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COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP VICTORIA POLICE IS MENTORING AND LEARNING FROM FOUR AFRICAN EMPLOYEES
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COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP VICTORIA POLICE IS MENTORING AND LEARNING FROM FOUR AFRICAN EMPLOYEES
Inside The Victoria Police Magazine
PLUS > EYRE FAMILY > PACER PROGRAM > CLANDESTINE LABS
COVER: Mentoring Victoria Police has implemented a mentoring program with African community members. Photography: Shane Bell POSTER: Scenic Ararat Police in Ararat conduct their duties in a picturesque part of Victoria. Photography: Shane Bell Police Life is produced by the Media & Corporate Communications Department, Victoria Police, GPO Box 913, Melbourne, 3001. Fax: 9247 5982. Online www.facebook.com/victoriapolice www.police.vic.gov.au/policelife
REGULARS 03 MAKING NEWS 05 BEHIND THE BADGE 22 TRUE CRIME 29 WHERE ARE THEY NOW? FEATURES 08 POLICE MENTORING A mentoring program with African community members is benefiting all participants. 10 FAST PACED The PACER program works to help those with mental illness. 12 E YRE FAMILY The Eyre family will soon celebrate the graduation of another family member.
ALSO IN POLICE LIFE
Acting Managing Editor Lisa Beechey
18 ARARAT POLICE Police Life spends a day with members in rural Ararat.
Editor Maria Carnovale Journalists Janae Houghton Anthony Loncaric 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.
20 CLAN LABS Police are being trained to detect and dismantle clandestine laboratories safely. 24 HEAVY VEHICLES Targeting fatigue and drug driving are a focus of the Heavy Vehicle Unit.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF COMMISSIONER L
ike the wider Victorian community, Victoria Police is changing. Sometimes change comes as a response to painful experiences and in Victoria Policeâ€™s case we have changed in order to rebuild confidence and trust we lost among some community members as a result of an unfortunate incident involving members of the African community. Many readers will remember that last year we settled litigation following allegations of racial profiling and assault. This case brought great hurt and confusion within the community. The case certainly hurt us. We needed to change. As a condition of settlement, Victoria Police engaged in a wide ranging public consultation on our field contact policy, data collection and cross-cultural training. Coming out of those consultations was the development of the Equality is Not the Same document.
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This document made a number of crucial recommendations including the establishment of a Human Rights Strategic Advisory Group chaired by me and Stakeholder Advisory Groups, established under the Priority Communities Division. I was very pleased to welcome members of these groups to their roles in July. Community engagement and involvement in policing will be crucial to ensure incidents like those that we've seen recently never happen again. By developing a personalised approach with these communities, by treating community members with fairness and respect, we will create better partnerships. In this edition of Police Life we have an article discussing a mentoring program by the African community within Victoria Police. We also reflect for Remembrance Day and more.
FOR the latest police news VISIT www.vicpolicenews.com.au
EYES ON THE ROAD .01
Victoria Police is keeping up to date with the latest technology and how it could affect the safety of road users. EDITORIAL MARIA CARNOVALE PHOTOGRAPHY CLAY BURKE
oad Policing Command’s Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill is testing out Google Glass to determine what sort of impact wearable technology could have on road safety. The glasses were publicly released in the United States in April and give users the ability to take photos and videos, email, access smart phone information such as the calendar and contacts and make phone calls. It works by using voice commands and finger movements to navigate through the display appearing in front of one eye.
AC Hill and his team have been using the technology to identify risks and whether policies need to be put in place to combat possible dangers on the roads. “People could be placed in serious danger if this technology is used while on the roads,” he said. “They could be a major distraction by interfering with the vision of drivers wearing them or a hazard for pedestrians who might not be concentrating while crossing a road. “We know that driver distraction, including the use of mobile phones, is a major factor in road collisions and we don’t want this technology to add to that. “Anything that can cause a driver or pedestrian to be distracted is a danger on the roads.” AC Hill said the technology also had the potential to deliver an up-side for road safety.
MART GLASSES S .01 AC Hill tests out Google Glass.
“In the future, wearable devices could give early warnings of fatigue, provide speed warnings and alert to upcoming road hazards, without drivers taking their eyes off the road.” Removing hands from the steering wheel and a driver’s vision being blocked are the main concerns being investigated. Road Policing Command is also researching other wearable technologies, such as motorcycle helmets with screen displays, and their impact on road safety. “We need to make sure Victoria Police is well informed of technology that is out there and be one step ahead in ensuring Victorian road users are safe,” AC Hill said. Google Glass is yet to be officially released in Australia.
POLICELIFE SPRING 2014
Small talk voxpoP
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF A CLANDESTINE DRUG LABORATORY IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD? DETECTIVE SENIOR SERGEANT BRADLEY NICHOLS ST KILDA ROAD POLICE STATION “If you are suspicious about a property in your neighbourhood trust your judgement and report it to police. You should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”
SERGEANT CHRIS MARSH ST KILDA ROAD POLICE STATION “Clan labs often produce strange chemical odours and you might notice suspicious waste like empty pseudoephedrine blister packs, gas cylinders or laboratory glassware.”
SENIOR SERGEANT STEVE BILLS ST KILDA ROAD POLICE STATION “If there is little activity during the day but a lot at night, including people coming and going from the property, it could be a sign of something suspicious.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org BE PART OF THE STORY
Louisa O'Neill Keep up the great work Frankston Police. I'm loving these regular posts, whether it's about catching drink drivers, drug busts or the fabulous community initiatives you're all undertaking! Ron Rixon Great work to the boys and ladies in blue. Where would we be without their wonderful support?
GAS DETECTION DEVICE A site safety assessment is the first thing members of Victoria Police’s Clandestine Laboratory Squad do when they attend an illegal drug lab and they would not be able to do it properly without a gas detection device. The squad’s Detective Senior Sergeant Bradley Nichols said the device monitored air quality to make sure there was enough oxygen and could identify different gasses and their levels. “It has an alarm that sounds when the gasses are at unsafe levels,” he said.
TRAFFIC TRAUMA I am writing to commend an officer at Melbourne West Police Station for his care and compassion during a recent collision I was involved in. First Constable Ben Dawson responded quickly on 5 April. As I was in considerable shock after a driver ran a red light and wrote off my car, Const Dawson quickly and efficiently dealt with the situation in a professional and caring manner. He then followed up a few days later with a courteous phone call to not only see how I was, but also to give me an update on the fines he had served to the driver in question. I just wanted to say Const Dawson is a credit to the police force. I would like to thank him for making such a traumatic experience a less stressful one. Wishing him a successful and happy career. Elena O’Malley Geelong
@_MariaMarie Out from work. Feels safe to see two officers here at Bayswater Station. I love @VictoriaPolice!
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“When people are manufacturing drugs it will give off dangerous and toxic gasses and the device monitors all of those as well as if there is an explosive atmosphere. “Chemists go into a property first with full protective gear to monitor the environment and they let police know if it is safe to go in and what level of protective equipment is needed.” Det Sen Sgt Nichols said the device was crucial to ensuring the safety of the squad’s members. “We wouldn’t go in without it and we don’t compromise on safety at all,” he said. “We’ve had no injuries as a result of exposure to toxic atmosphere and once we test the atmosphere we can work out the safest way to process and rehabilitate the scene.”
PROTECTIVE SERVICES OFFICERS After seeing a concert in June, my daughter and I caught the last train to Thomastown with the intention of catching a taxi home, seven kilometres away. We normally catch a slow tram and walk a couple of kilometres but thought this might be quicker. We got off the train and quickly realised this had not been such a good idea; no taxis, a very dark night and only isolated cars driving by. Not exactly a place a couple of women would feel safe. We were pleased to see two protective services officers on the platform, given it was around 1am. They said taxis were few and far between in the area and suggested we may have a long wait. It turned out to only be about 15 minutes, but the officers did not leave our side until they saw us safely off. Thanks so much. Chris Childs
Editorial ANNABELLE PRIFTIS PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW HENSHAW
RANK Senior Constable Age 34 GRADUATED 2006 Station Sunshine Police Station Prosecutions
POLICE PROSECUTOR .01 Sen Const Todorova is studying law while working in Prosecutions.
Why did you decide to become a police member? I went to school in Flemington and I remember having local police talk to us and thinking that policing would be a great career. Coming from a multicultural background, with a Nigerian father and Bulgarian mother, I noticed minimal diversity in the police force at the time so I dismissed the idea. A few years later, I became involved in prosecutions and happened to run into a member of Victoria Policeâ€™s multicultural office who told me the organisation was becoming more diverse. This got me thinking again that perhaps policing was an option for me. I have been a member for about eight years now and we are seeing a more multicultural police force.
What is the most challenging part of your job? You have got to think on your feet and have a great knowledge of the law while trying to present that case in the best light. Managing all the competing cases I have going on can be difficult as I need to be sure that I fully understand each case to get the best outcome.
What do your day-to-day DUTIES include? As a prosecutor you are expected to do a variety of things. One day you might be running a contested case, the next a bail application. A lot of time in the office is spent preparing for contests, looking at cases, discussing the matters with police informants and solicitors, and determining whether the case can be resolved so it doesnâ€™t need to be heard in court.
Do you think having a background in policing helps with your criminal law studies? You get the experience of dealing with different people and seeing the reality of the case before it is dealt with in court. Understanding the background and observing their issues first-hand helps in criminal law, so I guess if you have not had that experience, it could be a little more difficult. What would you say to people joining Victoria Police? Try your hardest, put your all into it and seek guidance when you need it. Victoria Police will give you the training you need, so trust in that and you will enjoy it. There is a lot to learn and so much variety in terms of career paths.
POLICELIFE SPRING 2014
B R I E F I NG
Victoria police Top 5 proactive policing stories www.vicpolicenews.com.au
Home 02 Fighting Burglaries
01 Follow the Recruit A video series is giving the community a chance to find out what it takes to become a police officer. Constable Matt Poore has documented his experiences during his 33 weeks of training at the Victoria Police Academy, from day one as a recruit to his graduation. Const Poore said there were many parts of the job that appealed to him. “I like the idea of identifying and apprehending criminals to make the community a better place,” he said. The videos can be seen at www.youtube.com/VPBlueTube on the internet.
A team of police has been visiting residents in the Dandenong, Casey and Cardinia areas to warn them of local burglaries. As part of the Victoria Police pilot, increased patrols are deployed to areas where burglaries are expected to take place. The initiative is based on research showing that houses within 400 metres of a burgled property are temporarily at risk of being targeted next. Dandenong’s Sergeant Melissa Blair said it was a more proactive approach to crime prevention. “It’s about increasing awareness that these crimes are happening and reminding people to be smart about securing their property, so that future burglaries don’t occur at all.”
03 Driving Dandenong Youths Police have donated a car and two motorcycles to Hand Brake Turn, a charity that aims to change the lives of local youths. Hand Brake Turn runs a nine-week automotive training program for young people to gain hands-on training and life skills. Police have been working with Hand Brake Turn for seven years and Dandenong’s Sergeant Joseph Herrech said donating the abandoned vehicles was a way of giving back to the local community. “Participants are given the chance to develop practical, hands-on skills which can be the first step to a more positive and secure future.” OVERSEAS NEWS: What is happening in the world of policing? 1 New YORK 1
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Two teenagers were arrested for theft of a mobile phone after they took a selfie and sent it to the phone owner’s mother. The selfie showed the alleged thieves grinning on a train as they left the venue where the phone was stolen.
crime gang who lured tourists to karaoke clubs A and forced them to pay thousands of pounds was arrested in Shanghai. The gang promised a night of singing before large men requested money from the foreigners.
04 Human Trafficking Education
Victoria Police’s Senior Sergeant Marilynn Ross and two members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) travelled to Bangkok to share their knowledge of human trafficking. Sen Sgt Ross, of the Sex Industry Coordination Unit, was an instructor at the International Human Trafficking Workshop with participants from across South East Asia. The Sex Industry Coordination Unit and the AFP have been involved in developing an information and awareness package for people working in fields that may come across human trafficking.
Builds 05 Program Confidence
Numb e r
Throughout 2013–14, there were 8462 missing persons reported to Victoria Police.
A 16-year-old and 22-year-old were arrested and charged with three counts of armed robbery relating to incidents in Fawkner and Kealba. Both will face court at a later date.
A leadership program has been successful in building respect and understanding between police and multicultural youth. The Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Youth Leadership Development Program was set up three years ago by police in Southern Metro Region to engage young Africans. The youths take part in sessions run by New and Emerging Communities Liaison Officer Endalkatchew Gage. The theme of this year’s sessions was respectful conversation. “The sessions allow the youths to hear from local police while sharing their personal experiences. It is great to have an opportunity to get to know each other,” he said.
cru n chi n g
More than 300 Victoria Police members were involved in raids targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs. Seven clubhouses in Sunshine, Dandenong, Geelong, Kilsyth, Sunbury, Travencore and Pakenham and a number of private addresses were raided.
A Broadmeadows man was fined after being caught driving with three unrestrained young children in his car.
POLICELIFE SPRING 2014
African Mentoring Program Victoria Police and the African community hope to share ideas and experiences and learn to work BETTER together, thanks to a recruitment and mentoring program.
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.02 BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS .01 CCP Lay with the group of employees being mentored by Victoria Police. .02 Mohamed Saleh is working in recruitment as part of the program.
EDITORIAL JANAE HOUGHTON PHOTOGRAPHY SHANE BELL
ast year Chief Commissioner Ken Lay decided to implement the New and Emerging Communities Mentoring Program. As part of the program, four African men were hired by Victoria Police and are working in various departments across the organisation. Mr Lay said he was happy with how the program was progressing and hoped to see it expanded. “As part of our response to the Haile-Michael case and to help improve our relationship with the African community, we thought it would be a great idea to implement a recruitment and mentoring program,” he said.
“This is a fantastic way for us to learn about the African community and get some suggestions on how police can better engage with and respond to this community. It is also an opportunity for the African community to learn about how Victoria Police works and operates and for those involved to report this back to their wider community. “I hope that from the program we will end up with some more African police members or for them to be working permanently within the organisation or government.” Business Strategy and Performance manager Mary McEvoy is coordinating the program. “It is a great opportunity for the organisation and the African community,” she said. “Each participant is set up with a mentor who they can go to with any issues or share their experiences with and learn from. The program is a two-way street.” The four men working at Victoria Police come from a range of different backgrounds and personal situations. Nyok Gor has been working in the Legal Services Department for more than six months. He came from South Sudan to Australia in 2003 and has been a community advocate for many years.
Working with the South Sudanese community in the Dandenong area, Mr Gor said he had seen some negative interactions with police, so when he heard about an opportunity to work at Victoria Police he jumped at it. “I thought one of the best ways to help my community was to become part of the system,” he said. “My mentor has been so supportive and I am so grateful for this opportunity. “I can now go back and tell my community what I have been learning about police.”
Bullen Majuc works in the Licensing and Regulations Division as a customer service officer processing firearms and private security licenses. Mr Majuc came to Australia from South Sudan in 2004 and has spent many years studying and working in various roles, including as an interpreter at Centrelink. He is currently studying a Masters of Public Policy and Management and is very happy with his job at Victoria Police. “I’ve learnt so much while working at Victoria Police and I think I’d like to end up being a superintendent one day. “All of my colleagues have been so supportive of me and it is incredible being able to represent my community in the organisation. I know the police are here to protect the community and this has helped influence my decision to become a policeman. “I’m so happy to be working and paying taxes and contributing to society. In Africa, I don’t think I would have had that opportunity.”
“This is a fantastic way for us to learn about the African community and get some suggestions on how police can better engage with and respond to this community,“ Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said. Mohamed Saleh works in recruitment and had previously volunteered with the Community Encounters program at the Victoria Police Academy. Mr Saleh came to Melbourne from Eritrea in 1990. He grew up in the North Melbourne commission flats and saw the way police dealt with his community in those days. “Things have changed a lot,” Mr Saleh said. “Before, the police used to just react to any incidents that took place, but now they are much more proactive and they take the time to learn about the African community and spend time getting to know them. “Working at Victoria Police has also given me the opportunity to see things from its point of view.” Mr Saleh would like to become a policeman.
Father of four, Gatwech Wal escaped war-torn Sudan and spent 11 years in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. Mr Wal worked hard to make life better for people in the camps, almost like a social worker. He arrived in Australia in 2006. During his years in Australia, Mr Wal has completed many courses and worked in a variety of jobs including as a kitchen hand, on the railways and in aged care. He sometimes worked two jobs and was studying to help support his young family. Mr Wal is working in the Media and Corporate Communications Department. “It’s such a great place to work and all my colleagues make me feel very welcome. “I hope to one day become a police member and this excellent experience should help me get there.”
POLICELIFE SPRING 2014
PACER Victorians suffering from mental illness are getting better help faster thanks to teams of police and clinicians working together. Police Life spent an afternoon with the St Kilda team. 14 5PM 29/07/ nd
a rguson uss Sgt Fe inton disc the l Sgt Eg kground of eam c t the ba the PACER to. person attending e will b
29/07/14 5.3 0PM
Ms Macintyr e briefs th e PACER team van members , divisional and ambulanc e personnel man in ques tion's ment al health hi on the story.
29/0 7/14 8.30 The PM P nee ACER t
ea ds if t to be a m determ hey can dmitted ines if be a ssis to hospi a person ted in o tal or ther ways .
29/07/14 7.45PM Ms Macintyre and Const Evans debrie f in the Alfred Hea lth offices.
From December 2013 to April THIS YEAR the St Kilda PACER team attended
mental healthrelated incidents
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OF THESE INCIDENTS,
were able to be referred to support services, saving considerable police time and hospital resources.
18/02/14 10PM The PACER team attends any incidents that may involve someone suffering from a mental illness.
EDITORIAL MARIA CARNOVALE PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW HENSHAW
t is about 6pm on a Monday night and a group of police and paramedics have gathered on a quiet Malvern street. Minutes earlier emergency services were called to the home of a man who claimed to have taken too much medicine and needed help. The man is well known to police and his past dealings with them and paramedics have turned violent. Police want to prevent that from happening again, so they have come together in a nearby street making a plan. The St Kilda Police, Ambulance and Crisis Assessment Early Response team (PACER) arrives, including Constable Jess Evans, Sergeant Sarah Eglinton and Alfred Hospital clinician, Jan Macintyre. Ms Macintyre briefs the group on the man’s mental health and it is decided the PACER team will talk to him while the other police wait outside in case back-up is needed. The man is agitated and aggressive but an assessment of his mental and physical health is done and they know there is no need for him to be hospitalised and that he is not a danger to himself or the public. They leave the man with information on who he can call for further help and the clinician makes a note to contact his doctor the next day.
“If PACER hadn’t turned up it could have become violent like it has in the past,” Sgt Eglinton said. “Because we had information about his mental health history and we knew that he had borderline personality disorder, we were able to deal with the situation quickly.” Since it started in 2009, PACER has been successful in managing incidents involving people with mental illness. Sergeant Arran Ferguson was involved in the program’s pilot in Moorabbin and said it showed almost instant benefits, using the expertise of mental health practitioners and law enforcement. “The great thing about PACER is that we get help to people when they’re in crisis,” he said. Every afternoon in St Kilda a police member monitors the police radio for incidents that sound like they involve someone with a mental illness. If there is a job, the police will go to the incident with a trained psychiatric clinician who has access to the person’s diagnosis, details of past contact and the medication they are on. “We can assess and admit a person to hospital if needed or team them up with a Crisis Assessment Team who will monitor them and admit medication or refer them to help,” Ms Macintyre said. Sgt Eglinton has worked in the St Kilda team for eight months. “In the last couple of months the number of jobs we attend have reduced because we’ve been able to make an impact on recidivist offenders, some of whom called police three to four times a week,” she said.
“PACER has been able to get their mental health assessed on the spot and get them the help they need, whether it’s admitting a person to hospital or putting a plan in place.” PACER teams are working in St Kilda, Ringwood, Geelong, Bendigo, Narre Warren, Epping and Frankston with plans for it to be expanded further across Victoria. Prior to PACER, divisional vans would attend incidents and may have had to wait hours for a person’s mental health to be assessed by a doctor at a hospital. “The majority of people presenting to us have borderline personality disorder. We attend to people of all classes, from those who are homeless to professionals like doctors and accountants,” Sgt Eglinton said. “Drugs and alcohol are a problem as they can induce psychosis in people or those with mental health issues use drugs and alcohol to help them deal with their problems.” Sgt Eglinton shared an experience early this year where a young girl at the beach with friends had a breakdown. “After only five minutes it was clear there was something wrong with her mental health. The divisional van members had been doing a good job speaking to her and encouraging her to go to hospital, but they called the PACER team for assistance,” she said.
“The girl was disoriented and kept repeating the same phrase over and over in French. The clinician made a diagnosis and decided she needed to be admitted to hospital. It turned out she had been saying ‘my skin’s on fire’ in French. “That was the first onset for that girl. It was really sad to see her so young affected by mental illness, but very satisfying for PACER to be able to help her manage her illness. This is something that will be with her for life.” Const Evans has seen the benefits of PACER while working in the team and when responding to incidents in the divisional van. “I’ve been lucky enough to have had a few shifts with PACER in my first year of policing, which has given me an opportunity to learn a lot about mental health from the clinicians I’ve worked with,” she said. “But also as a first responder, it’s helpful to know there’s a professional person who we can call to help someone in need.” If you are suffering and are in need of assistance, see your local health practitioner or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Watch the St Kilda PACER team in action at http://bit.ly/vppacerunit on the internet.
POLICELIFE SPRING 2014
Remembering the fallen
POLICING IS IN THE
EYRE It is almost 26 years since two young constables, Damian Eyre and Steven Tynan, were ambushed and gunned down. Continuing a proud family tradition, Damian's nephew Chris Eyre will graduate from the Victoria Police Academy in October. EDITORIAL MARIA CARNOVALE PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW HENSHAW
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ational Police Remembrance Day on 29 September holds a special place in the hearts of the Eyre family. It means that they, along with many others, can pay their respects to police who have died in the line of duty. In particular, the family remembers constables Damian Eyre and Steven Tynan, who were ambushed and killed in Walsh Street, South Yarra in 1988. This year another member of the Eyre family will be wearing the Victoria Police uniform at the service. Constable Chris Eyre, nephew of Const Damian Eyre, is in training at the Victoria Police Academy.
The 27-year-old is the fourth Eyre to join Victoria Police, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, father and uncle. Chris’ grandfather, former Reservist Frank Eyre, spent more than 44 years with Victoria Police, working in South Melbourne and Shepparton before becoming a reservist in Shepparton for 29 years. Cobram Police Station’s Leading Senior Constable Daryl Eyre said he was looking forward to his eldest son’s graduation on Friday, 10 October. He will graduate just two days before the 26th anniversary of the Walsh Street shootings.
EYRE FAMILY .01 At Damian’s graduation from the Victoria Police Academy in 1988, Frank Eyre stands beside his son Damian, who is holding his young nephew Chris. .02 Constable Chris Eyre with his grandfather, Frank and father, Daryl.
“It makes me very proud that Chris is joining Victoria Police. It’s become a family tradition now,” he said. “Chris was two years old when Damian passed away and I was working at the Melton Crime Investigation Bureau. “I thought about leaving Victoria Police at the time, but as I went on I thought it wasn’t the job that did that to Damian. People in other occupations don’t always come home from their jobs, not just police. “When it happened, I said things happen for a reason, something good will come out of it. Now, look at all the lives that have been saved through the Blue Ribbon Foundation.” After the Walsh Street shootings the Tynan Eyre Foundation was established and later became part of the Blue Ribbon Foundation, which raises funds for new and
Remembering Walsh Street On 12 October, 1988, constables Damian Eyre and Steven Tynan were on nightshift at Prahran Police Station and assigned to the Prahran 311 divisional van. About 4.50am they attended at Walsh Street, South Yarra following a report that a suspicious vehicle had been abandoned. When they arrived, both police were checking the vehicle when the offenders approached and shot them at close range. Const Eyre, who had been shot in the back, was then involved in a struggle with one of the offenders who removed his handgun and shot him again. The offenders fled with Const Eyre's weapon. Four men were charged but were acquitted in 1991.
National Police Remembrance Day is on Monday,29 September. See the back page of Police Life for information.
“It makes me very proud that Chris is joining Victoria Police. It’s become a family tradition now,” Ldg Sen Const Eyre said. improved hospital facilities in the names of police who have died in the line of duty. “Walsh Street changed the way all police do their jobs. We changed the way we trained with Operation Beacon and then the Operational Tactics and Safety Training was set up,” Ldg Sen Const Eyre said. As Const Eyre completes his final months of training, he remembers growing up in a policing family. “Both my parents either were or had been members of Victoria Police so I didn’t know any different. One thing I remember is, I was always really proud to be able to say that my dad was a police officer,” he said. “Before I joined I was working for a company making propellant and explosives for the Australian Defence Force and I have wanted to join policing for as long as I remember.
“My grandfather used to say that he got up every day looking forward to going to work. I want to feel the same about my job and I want my two sons, Jordan and Cooper, to also be proud of what I do.” No-one is more pleased with Const Eyre than grandfather Frank, who proudly showed photos of a two-year-old Chris to his squad mates recently. “I’m absolutely rapt that Chris will be a policeman,” Mr Eyre said. “Particularly after the loss of Damian, that could have deterred him, but Chris wanted to join, he has persisted and he has made it. “He will make a good policeman. He understands what policing is all about from growing up with police and he knows it can be testing at times and that it is a completely different lifestyle.” With many more Eyres growing up it is likely more will join the ranks. “My oldest grandson, Chris’ son, who just turned four the other day, told Chris he wants to join too,” Ldg Sen Const Eyre said.
POLICELIFE SPRING 2014
Remembering the fallen
National Police Remembrance Day on 29 September is a TIME to pay tribute to police who have died in the line of duty. Victorian police are going the extra mile to honour their fallen comrades.
WALL TO WALL RIDE
EDITORIAL MARIA CARNOVALE
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olice from across Australia will ride their motorcycles to the National Police Memorial in Canberra for a special service in September. The fifth Wall to Wall Ride for Remembrance will start on Saturday, 13 September with Victorian riders departing from the Victoria Police Memorial on St Kilda Road, Melbourne at 8am. The group will ride through the day to Merimbula in New South Wales, stopping for rest breaks along the way. The next day, they will head to Canberra to meet riders from other states and form a convoy to the National Police Memorial. Last year more than 1300 riders took part in the event, which aims to remember police who have sacrificed their lives, while also promoting safe and lawful motorcycle riding.
State Emergencies and Security Command’s Inspector Peter Ferguson, who is on the Victorian committee for the event, said he was looking forward to taking part in his fifth ride. “The best part is being with all your police mates, riding motorcycles and doing it in a safe way,” he said. “When we arrive at the National Police Memorial in Canberra there will be a special service to remember the fallen police and we’ll be surrounded by more than 1500 riders from across the country. “It’s a great way to show our respect for the police who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while
WALL TO WALL .01 The convoy of riders on last year's Wall to Wall Ride for Remembrance.
raising money for Police Legacy, to assist the families of police who have died.” Insp Ferguson said all were welcome to attend the service and see off the riders on Saturday, 13 September at the Victoria Police Memorial. Donations can be made directly to Victoria Police Legacy or by sponsoring the Victorian Wall to Wall Ride committee. Visit www.walltowallride.com to find out more.
The fifth Wall to Wall Ride for Remembrance will start on Saturday, 13 September with Victorian riders departing from the Victoria Police Memorial on St Kilda Road, Melbourne at 8am.
March2Remember SHEPPARTON Goomalibee
Yea Clonbinane Wandong
ntelligence and Covert Support Command’s Detective Sergeant John Capewell will walk more than 350 kilometres across Victoria this month in memory of police who have died in the line of duty. Det Sgt Capewell will start in Shepparton, walking through Benalla, Mansfield, Yea, Seymour and Kalkallo before heading to Melbourne. Each day he will walk about 50 km or between nine to 10 hours and will end his walk by joining the Remembrance Day march to the Victoria Police Memorial on Monday, 29 September. Det Sgt Capewell, who is also president of the Blue Ribbon Foundation’s Northern Metro Branch, will be raising money for the foundation, which places emergency medical equipment into hospitals in honour of fallen police.
“The march has been designed to pay tribute to police colleagues who died or were injured on the job, simply working to deliver a safer Victoria,” Det Sgt Capewell said. “The march has been designed to pay tribute to police colleagues who died or were injured on the job, simply working to deliver a safer Victoria,” he said. Throughout the walk, he will visit sites where police have died including Stringybark Creek, where the Kelly Gang murdered three police in 1878. In Wandong, Det Sgt Capewell will visit the site where Senior Constable Stephen Henry was shot and killed by an escapee in 1982, and stop in Kalkallo where two police were shot by Pavel Marinoff, also known as ‘Mad Max’.
Marinoff was wanted at the time for shooting and seriously injuring five other police. In Northcote, Det Sgt Capewell will pay tribute to constables Fiona Robinson and Mark Bateman who died in a vehicle collision on their way to an incident in 2000. On arriving in Melbourne, he will visit the site of the Russell Street Bombing where Constable Angela Taylor sustained injuries from the blast and later died in 1986, and Walsh Street where Prahran constables Damian Eyre and Steven Tynan were murdered in 1988.
WALK2REMEMBER .01 Det Sgt Capewell will be accompanied at times by his dog and training partner, Patch. .02 Some of the sites that will be visited on the March2Remember. It is hoped the walk will become an annual event, with more sites visited in future walks.
“The inspiration for the walk was to ensure we never forget those who have given their lives to helping the community and to show the family members of the deceased that we will never forget their service,” Det Sgt Capewell said. To find out more and to donate, visit https://give.everydayhero.com/ au/John-350 on the internet or follow the March2Remember page on Facebook.
POLICELIFE SPRING 2014
Hopkins Correctional Centre operations manager Colin Thompson meets with police regularly to discuss any issues.
Sen Sgt Ferrari is out on patrol in a marked police car.
Const Brett Hall and Sen Const Teilah Morrissey meet with locals in the main street.
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With a population of about 9000 people, policing IN Ararat is as much about building relationships with the community as it is about law enforcement. Police Life spent some time in the town. EDITORIAL JANAE HOUGHTON PHOTOGRAPHY SHANE BELL
t was just over a week ago when a distraught 25-year-old local man came to the police station. He had just started his own building business and purchased all the tools of his trade, including a trailer. But the trailer, along with thousands of dollars of tools, was stolen. Senior Sergeant Damian Ferrari is the officer in charge of Ararat Police Station and said the builder was devastated. “He is a well known young guy, hard working and really making a go of it,” he said. “In some really good news, we executed two warrants yesterday and have recovered all of his things. Not just those, but we found a heap of other stolen property, including some firearms, so it is a relief to recover all of that. “He was so happy when we told him he would get all his belongings back. Being a small town, many of the locals have already heard all about it, so the police have had plenty of positive feedback.” Two men aged in their early 20s have been arrested and charged over the thefts.
Sen Sgt Ferrari has been at Ararat for the past five years, but has spent many years policing in city and country areas. The 24-hour Ararat Police Station was built in 2010 and houses general duties police, a Crime Investigation Unit (CIU), a Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team, Highway Patrol and a Proactive Policing Unit. General duties members are given opportunities for placement in these areas. “Some of our core policing issues include licensing, family violence and road policing. But being a country police station, it is all about getting out there, being seen in the local community and building relationships,” Sen Sgt Ferrari said. One of those important relationships is between police and the Hopkins Correctional Centre operations manager Colin Thompson. “The prison is undergoing a major expansion with capacity set to go from 420 to 750 by 2015. We work together a lot when there are incidents at the jail,” Sen Sgt Ferrari said. “But it is also about working together to solve issues.” Mr Thompson said he spoke with Sen Sgt Ferrari daily. “A good relationship with police is very important, especially as the jail expands, bringing more construction workers and prison staff to the town.
“We have had a number of successful investigations because we work so well together.” One challenge for local police is that the town has been seeing the effects of the drug ice for the past two years. “We have seen an increase, particularly in violence, at incidents where ice has been involved,” Sen Sgt Ferrari said. “We recently held a community ice forum, which was attended by the hospital, other health services, the police and ambulance officers. The community was able to ask questions of a panel of experts and learn more about the drug. From this forum, we have now started the Grampians Drug Action Taskforce. “This is a multi-agency committee which aims to tackle drug and alcohol-related issues in our area.” Uniform police working at any country station have to learn the ropes quickly and learn to work independently. “Working in Ararat is a great learning ground for uniform police. They quite often have to do the jobs or investigations that may be looked at by the CIU in metropolitan areas. Whoever is working the van will have to attend to major collisions, sieges, serious assaults or any other critical incident,” Sen Sgt Ferrari said. Senior Constable Teilah Morrissey grew up in Melbourne and transferred first to Warracknabeal and then Ararat police stations. “I love working in the country, you turn up to your shift and you just don’t know what the day will bring,” she said.
GOOD CATCH .01 Sen Const Teilah Morrissey inspects recently recovered stolen property at Ararat Police Station.
“You gain skills and your independence so quickly.” Another big part of Ararat’s police work is emergency management. “All of our staff are trained in emergency management, which is fantastic when something occurs,” Sen Sgt Ferrari said. “The last couple of summers there have been major fires in the Grampians and our police have been called upon to help coordinate the response. “Regeneration has been going quite well, but we know we have to be vigilant in the lead up to next summer.” Ararat police cover a large response zone, including many rural properties and farms. Sen Sgt Ferrari is also an Agricultural Liaison Officer. “I spend some of my time out visiting farmers and it is my job to follow through on any investigations around theft of livestock, equipment or anything else,” he said. Police Life visited a Middle Creek farm owned by Josiah Pitcher. “My family has owned this farm for almost 40 years and I have had it for more than 20 years,” Mr Pitcher said. “It really helps to have a good relationship with Sen Sgt Ferrari and over the years we have become mates. I always feel like I can go to him if I have any problems or issues out here.”
Business owner John McGrath and Sen Sgt Ferrari chat about some local farm thefts.
Sen Sgt Ferrari patrols across Ararat including at this historic limestone building.
Sen Sgt Ferrari travels to Josiah Pitcher's farm as part of his role as an Agricultural Liasion Officer.
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A DANGEROUS METHOD
Victoria Policeâ€™s Clandestine Laboratory Squad is fighting the illegal, dangerous and dirty production of methamphetamines. EDITORIAL ANTHONY LONCARIC
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DRUG LABS .01 Police have extensive training to identify and remove dangerous clandestine laboratories. .02 Police come across clandestine laboratories in family kitchens. .03 The chemicals used in laboratories can be dangerous.
he mock drug lab set up by Victoria Police’s Clandestine Laboratory Squad on the outskirts of Melbourne does not include much of the expensive chemistry equipment seen on television shows like Breaking Bad. That is because the squad’s members often come across labs put together with common household items like frying pans and glass soft drink bottles. According to the squad’s Detective Senior Sergeant Bradley Nichols, chemicals in the air at illegal labs are highly dangerous and the mock-lab is used for training police to assess if it is safe to go inside a property with one. “Most of the cooks we come across aren’t chemists and they mix chemicals that shouldn’t be put together or use wrong amounts, which creates a toxic atmosphere,” he said.
“Our people can’t go into a lab until they have passed a range of safety courses, including breathing apparatus, confined spaces and forced entry courses. We also do training for other policing units at Victoria Police so they can identify a lab.” The squad held its annual week-long State Safety Certification Course for Clandestine Laboratories earlier this year. It is recognised as the number one training program of its kind in Australia and participants learn to identify the different chemicals in a lab and how to safely dismantle one. The training involved two participants entering the mock-lab wearing fire and chemical resistant overalls, boots, gloves and breathing apparatus. They performed a safety assessment before identifying the different types of chemicals and equipment used. “Safety is our number one priority and the first thing we do at a lab is a site safety assessment,” Det Sen Sgt Nichols said. “We look for floor hazards that can be dangerous if our members trip over them and knock over bottles of hazardous chemicals or other items.
“We use a gas detection device to test for chemicals in the atmosphere and explosive levels and we always have a portable shower and fire extinguishers set up outside, in case police catch on fire or chemicals are spilt on them.” When called out to a potential clan lab, the squad sends a qualified chemist to assess the site. Two police wait outside in case the members inside are badly affected by the chemicals and need rescuing. A site safety officer also waits outside to inform the members if the area is no longer safe. Det Sen Sgt Nichols said the training run by his squad was becoming increasingly important for police across Australia because cooks were going to extreme and dangerous lengths to avoid being caught.
The squad’s members are tasked with attending any drug lab in Victoria and monitoring the sale of precursor chemicals to ensure they do not end up in the hands of criminals. “Last year we attended 172 call-outs, of which 140 were genuine clan labs. All were dismantled and processed for evidence,” Det Sen Sgt Nichols said. “We’ve got four crews with a detective sergeant and four detective senior constables in each who run their own investigations. We target recidivist methamphetamine cooks and people linked with organised crime and we execute warrants if we believe they are involved in clan lab activity.” Many of the cooks the squad investigates either do not realise or care about the dangers of mixing such volatile chemicals.
”The labs are getting smaller and we’ve seen people hire a serviced apartment for a few nights, do a cook and move on,” Det Sen Sgt Nichols said. “We’ll have members on the divisional van pull over a car for a random check and find a drug lab in the boot,” he said. “The labs are getting smaller and we’ve seen people hire a serviced apartment for a few nights, do a cook and move on. “It shocks us when we see people trying to cook drugs in the same kitchen they feed their families in. We’ve been to homes where a number of children are crammed into one bedroom to sleep because the other bedroom is being used as a drug lab.”
“Most of the cooks are taught by other criminals or from what they read on the internet and they often make things up as they go,” he said. “People may think just because offenders walk around in these environments without protective clothing that there isn’t a hazard there, but it’s similar to breaking asbestos sheets in a room. They may be walking around fine now, but they could be riddled with cancers in 10 or 15 years.” Det Sen Sgt Nichols said figures for clan labs have been on the rise for quite some time. “The rise is down to us getting better at identifying and closing them down,” he said.
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An extensive police investigation in Melbourne and overseas has reduced credit card fraud. EDITORIAL ANTHONY LONCARIC
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ictoria Policeâ€™s Fraud and Extortion Squad (FES) members had a complex job on their hands when they were tasked with disrupting an international crime syndicate running credit card fraud activities in Melbourne. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) gathered intelligence in 2010 on a Malaysian-based crime gang specialising in manufacturing counterfeit credit cards to buy high-end goods in Australia. A joint taskforce was set up in September 2011 to identify the gang operating in Melbourne.
The local gang members received credit card data from their syndicate heads in Malaysia and were supplied with blank credit cards along with embossing and data writing equipment. Supervisors organised drivers and shoppers to use the fraudulent cards to purchase computers, mobile phones, cigarettes, gift cards and luxury goods.
SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME .01 An award was presented to Victorian and Australian Federal Police for their hard work on the investigation.
The purchased goods were sold in Victoria or sent back to Malaysia in shipping containers. The FES’s Sergeant Mick Graham and his team of five spent several months monitoring closed circuit television footage at retail stores to identify the buyers. “Most of the people used as drivers and shoppers were Malaysian nationals and had previously been convicted of crimes in Australia,” Sgt Graham said. “They had changed their names in Malaysia and successfully obtained new passports. “We believe it was arranged for them to work on a farm for a few months before joining the crime gang. “They were given a fake driver’s licence and Medicare card to match the information on the false credit cards they were using.” In February 2012, Sgt Graham’s team arrested and charged seven Malaysian nationals with conspiracy to defraud. They all pleaded guilty and were sentenced to jail terms ranging from nine months to 3½ years.
“We sought to treat all participants in the fraudulent scheme as co-conspirators of a conspiracy to defraud,” Sgt Graham said. “The intent was to treat those charged as members of an organised crime gang and seek greater penalties from the courts.” Although the FES team achieved a successful outcome, the job was not finished. A spate of similar types of fraud took place in September 2012, however the card data in these matters was stolen internally from international banks. “We set up another joint operation with the AFP and identified three people involved in the earlier fraud syndicate who had gone to ground when we were close to making arrests,” Sgt Graham said. “With these particular cards the data hadn’t yet been issued to customers and we proved someone was working on the inside at the banks.” Sgt Graham’s team conducted several raids in November and arrested three Malaysians and one Australian citizen, seizing a card cloning machine, about 7000 blank credit cards, cash and other items.
All four were charged with conspiracy to defraud and pleaded guilty. They were sentenced to between two and 3 ½ years in jail. One of the suspects was unable to be located during the raids but was identified by the FES team in August last year. The suspect was convicted over a range of fraud and immigration offences in late February this year and sentenced to four years and three months in prison. Sgt Graham said working with the AFP had a significant impact on crime syndicates operating in Melbourne. “By making the arrests and achieving guilty pleas we sent out a deterrent message to these crime gangs,” he said. “It is very important work because there are a lot of people put under significant stress because bank accounts have been bled dry within a moment's notice. “This crime syndicate was making $65 million a year on these scams, which is a lot of money that Australian and international banks are losing. “It’s hard to recover money that ends up overseas so the banks are left out of pocket.” The FES and AFP have been working closely with banks and Australian Customs and Border Protection to prevent these types of crimes.
“We believe this particular type of fraud has ceased in Melbourne since we finalised those investigations and Visa and MasterCard have brought in a new level of security in terms of providing pin numbers instead of signatures,” Sgt Graham said. The FES team has been recognised for its hard work on the operations with a Law Enforcement Award at the annual Visa Security Summit in Singapore in June. Detective Superintendent Patrick Boyle, who accepted the award on behalf of the squad, said it was a reflection of the hard work and long hours the squad put into its investigations. “It’s an area where the detectives need to be as innovative in their thinking as the offenders, who are always looking for new ways to commit crime,” Det Supt Boyle said.
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Fatigued and drug drivers are a major danger to themselves and other road users. The risks are even higher when large, heavy vehicles are involved. EDITORIAL ANTHONY LONCARIC PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW HENSHAW
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ictoria Police's Heavy Vehicle Unit (HVU) members were doing routine checks on trucks travelling on the Goulburn Valley Highway near Nagambie in late 2012 when they spotted a 60-tonne B-double swerving across lanes at an alarming speed. The driver appeared to be asleep at the wheel. Police followed until they could find a safe place to pull it over. A check of his work diary found he had grossly exceeded legal working hours and had made false entries or, on some days, none at all.
The driver was charged with 33 offences, including careless driving and driving while fatigued. He was found guilty of all charges. The HVU’s Senior Constable Dave Taylor said his behaviour could have resulted in one or more deaths or serious injuries. “Drivers who don’t work the legal hours are a major risk to themselves and other road users because of the sheer size of the vehicles they are operating,” Sen Const Taylor said. “Truck driver fatigue can often lead to multiple fatalities.” The HVU is tasked with reducing road trauma by intelligently targeting fatigue, illicit drug use and chain of responsibility compliance issues in the heavy vehicle transport industry.
BIG LOAD .01 Police perform a drug test on a truck driver. .02 Police check truck loads to ensure they are properly secured. .03 The HVU members check if drivers could be suffering from fatigue by checking log books.
HVU members have the power, under national legislation, to search business premises and seize evidence that may lead to .01 the prosecution of a company. They regularly search trucks for drugs, check loads are properly secured and look for defects and modifications made to increase the speed of the vehicle. Senior Sergeant Wayne Cully said drug use in the industry was still a major concern and was mostly related to fatigue. “Most truck drivers aren’t drug takers by choice and those we’ve arrested and interviewed in relation to possession or use told us they used the drugs to stay awake and alert,” he said. “We intercepted a truck driver who had travelled from Queensland to Melbourne without taking a single break and we found empty packets of a weight-loss drug in his truck, which he was using to stay awake. “It is extremely dangerous to drive any vehicle under the influence of drugs and one of our fears is that a driver will take methamphetamines, become enraged and chase another truck or car through traffic.
“The big problem is some choose to work longer hours than they’re legally allowed to make more money or meet unrealistic deadlines.” HVU members regularly attend workplaces to educate drivers on safe practices on the job, but Sen Sgt Cully said it was not always the drivers at fault for breaching working hours. “We lecture at the Transport Workers Union’s Occupational Health and Safety delegate’s course about once a month and companies ask us to talk to customers about their responsibility under law so their drivers aren’t pushed too hard,” he said. “If we just focused on drivers we wouldn’t achieve much as it is about cultural change within the industry. We need to be looking at people who can affect change as they are the people managing what drivers are doing.” The unit, which includes a sergeant and four police, performs chain of responsibility investigations focusing on people who are failing to manage what drivers are doing, including owners, operators, schedulers and loaders.
Chain of responsibility investigations conducted by the HVU are complex and can take months to complete. “We may target a specific company after we’ve seen something on the road and we are empowered to search the premises and seize records,” Sen Sgt Cully said. HVU members also attend heavy vehicle fatal and serious injury collisions along with the Major Collision Investigation Unit. “Following a heavy vehicle fatal or serious injury collision we do company follow-ups to find out if there were any fatigue issues or business practices that may have caused the collision,” Sen Sgt Cully said. “We don’t just accept what is in a driver’s work diary because it’s not always right. We also do reconstructions of driver’s duties for the Major Collision Investigation Unit and have provided information to the Coroner and courts.” The unit has been successful in assisting to prove the culpability of truck drivers involved in fatal collisions.
A recent case involved a truck driver who had fallen asleep at the wheel travelling north on the Hume Highway. The truck drifted into the emergency lane and collided with a parked car. “The driver had done the right thing and parked on the side of the road to make a phone call but the truck hit the rear of the vehicle and killed him,” Sen Sgt Cully said. “As a result of the work we did, combined with the Major Collision Investigation Unit’s investigations and reconstruction of what had happened, the truck driver was sentenced to eight years in jail.” Sen Sgt Cully said HVU members were working hard to ensure truck drivers and the companies they worked for followed legal requirements. “We want drivers to be able to go to work and work their legal hours, take their required rest breaks and drive safely to get home to their families,” he said. “If they are doing the right thing the community will also benefit in terms of road safety.”
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Soldiers killed OVERSEAS in action during the First World War have been commemorated in services by Victoria Police Shrine Guards. EDITORIAL ANTHONY LONCARIC PHOTOGRAPHY CLAY BURKE
ictoria Police Shrine Guards paid tribute to Australian soldiers killed or wounded during World War I by performing ceremonial duties at memorial sites in France and Belgium in July. Five Shrine Guards and a Senior Protective Services Officer (SPSO) conducted memorial services at a number of sites, including the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium and the Australian National War Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, France.
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They also performed major ceremonial activities at the VC Corner Australian Memorial in Fromelles, where more than 5000 Australian soldiers were killed or wounded during the bloody Battle of Fromelles on 19 July, 1916. It was the first time Victoria Police Shrine Guards have performed internationally since the Shrine Guard was set up to protect Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance in 1935. Sixteen serving Victoria Police members were killed in Fromelles and SPSO Bob Roberts, who was part of the group, said the trip was an amazing opportunity to honour their memory.
The Shrine Guards performed a commemoration service at the grave or memorial of each Victoria Police member killed. “We received an unprecedented invitation from the Mayor of Fromelles to mount a guard to honour the Australian soldiers who died,” SPSO Roberts said. “We provided a Catafalque Party, which is a guard of four service personnel who are posted as sentries at the four corners of the memorial. This was an opportunity to do what we do on a daily basis on the world stage, and the French people and media certainly appreciated us being there.”
GUARD OF HONOUR .01 Victoria Police Shrine Guards travelled to sites as part of the 98th anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles.
SPSO Roberts said the tour was the highlight of his 17-year career and he had the chance to pay tribute to his grandfather and great uncle, who fought in World War I. “My grandfather was wounded just outside of Ypres and my great uncle was gassed twice so to be able to stand in the areas they were at was a special and emotional moment for me,” he said.
OPERATION OPTIC A program where police recruits are kitted up for the first time and go out to shopping centres, is teaching them how to engage with the community and the skill of intelligence collection. EDITORIAL JANAE HOUGHTON PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW HENSHAW
peration Optic was introduced at the Victoria Police Academy as a pilot program in 2012. Its initial purpose was for recruits, at weeks 18-19 of their training, to go to shopping centres and take part in scenarios, set up by their trainers. The Academy’s Senior Sergeant Simon Delaney who runs Optic said the focus of the operation had changed from the original format.
“It was quite difficult trying to set up fake scenes in shopping centres, but the trainers noticed the community reacted really well to recruits and kept coming up to speak to them,” he said. Now all recruits go out to major shopping centre precincts, kitted up for the first time in their uniform and with their equipment belts on. “It helps give them the confidence to work and engage with the community,” Sen Sgt Delaney said. Sergeant Dean Matthews has been coordinating Operation Optic since it began.
“Initially the recruits can be quite nervous, for most of them it is the first time they have had the public react to them wearing the uniform,” Sgt Matthews said. “We have a booth set up and recruits will hand out crime prevention material and answer questions from shoppers. The other groups patrol the shopping centre and its parameters.” Police Life joined the recruits when they visited a Sunshine shopping centre. They all agreed it was an excellent learning experience.
FIRST TIME .01 Const Ellie Wilkins enjoyed her day handing out proactive policing pamphlets to the community. .02 The recruits got a chance to interact with the community in Sunshine. .03 Having a booth set up at shopping centres helps recruits engage with shoppers.
Constable Ellie Wilkins enjoyed her day interacting with the community. “We’ve been doing real name and vehicle checks. It has really helped increase my community awareness.” Constable Loretta Susan gained confidence from her experience. “This is my first time interacting with the community in uniform. “It has helped give me the confidence to approach people and I’ve been really happy with the way the community has responded to me.” Sen Sgt Delaney said while engaging with the community was a main priority, law enforcement was a by product of the program and recruits had been involved in arrests for thefts, assaults and warrants.
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Forensic science facility OPENS Victoria Police is at the forefront of forensic science with a state-of-the-art facility recently opened in Macleod. EDITORIAL JANAE HOUGHTON PHOTOGRAPHY CLAY BURKE
he McCallum Building at Victoria Police’s Forensic Services Department in Macleod has been designed not only to improve crime solving, but also to mitigate any risk of cross contamination. Forensics Services director Karl Kent said the modern building and upgraded facilities meant time frames on testing and analysis would improve.
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“It obviously depends on the investigation, but in some cases we could see time frames reduced from 300 days to 60, which is just fantastic,” he said. The building was named after Dr Norman McCallum, a former Victoria Police member and one of the state's leading forensic experts of the last century. More than 150 staff including biologists, chemists, researchers and support staff have started working in the facility. Mr Kent said it made Victoria Police a world leader in the use of forensic technology.
"We want to have the best possible infrastructure and equipment at our disposal to complement the hard work being done by investigators and, in turn, hopefully go a long way to Victoria Police successfully providing first-class forensic evidence to the criminal justice system,” he said. "The McCallum Building will have a level of world class suites and equipment that will allow us to recover and identify trace evidence and recover trace materials such as DNA, glass, gunshot residue, fibres, paint and more.
Fancy forensics .01 A scientist analyses a piece of evidence. .02 The specially designed blood splatter room at the new facility. .03 The forensics centre has state-of-the-art equipment.
"Having an integrated evidence recovery laboratory in one location, which covers aspects such as crime scene, ballistics, chemistry and biology saves a huge amount of time. It also allows those specialist areas to work more closely together to harvest physical evidence.” Facilities in the McCallum Building include: •A dedicated evidence recovery laboratory to minimise contamination while maximising evidence collection. •A state-of-the-art DNA analytical laboratory and associated robotic platforms. •M odern analytical instruments and laboratories to help analyse small particles of evidence, including gunshot residue, glass fibres and paint. •A dedicated research, development and innovation laboratory. •A blood splatter room for scenario testing. •M odern office, training and conference facilities.
where are they NOW?
Superintendent Brett Curran Superintendent Brett Curran has returned to Victoria Police with a wealth of experience to add to his role. EDITORIAL ANTHONY LONCARIC Photography CLAY BURKE
ictoria Police members often talk about the variety of work on offer in their job and Superintendent Brett Curran has made the most of exciting opportunities in his policing career. Since joining the organisation in 1981 he has worked as a detective, a prosecutor and served in a range of administrative roles, including as deputy chief of staff to former Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon.
Supt Curran, 51, left Victoria Police in 2007 to take on the chief of staff role in the office of the Victorian Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections and went on to perform the same role for the state opposition leader. He said the chance to work in those positions was too good to pass up. “It was a great opportunity to work at the highest levels of government, especially during intense and important times such as the Black Saturday bushfire tragedy,” he said. “My roles in government highlighted the value of the breadth and depth of experiences we gain through our work here at Victoria Police and how applicable those are in so many areas of the broader working world. I got to work with some incredible people.” Supt Curran returned to Victoria Police and was appointed Licensing and Regulation Division’s superintendent in June this year.
BACK IN BLUE .01 Supt Curran is settling back into Victoria Police.
The division is responsible for the regulation of the firearms, private security and weapons industries in Victoria. He said he was excited about the role. “It (the division) is at the forefront of ensuring the community is safe and it has never been more important to have the right people licensed to have firearms,” he said. “We are working closely with police in regions, crime departments and police jurisdictions across Australia to ensure illegal firearms are located, seized and destroyed.”
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From the Archives Squads of the past Victoria Police has had many taskforces and squads throughout its history. Police Life takes a look back at some of the successful ones that made a difference to tackling crime in the state. EDITORIAL MARIA CARNOVALE
ormer superintendent and current volunteer at Victoria Policeâ€™s Historical Services Unit, Peter Macievic, has dedicated his time to researching various old squads and police stations that have operated in Victoria. The work he has done on the Special Patrol, Dealers Squad and Special Branch will be used to inform the organisation when creating squads and sections in the future. Police Life also looks at the former Consorting Squad. While all of these units are no longer functioning, their roles and methods of investigation have been absorbed into other parts of Victoria Police. SPECIAL PATROL The Special Patrol was in place from 1942 to 1969. Its main purpose was to help the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) and included police who wanted to become detectives. The Special Patrol allowed its members to get experience in CIB jobs while working under the direction of detectives and investigating crimes that were reported to the police station where they worked. The Special Patrol ran in metropolitan police stations including Russell Street, Carlton, North Melbourne, Collingwood, Fitzroy, Flemington and Broadmeadows.
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In 1948, Special Patrol members were involved in investigating more than 3300 cases and made 1033 arrests. Interviews with former Special Patrol members showed they gained extensive investigative experience. DEALERS SQUAD The Dealers Squad was established in the early 1950s in response to pawnbrokers setting up in Melbourne and a steady stream of stolen property passing through them. The squad aimed to intercept and locate stolen property going through the dealers and arrest the offenders. Dealers Squad members had good relationships with pawnbrokers and second-hand dealers. They checked the books of the stores, informed dealers of stolen property and checked auction rooms and trash and treasure markets for stolen goods.
In 1990, the September/October edition of Police Life reported that on average 250 offenders were charged by the Dealers Squad each year and up to $1 million worth of stolen property was recovered. Mr Macievicâ€™s research on the Dealers Squad showed it often located property before the victims knew it had been stolen and the members gained good criminal intelligence which assisted other units in solving serious crimes. The squad disbanded in 1999 and its members were redeployed to the Tactical Response Squad. SPECIAL BRANCH In 1931, the Special Branch was created in response to a fear of the spread of communism and the perceived radical behaviour of people associated with it. The branch worked with military intelligence and prior to the outbreak of the Second World War focused on surveillance and collating evidence against hostile groups in the community.
Victoria Police Museum
FORMER SQUADS .01 The Consorting Squad aimed to prevent criminals from getting together to plan and commit crime.
Later, its work included registering migrants, policing firearms and explosives regulations, investigating transfers of land and supervising foreign clubs. The branch would also recapture escapees from prisoner of war camps and check the suitability of applicants into the armed forces. Each team within the branch would be allocated a specific area of the world that they would research, including the political situation. They would then identify if any groups could pose a risk to the state. The Special Branch was dissolved in 1983. CONSORTING SQUAD Consorting relates to habitually being in the company of criminals or a class of criminals. The offence was introduced in New South Wales after public concern about east Sydney’s ‘razor gangs’. When the Consorting Squad was set up in Victoria in 1931 its aim was to disperse criminal gangs and prevent them from hatching plans and carrying out crime.
DEALERS SQUAD .02 Dealers Squad members maintained good relationships with second-hand dealers. .03 Detectives visit one of Chapel Street's second-hand dealers. .04 Senior Sergeant Peter Twoomey examines stolen property.
Without the surveillance technology of today, the squad gained its intelligence by visiting places such as race tracks, nightclubs, hotels, sly grog establishments and illegal gaming venues. It was in these environments that the detectives in the squad also gained information about of the identities, associates, habits and movements of interstate criminals. In the early 1970s, the Consorting Squad played a key role in combating violence involving some of the most brutal and ruthless criminals in Melbourne’s dock wars. The Consorting Squad was in effect until 1980 when it was amalgamated with the Major Crime Squad. For more information contact the Victoria Police Historical Unit at email@example.com. gov.au via email.
POLICELIFE SPRING 2014
National Police Remembrance Day —
29 September 2014
March begins at 10am on Princes Bridge, St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Afterwards a service to commemorate the police who have died will be held at the Victoria Police Memorial, St Kilda Road, Kings Domain, Melbourne.
— po lice wh o have died IN THE LINE OF DUTY — Constable William Hogan Constable Robert Brunton Constable David Anderson Constable Stephen Bates Sergeant John McNally Constable Edward Fallon Cadet Mounted Constable Edward Thompson Constable Edward Barnett Constable Robert Logan Constable Phillip Cabot Constable Walter Rendell Sergeant George Dodds Senior Constable Patrick Henry Moylette Constable Edward Reilly Constable William Campbell Constable Patrick Conarty Constable Robert Strahan Constable Daniel O'Boyle Superintendent Robert Crofton Taylor Constable William Hanson Constable John McElveen Constable Justin McCarthy Sergeant Thomas Wood Hull Constable William Kennedy Constable John Joseph McNamara Constable James Deacon Constable John Alexander Duff Constable Patrick Francis Curtin Constable James Herlihy Constable Thomas Collins Sergeant Michael Kennedy Constable Thomas Lonigan Constable Michael Scanlan Sergeant 1st Class Leonard Fawssett Constable Patrick Mallavey Sergeant 1st Class James Porter Senior Constable William Irwin Constable Patrick Barrett Constable Thomas Ryan Constable Daniel James Courtney Constable Arthur William Brown
Constable James Paul Slattery Senior Constable Thomas Holt Constable John Joseph Glynn Constable Olaf Henry Hoyem Constable Josiah Rowley Constable Timothy John Murphy Constable Charles Elwood Hornibrook Constable Richard Johnston Constable Henry Charles Blair Constable Hugh Lennox Constable Hugh Kennedy Constable Francis Bruckner Constable Charles Hothem Jones Constable John Sandford Collins Constable James Ogilvie Constable Harold Riddle Constable Edmund Crimmin Constable David Edward McGrath Senior Constable John Tennant Constable Angus McInnes Constable George Henry Taylor Constable William Michael Sharrock Constable Edward O'Neill Constable Joseph Delaney Constable James Clare Constable Arthur Roy Currie Constable Owen Harrison Maggs Constable Donald Gordon Duncan Constable William John Vincent Roberts Constable Clyde James Smith Constable John Henry Robins Constable Leonard Cardell Rymer Constable Bertram Clifford Robinson Constable Victor Ernest Bateman First Constable William Frederick Cawthorn Senior Constable Frederick Edward Jones Constable Max Herbert Koop Constable Garth Elvin Atkin Constable George Howell Constable Ronald Albert Creusot Constable Charles Marcus Reeve
Constable William Joseph Harnetty Constable John Thomas Glen Constable Leonard William Rees First Constable John Aloysius Brennan First Constable Edward Keith Simmons Constable Horace Maxwell Carey First Constable Graham Stow First Constable Ray Denman Constable Malroy John McDonald First Constable Brian Coleman First Constable Darrel Blythe Constable Phillip Gordon Fleming Constable William George Benbow Constable Robert Lindon Worland Senior Constable John Wilham Creber Senior Constable Charles Norman Curson Senior Constable John Howard Wilson Sergeant Lionel Stanley Baum Detective Sergeant John Henry Hodge Senior Constable Kevin John Laube Detective Senior Constable Lyndon Waring Senior Constable John Kenneth Atkins Detective Senior Constable Robert John Lane Senior Constable Michael John Mitchell Senior Constable Barry Joseph O'Donoghue Senior Constable Leslie George Townsend Constable John Vincs Constable Walter Richard Hewitt Constable Shaun Gerard Moynihan Senior Constable Stephen Edward Henry Constable Harry Cygan Constable Clare Frances Bourke Senior Constable Lindsay James Forsythe Sergeant Arthur John Kokkin Constable Angela Rose Taylor Senior Constable Maurice Daniel Moore Constable Neil Francis Clinch Senior Constable Peter Ross Smith Sergeant Russell James Thompson Constable DamiAn Jeffrey Eyre Constable Steven John Tynan
Senior Constable Christopher Cameron Malone Senior Constable Richard Noel Dufty Inspector Alan Geoffrey Dickens Constable Trevor John Given Constable Andrew Robert McFarlane Sergeant Grant Frederick McPhie Senior Constable Ian James Crilly Detective Senior Constable Douglas Raymond Mathers Senior Constable Timothy Richard Lewczuk Senior Constable Rodney James Miller Sergeant Gary Michael Silk Senior Constable Simon David De Winne Senior Constable Fiona Frances Robinson Senior Constable Mark Anthony Bateman Senior Constable Anthony Clarke Senior Constable Rennie Page Senior Constable Ann Jane Brimblecombe Constable Edward Gray Constable Daniel Mullaly Constable Andrew Henderson Constable Robert Lindsay Constable David Digby Constable William Thomas Clarke Constable Victor Nelson First Constable Frank James Mannix Acting Corporal Matthew O'Connor Mounted Constable William Arthur Lunny Constable Edward James Dore Senior Constable Alan Michael Large Constable Matthew Tomkin Constable Rhody Monaghan Constable James Hopkins Corporal William Harvey Senior Constable Edward Leslie Hubbard First Constable James Norman Brewis The historical addition of Senior Constable David Hobden will occur at this year's Remembrance Day event.