Supt Allen regularly provided strategic and operational advice to Ms Nixon. “It was a significant role and gave me an extraordinary insight and exposure to the corporate side of Victoria Police as well as major political issues in providing advice as her chief of staff.” Over the years, Supt Allen has also been involved in managing investigations into a number of serial sexual predators – including the Armadale and Ascot Vale rapists. He is also a joint researcher with the Australian Childhood Foundation into child homicide and was recently recognised with the prestigious Australian Police Medal.

Since 2007, Supt Allen has been in the position of divisional superintendent in his home town of Ballarat. “I’m in charge of just under 300 sworn and unsworn personnel and oversee the Ballarat and Moorabool Police Service Areas. “I try to provide the best possible policing service across the division and evaluate the key drivers of crime – which is principally family violence, followed by property crimes.” Supt Allen advises junior members to recognise that they are part of a unique family – a significant organisation that the community holds with a great amount of respect.



From the Archives Now and Then Detective Training School turns 75 Its teachers have taught thousands of Victoria Police’s investigators how to think outside the square, how to deal with victims and offenders and how to solve serious crimes. Detective Training School (DTS) celebrates its 75th year. EDITORIAL Janae Houghton PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW HENSHAW


t was on 17 October, 1938 that the first Detective Training School (DTS) was open, situated at the then Police Depot on St Kilda Road. The initial teachers taught wannabe investigators about the scientific detection of crime. Centre for Investigator Training Detective Senior Sergeant Wayne Laver has been a lecturer at DTS for many years and said as time had gone by, the importance of DTS remained. “DTS is an essential component for Victoria Police,” Det Sen Sgt Laver said. “The way the course is structured now is probably the best it has ever been, and the school has seen thousands of detectives go through its doors. “The staff at DTS have, do and will always take pride in providing the most relevant, up-to-date and comprehensive material available to students and Victoria Police. “To maintain these standards lectures have been taught on a variety of subjects such as bogus crimes, autobiography, sideshows, gaming, prostitution, improved reading and neutron activation analysis.” Over the years, DTS has evolved. For example in 1965, a sheep stealing course, was included in the curriculum. Other topics to be covered now and over time include sexual offences, economic crime, drug law and investigation, fire investigation and criminal intelligence training. Centre for Investigator Training’s Detective Inspector Chris Murray said DTS had always advanced with the times.




“Policing is an ever-changing environment and we have to adjust our training to reflect that,” Insp Murray said. “Our members are now under more scrutiny than ever to meet the increased demand for a multi-agency, multi-jurisdiction police force. “Many of Executive Command members have completed DTS including Chief Commissioner Ken Lay, Deputy Commissioner Lucinda Nolan and assistant commissioners Steve Fontana and Kevin Casey.” These days, DTS is a seven week course broken into various theoretical and practical components including but not limited to legislation, crimes scene management, investigative interview training, road crime and forensics. Students who complete DTS leave with an Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Investigations).

Victoria Police Museum


INVESTIGATOR TRAINING .01 Current Detective Training School staff detective senior sergeants Wayne Laver, Nicholas Vallas and Steve Azarnikow with Inspector Chris Murray. .02 An early Detective Training School squad.

06 Golf balls

Top 10 gift ideas from the Victoria Police Museum Gift Shop 01 Constable T Bear 2014

Add a new one to your collection or start your collection with one of these great bears ($65).

03 Buff the Police Dog

He comes in both small and large varieties and is a great snuggling TBC companion ($20). .01 Text TBC.

What better way to tell dad you love him than to give him an opportunity to get out of the house and play a round ($13.50).

07 Trouble is My Business mug

We all know someone who is trouble, why not let them show it with pride ($10.50).

04 Baseball hat

02  60 Year Anniversary 1 posters

This was the gift of choice for one time Ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd when the actor visited the Victoria Police Museum in 2013 ($15).

These 10 limited edition posters capture some of Victoria Police’s eventful history ($5).

08 Stainless Steel Travel Mug

For those busy bodies who like their drinks to stay hot or cold ($10).

09  tainless Steel Bullet S Flask (thermos)

Essential for all those tea and coffee addicts out there ($20).

10 Tea towel

Everyone’s Nan loves them and there are two to choose from – a Blue Ribbon Foundation towel ($5) and one with photograph of a crime scene in Fitzroy ($10).

05 Books

There are several titles to choose from including Inspector Piggott’s case book and a range of books for children. From ($6.95).





Summer, 2014 Police Life  

Police Life is Victoria Police’s official magazine. In each edition you will find articles about police across the state, true crime stories...

Summer, 2014 Police Life  

Police Life is Victoria Police’s official magazine. In each edition you will find articles about police across the state, true crime stories...