THE VICTORIA POLICE MAGAZINE
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Lest we forget THIS ANZAC CENTENARY, VICTORIA POLICE REMEMBERS THE 138 POLICE WHO SERVED IN WORLD WAR I, 27 OF WHOM LOST THEIR LIVES.
PLUS HUMAN TRAFFICKING INVESTIGATION > A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A COUNTRY COP KEN LAY’S LEGACY > SUPPORTING VICTIMS AND MORE
Trading in lives Police are identifying and stopping human trafficking.
Cohuna’s finest See what a day in the life of a country cop in Cohuna entails.
COVER: Constable Steven Newland, pictured with two Shrine Guards, is a descendant of a police officer who fought in World War I. Photography: Craig Sillitoe 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 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lay’s legacy Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has retired leaving behind a lasting legacy.
Anzac centenary Those who served in war will be remembered in Anzac centenary events.
Managing Editor Sandra Higgins Editor Maria Carnovale Journalists Anthony Loncaric Mandi Santic Graphic Design Fluid – fluid.com.au 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.
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In brief Out and About Badge and Beyond
St Kilda’s Sergeant Timothy Lambourne has a strong commitment to helping his community.
A MESSAGE FROM THE ACTING CHIEF COMMISSIONER This year, on 25 April we mark the 100th anniversary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli, one of Australia’s first major engagements in World War 1. There were 138 Victoria Police members who served in the Great War showing amazing courage and bravery throughout. I am proud to share a few of their stories in this edition of Police Life. Twenty seven Victorian police were among the many who died while serving their country during World War 1 and 100 years later, we pay tribute to those that paid the ultimate sacrifice as well as others who fought, leaving behind their families, jobs and more. This issue also covers the 41-year career of retired Chief Commissioner Ken Lay. His focus on family violence and national leadership to address male attitudes towards women is well
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
known as well as driving internal change at Victoria Police, establishing a taskforce to rid our own organisation of sexual harassment and intimidation. The release of the Blue Paper early last year will also be a part of his considerable legacy, and help us shape policing for the coming 10 years. Also in this edition, we highlight our alcohol and victim support strategies and put a spotlight on Cohuna’s Acting Sergeant Andrew Neil who was awarded for his excellent work in combatting the scourge of ice in his community. I look forward to continuing Victoria Police’s focus on family violence and making Victoria a safer place for everyone. Tim Cartwright, APM Acting Chief Commissioner
MAKING NEWS For the latest police news visit www.vicpolicenews.com.au
Images City Complex 01 An artist's impression of the finished complex. 02 Work is underway and due to be completed mid-year.
CITY COMPLEX TO OPEN SOON On the south-west corner of Latrobe and Spencer streets, the modern and appealing complex will welcome the community to the next-generation of policing. It will hold crime and intelligence staff, Melbourne West Police Station, North-West Metropolitan Headquarters and Forensic Services. The Melbourne West Police Station will have a prominent public interface with a well-lit public entry and forecourt. Project director Andrew Ward said finding the new station will be easy. “A distinct pathway directs people to the entrance of the station and profile lighting will make it easier for people to find at night.” Features of the 12-storey, 24/7 complex include a state-of-the-art security system, a joint investigation and intelligence centre, an e-crime laboratory, integrated work spaces, collaborative meeting and interview rooms and shared general facilities.
POLICE LIFE GOT A SNEAK PEEK AT THE 313 SPENCER STREET POLICE COMPLEX, DUE TO OPEN MID-YEAR.
Mr Ward said the complex will greatly benefit the community. “It will accentuate and revolutionise the way police are able to prevent and solve crime,” he said. A major incident area will have digital screens streaming live television, CCTV and running log feeds to help police respond to and solve crime quicker. The environmentally-friendly and technologyenabled complex will allow police to work more effectively and will include centralised evidence, equipment and custody management functions. A community space for special events, public plaza with café and areas catering to parents or carers and people with faith requirements will also be featured.
The City West Project Team led the planning of the building, which began in 2009 with construction following in 2012. Mr Ward said his team extensively consulted with internal and external stakeholders to ensure the complex benefited everyone. “We liaised with many people who gave us helpful suggestions,” Mr Ward said. “This allowed us to incorporate their ideas into the building design, making sure operational needs were met so police could work better together and improve service to the community.”
Editorial: Mandi Santic
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
SMALL TALK VOXPOP
QUIZ A COP
What does Anzac Day mean to you?
Is it illegal to wear headphones when driving? MITAL, LAVERTON
CONSTABLE BELINDA ANDERIESSEN Melbourne West Uniform
“It allows us to commemorate the servicemen and women whose actions helped make, and continue to make, this amazing country of ours what it is today. The Last Post bugle call never fails to give me shivers.”
FIRST CONSTABLE DAVID AILE
It is not illegal to wear headphones when driving. However, we strongly advise against it as it can affect your ability to fully focus on driving. If wearing headphones interferes with your driving or causes a collision, you could be charged with careless driving.
Submit your Quiz a Cop law enforcement questions via the online form at http://bit.ly/vpquizacop
Answers are published weekly on Victoria Police’s Facebook page.
Melbourne West Uniform
YOUR SAY “To me it means a day of remembrance for our fallen brothers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”
LEADING SENIOR CONSTABLE MARK FLEMING Melbourne West Uniform “It is remembering the men and women that sacrificed their lives for our freedom.”
BE PART OF THE STORY Join the Conversation
@_kateware It’s very reassuring when travelling alone at a train station and PSOs arrive. Fantastic service @VictoriaPolice
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: email@example.com
Just had a nice wander around the @VictoriaPolice Museum in Melbourne! Nice to see so many officers in the building too
@marcussebby Thank you @VictoriaPolice for your hard work and contribution to a safer society
@bgoaddy_editor Top work by @VictoriaPolice #Bendigo resolving a situation peacefully which could have gone bad
Drug and firearms warrants in south-eastern suburbs Thanks for keeping our streets and family safe J. DANIELS
DID YOU KNOW?
Continuing the family violence legacy
Twenty Victoria Police members were part of the first convoy to fight in World War I.
Glad to know that Ken’s passion of family violence is being continued by Vic Pol. Ken will be missed by all Victorians. GLENDA HOBDEN
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
BEHIND THE BADGE
ROBERT CAMPBELL Rank: First Constable Age: 45 Graduated: 2012 Station: Melbourne West What do you enjoy about working at Victoria Police? I have been fortunate enough to serve my country on more than one occasion and Victoria Police has given me the opportunity to serve my community. The job is exciting and challenging. There is something different happening every day. Tell us about working at Melbourne West. Melbourne West Police Station is a dynamic and progressive station providing a variety of shifts that inspire and challenge me. It also allows me to lead and mentor new recruits. The recruits are always enthusiastic so I get a lot of satisfaction in seeing them applying the things they have learnt for the first time. I really feel a sense of family when I get to work and the teamwork and support is second to none. What were you doing before you joined Victoria Police? I joined the Australian Army in October 1990 at the height of the first Gulf War. The army, like policing, isn’t really a job, it’s a way of life. I started my career as a Reconnaissance Scout in an Armoured
Regiment. I later found my niche in the Royal Australian Corps of Signals where I worked with cutting edge equipment from satellite systems to secure wireless networks. I was responsible for the information systems on deployments, designing and implementing systems on missions including Papua New Guinea, East Timor, the Middle East and Afghanistan. I served for 21 years with some amazing people in amazing countries. What does Anzac Day mean to you? Anzac Day is a time to reflect on mates and colleagues who are no longer with us. It is also a time to think about the troops currently serving overseas. Having lost mates in training missions and operational deployments, I will be thinking of them and their families. I recently lost my best mate who I was deployed to East Timor with and I will be thinking of him. The Anzac spirit was defined by the actions of the soldiers at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. I see that spirit in a lot of the people I work with at Victoria Police. What has been a memorable moment from your career? My most memorable moment in the army was when I was deployed to the island of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea in 1999. We managed to upgrade the entire island’s information technology and enhance the peace monitoring mission. I received a commendation for the mission and it would not have been possible without the close team I worked with. Editorial: Maria Carnovale Photography: Clay Burke
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
IN BRIEF PROACTIVE POLICING STORIES
LONG SERVING OFFICER RETIRES
Supt Fisk was farewelled with a Guard of Honour.
One of Victoria Police’s longest serving officers, Superintendent George Fisk, has retired after what he labelled a fulfilling 53-year career. Supt Fisk joined as a cadet in 1962, aged 16, and graduated from the Victoria Police Academy in June, 1964. He commenced duties at Russell Street Police Station and his first day on the job involved performing crowd control for the arrival of The Beatles at Melbourne Airport. A year into his police career, Supt Fisk was called up for two years of national service with the Australian Army where he served as an Infantry Platoon Commander.
From the moment he returned to policing, his career path was diverse. He worked in road policing, training police and managing the Shrine of Remembrance. He then gained promotion to inspector in charge of Carlton, Royal Park and City West police stations before becoming superintendent at the Heidelberg/Rosanna headquarters. His final years with Victoria Police proved career defining as he helped develop a series of applications to assist police completing briefs of evidence and correspondence in a timely manner.
WOMEN IN POLICING FAIR More than 550 people attended Victoria Police’s first Women in Policing Career Fair in Watsonia. The aim of the day was to encourage and inspire women to consider a career in policing. Attendees had the opportunity to speak to general duties police and officers from various squads and sections of Victoria Police. They also had a chance to speak to Recruitment Services staff about the application process and recruit training. Fair organiser Rachel Brown said the day was a huge success. “Many of the prospective applicants who attended expressed how useful the day was in finding out the realities of policing and what career options would be available to them,” she said. Visit www.policecareer.vic.gov.au to find out how you can apply to join Victoria Police.
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
PREVENTING CRIME ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT
NEW APPROACH TO FAMILY VIOLENCE
A program to improve safety on Melbourne’s rail networks and encourage crime reporting has had record results.
Police in South East Melbourne are taking a fresh approach to family violence with the launch of Taskforce Alexis.
It only took four hours for two men wanted for criminal damage on the Frankston line to be identified by vigilant, community-minded commuters. The photos of the men, taken on a witness’ mobile phone, were posted on Crime Stoppers boards and LCD screens at train stations near where the incident had occurred. Police were able to arrest the offenders within hours. Victoria Police’s Transit Safety Division program has helped identify more than 1100 suspects using posters displayed at 45 train stations. Program coordinator Leading Senior Constable Luke Gandolfo has been a driving force since 2007 and said he was proud of the results. “The community is often our eyes and ears and have a vested interest in reducing crime,” he said. “Not only has the program helped us catch crooks but it is also a reminder to anyone thinking about committing a crime on public transport that we are watching.”
The first of its kind in Victoria, Taskforce Alexis is an integrated team of police and clinicians whose main priority is ensuring families affected by family violence get the help they need. The police specialise in the areas of family violence, mental health, crime prevention and youth. They work alongside a Monash Health mental health clinician and a Salvation Army family violence specialist worker. Superintendent Ross Guenther said the aim of the new team was to protect the community in Bayside, Glen Eira and Kingston. “We are focused on ensuring that we protect victims and hold perpetrators to account through early intervention and follow up with those referred to support or health services,” he said. “This is a holistic model that we think is the way to go to. We know that we can’t arrest our way out of the problem and we need to focus on prevention.”
COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD Cricket Australia has named Senior Sergeant Steve Lefebvre as Victorian Coach of the Year.
Ldg Sen Const Gandolfo at one of the train stations with Crime Stoppers screens.
Sen Sgt Lefebvre, who works at the Centre for Ethics, Community Engagement and Communication, was chosen out of thousands of coaches across Australia for his dedication and tremendous work in cricket. For the past seven years he has been the driving force in forming teams at the Moorabbin Cricket Club and developed a metropolitan league for intellectually disabled people. He said he was inspired and dedicated to making a difference in the intellectually disabled community. “I am passionate about creating a safe environment for people to socialise,” Sen Sgt Lefebvre said.
ODD SPOT CORNER Sergeant Luke Holmes
Sergeant Jim O’Donnell
SPRINGVALE POLICE STATION
MILDURA POLICE STATION
“I was on duty at an MCG cricket match when a pitch invader ran onto the field. I ran after him and was just about to tackle him when the man suddenly changed direction. As a result I slid on the slippery pitch and fell over in front of 80,000 people. The crowd gave a massive roar and I got back up and managed to catch the guy.”
“We arrested a man for being drunk in a public place and, once he sobered up, we released him with a penalty notice. He wasn’t happy and threw his phone in disgust, which landed in a rubbish bin outside the station. He tried to get his phone out but got stuck upside-down and called Triple Zero from inside the bin. The same police he had abused earlier helped him out of the bin and he stormed off, demanding we never tell anyone.”
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BREAKING THE CYCLE Alcohol is a factor in many crimes across Victoria and police are working with the community to reduce the risks of alcohol-related harm. Excessive alcohol consumption causes the death of three Victorians, contributes to 18 assaults and puts 81 people in hospital every day. It is also a significant contributor to road trauma, assaults and sexual assaults, family violence, property damage, child abuse and public disorder. A report released by The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education showed between June 2012 and June 2013 there were 26,444 alcohol-related hospital admissions and 18,078 ambulance attendances. That’s three times more than those for illicit drugs. It is a major concern for police in Victoria, who are working hard to reduce alcohol-related crime.
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In Greater Dandenong, police identified alcohol as a driver of crime with people arrested for excessive alcohol consumption using a large amount of police resources. Southern Metro Region’s Senior Sergeant Frank Bodor decided to do something about it. With the help of internal and external stakeholders, he initiated the Southern Metropolitan Region Alcohol Diversion Program. The program, an Australian-first, is aimed at reducing alcohol dependence and associated destructive behaviours by providing opportunities for rehabilitation and treatment. Sen Sgt Bodor said those who had outstanding sheriff’s warrants and drunk-related infringement notices could apply to have the courts consider reducing or removing their fines, if they completed the program.
“One man in particular has accumulated $127,000 worth of unpaid alcohol-related fines, and could face jail,” he said. “If he is suitable to the program and agrees to get proper help through treatment, his debt would be reduced or removed.” Participants would take up to 12 months to complete the program, working with various support agencies, which provide services such as transitional housing, counselling, mentoring, alcohol recovery, peer support and natural therapies. “This is a serious health issue in the community,” Sen Sgt Bodor said. “We hope the program will reduce the number of presentations at court, decrease the use of police resources and allow alcohol-dependent clients to attend treatment facilities or complete community work.”
TIPS FOR DRINKING SAFELY
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that slows down messages travelling between the brain and body.
Drink responsibly and be cautious with your drinks. Avoid drinks with high alcohol content and beware of drink spiking – don’t let your drink out of your sight.
24 per cent of drivers killed on the roads had excessive levels of alcohol in their system in 2012.
Stay with friends and look out for one another.
If you leave your friends, always let someone know where you’re going and who you are going with. Between 2001 and 2010 alcohol-related assaults increased by 49 per cent. Alcohol is a causal factor in more than 60 major types of disease and injury including road collisions, liver cirrhosis, diabetes, dementia and several types of cancer.
Don’t drink and drive.
Listen to your gut feeling. If you feel uncomfortable or think you may be at risk, leave the situation immediately and go to a safe place, or call Triple Zero 000 in an emergency. If you or someone you care about has an alcohol or drug problem, contact DirectLine on 1800 888 236.
“After one school visit, a principal later reported that for the first time during schoolies week, students organised alcohol-free events.” In Melbourne’s inner south-eastern suburbs, including St Kilda and South Melbourne, police are working to reduce alcohol-related harm. Southern Metro Region’s local area commander Inspector Narelle Beer said she was determined to change people’s perceptions and attitudes to alcohol. “The City of Port Phillip has experienced more than double the number of alcohol-related assaults than the state average and has the highest rate of alcohol-related deaths across Victoria,” she said. “Police are making every effort to try and change these statistics. “Everyone has the right to be safe and we are serious about educating the community about preventing alcohol-related harm. “Youth resource officers regularly visit schools and spread the message to young people about their consumption of alcohol and the risks and offences associated with it. “After one school visit, a principal later reported that for the first time during Schoolies Week, students organised alcohol-free events.”
Insp Beer said police were also actively engaging with licensed premises operators. “Officers are educating and working with licensees to create policies and find new approaches on how to reduce alcohol-related harm,” she said. Training police in the area of liquor licensing has been valuable. “We are better able to identify offences and have the knowledge to educate people and gather intelligence for developing trouble areas,” Insp Beer said. “We have plenty of targeted enforcement operations to address the issue of alcoholrelated harm. “For example, there was a particular high-risk licensed venue that had reports of underage drunken behaviour and property damage. “We worked closely with the venue’s management and focused on giving patrons advice about the effects of alcohol and expanding its security, ensuring everyone had their identification checked.
“These actions had a positive impact on the venue. It built a reputation as a safe place for young women.” Recently releasing its Policing Alcohol Harm in Victoria 2014-24 statement, Victoria Police has created a long-term vision striving towards a safe, secure and orderly society, free from alcohol-related crime and harm. Victoria Police Drug and Alcohol Strategy Unit’s manager Chantelle Miller said the strategy recognised the complexity in responding to issues of alcohol-related harm and aims to improve the public’s understanding of its impacts. “It will help identify new approaches that are evidence-led to respond to changing the patterns of alcohol consumption and the issues of alcohol misuse,” Ms Miller said. “Challenging the drinking culture requires partnerships with communities, businesses and the health and community sectors to prevent and intervene in reducing alcohol-related harm.”
Editorial: Mandi Santic
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
VICTORIA POLICE IS WORKING CLOSELY WITH THE AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE TO IDENTIFY HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND CRACK DOWN ON INDUSTRIES EXPLOITING VICTIMS.
A young Asian woman has no money and a poor credit history. She borrows $3000 from a loan shark, but the interest charged is so great she has no choice but to borrow from another shark to pay off her first loan. Her debt becomes so unmanageable that she sees no other option but to take up a loan shark’s offer to travel to Australia and work off the loans, which have now increased to $30,000. Her passport and visas are arranged and she boards the next flight to Melbourne. It is most likely she will have to work in the sex industry until her debt is paid. She works excessive hours, lives in poor conditions and is controlled by those she is indebted to. While she makes an exorbitant amount of money, she is left with very little after most of it goes towards her debt.
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She is exploited to the point where she is forced to work more than 70 hours per week and pays for everyday items - $1 for a towel, $1 for a shower, $1 for a condom. The loan sharks have detailed information about her and her family and intimidation and subtle threats are used to keep her working. This is the situation facing many victims of human trafficking. Not to be confused with people smuggling, human trafficking is the movement of people across and within borders through deception, force or coercion for the purpose of exploitation. Whether victims are forced to work in the sex industry, as domestic servants, in farming or mining, or forced into marriage, human trafficking is generally organised and difficult to track. In Victoria, it is believed 60 to 70 per cent of human trafficking occurs in the sex industry and Victoria Police’s Sex Industry Coordination Unit (SICU) is taking action.
The SICU’s Senior Sergeant Marilynn Ross recently closed down a licensed brothel showing signs of human trafficking as well as other illegal activity. “We had reports of door handles being taken off rooms so the women couldn’t leave and they were being forced to have sex without condoms,” she said. As Sen Sgt Ross and her team prepared to take a closer look at the brothel, they called their contacts at the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Immigration to join the investigation. Police spoke to operators and staff looking for signs of illegal activity while AFP and Immigration officers checked identification and visa statuses. While they didn’t find evidence of human trafficking, unlawful citizens were working there.
If you have information relating to human trafficking, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the AFP on 131 444.
The SICU performs compliance checks of the 88 licensed brothels operating in Victoria. However, Sen Sgt Ross said there were more than 350 massage shops, karaoke bars and online services operating as unlicensed brothels, which created huge issues for the community and could be exploiting people.
“A lot of the time victims don’t see themselves as victims. The conditions they are in here are better than what they were in their country of origin. “There is always a threat over them – ‘we’ll tell your family what you’re doing’ or ‘we’ll tell the authorities and you’ll be deported’.”
These are areas the SICU is focusing on to prevent human trafficking.
The AFP’s Federal Agent David MacGregor said there were always investigations on the go relating to human trafficking.
A training package created by Sen Sgt Ross and the AFP is being used across Australia to ensure police recognise the signs of human trafficking.
“We work quite closely and regularly with Victoria Police,” Federal Agent MacGregor said.
“Human trafficking is under-reported or it just disappears when people go back to the country they came from,” Sen Sgt Ross said. “We tell police to look a little deeper. Look for the indicators of human trafficking – people who may not have control of their own travel documents, may be living in poor accommodation, have rehearsed or coached stories, lots of people at the same address or people who don’t have a key to their own address.
“Currently there are a few referrals of forced marriage that we are looking into and regional reports of forced labour.” In rural parts of Victoria, police are seeing evidence of people forced to work at drug crops and in farming, which are under investigation. Sen Sgt Ross said forced marriage was predicted to become an area of concern for Australian authorities.
“We are a culturally diverse state and we have heard of instances of Australians sending their teenagers overseas to be married without their consent,” Sen Sgt Ross said. “Marriages can happen inside a house and, even if they are not recognised by Australian law, are recognised as marriage within certain cultures. “These types of situations can lead to family violence, threats, assaults and more.”
Sen Sgt Ross was awarded the Australian Police Medal on Australia Day in January for her work in the Sex Industry Coordination Unit.
Editorial: Maria Carnovale
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF
COPS POLICE LIFE’S MANDI SANTIC TRAVELLED 274 KILOMETRES NORTH OF MELBOURNE TO COHUNA WHERE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IS THE TRUE ESSENCE OF COUNTRY POLICING.
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On arriving at Cohuna Police Station, Police Life was welcomed by Sergeant Andrew Rigg and Acting Sergeant Andrew Neil. The two police have worked in regional towns for most of their policing careers and wouldn’t have it any other way. “Country policing is a way of life,” Sgt Rigg said. “It’s the best job in the world.” “Even if we’re off-duty and someone needs our help, we’re always there to assist. We’ve had locals stop us in the street asking for advice or they’ve wanted a document certified.” A/Sgt Neil has lived in Cohuna for 22 years where he enjoys the country life and policing challenges. “The lifestyle, community and climate make it such a great place to live and work,” A/Sgt Neil said. “As a country police officer you get to take ownership of investigations and see them through. You also get to mentor new staff and conduct search warrants.” Sgt Rigg agreed. “It’s a great way to quickly learn the ropes of policing. We’ve had police officers go back to Melbourne more confident in their abilities from the hands-on country experience,” he said.
“You become responsible and independent quicker. “Sometimes you go to a job and you are the highway patrol, investigator or negotiator all in the one – it’s a very dynamic, yet rewarding working environment.” The friendly officers spoke highly of their small-knit community of about 2300 people. “We have strong relationships with the local community,” A/Sgt Neil said. “It’s a fundamental and important attribute to country policing. We’re here to help and point people in the right direction. Living in a small town means everyone knows everyone, so you really need the community to have trust in you.” It is not uncommon for them to go above and beyond for their local community. “I once had a distressed mother come to my house late at night, where she broke down in tears about her son’s use of the drug ice,” A/Sgt Neil said. “I knew I had to do something about it.” After noticing a surge of ice in his community, A/Sgt Neil coordinated information sessions in the regional towns of Cohuna and Kerang last year to educate residents about its impact on users and the wider community. Continued next page
Image Country Cohuna Cohuna police work with their local community, including farmers.
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
Above Police patrol campsites by the Murray River.
More than 1400 people attended the sessions with speakers from the Gannawarra Shire including school principals, directors of hospitals and drug and health counsellors. “I’ve received terrific feedback and will be working on running more forums at local sporting clubs and schools.” A/Sgt Neil’s work hasn’t stopped there. He has even helped users get clean. “People I’ve supported through rehabilitation have come up to me and said thank you,” he said.
“The kids really look up to police as role-models. They’re well-respected and are part of the general community” “I’ve seen families I know personally destroyed by ice. People have lost their homes because their child has racked up a drug debt. Getting people through it inspires me to keep working hard.” Sgt Rigg said the sessions brought the community together. “It generated conversation and that’s really important in tackling any illicit substance,” he said. On the day Police Life visited, Sgt Rigg and A/Sgt Neil headed out to Cohuna Secondary College where they discussed upcoming presentations with the school’s principal Steven Brain and vice-principal Fiona Miller. “One of our key priorities is educating young people about the impact of road trauma, drugs and alcohol, sexting and bullying,” A/Sgt Neil said. “Five years ago two of my eldest daughter’s friends were tragically killed in a car collision. It was devastating for our community. “It’s important we send the right message to young people about driving safely, including getting drivers to stick to the speed limits.” Miss Miller said Cohuna police were doing a fantastic job. “The kids really look up to police as role-models. They’re well-respected and are part of the general community,” she said. After visiting the high school, police made their way to a rural property and spoke to a local dairy farmer. With cattle, sheep and tractor theft occurring occasionally in the area, police regularly communicate with farmers and work out ways to prevent thefts.
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They also conduct firearms checks on properties. Recently, police arrested offenders who had stolen firearms from a local gun-shop. “They stole 10 guns and shortly after a tip-off, we were able to arrest the offenders,” A/Sgt Neil said. “Because of the great community trust, you will often hear something or someone will point you in the right direction, helping solve a case.” When police aren’t solving crime, they are ready to respond to emergencies. With temperatures soaring in the area during summer, police have an important role and work closely with stakeholders to spread fire prevention messages. Making their way deep into the bush, close to the Murray River, Sgt Rigg and A/Sgt Neil met up with a representative from the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Ray Harrower. “Fire prevention is crucial to our community. The close relationships with other agencies allow us to confidently work together to prevent bushfires,” Sgt Rigg said. “We get a lot of tourists during hot months camping by the Murray River. It’s imperative to let the campers know about total fire ban days and general messages such as not throwing out lit cigarette butts.” Over the course of the shift, Sgt Rigg and A/Sgt Neil made their way to Cohuna District Hospital. They checked in with nursing director Anne Graham to make sure there were no calls for concern. “Recently, we had a report of a woman acting erratically in the hospital,” Sgt Rigg said. “She was scaring staff and patients and we were able to diffuse the situation by negotiating and speaking calmly to her. “It was a confrontational experience, but our training has given us great negotiation and management skills.” Back at the station, A/Sgt Neil helped a visibly upset woman at the front counter. She was intimidated by her ex-partner and didn’t know what to do. He took his time and chatted with her for a while, giving her advice. The woman left the station, clearly comforted by A/Sgt Neil’s guidance. “It’s satisfying knowing you can make a difference,” A/Sgt Neil said. “This is the reason why I love being a police officer.”
Police regularly meet with Cohuna Secondary College staff and locals to discuss issues in their community.
Fire management is crucial in summer and A/Sgt Neil inspects fire prevention equipment with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries forester, Ray Harrower.
Community engagement is a key priority for country police. Here, A/Sgt Neil chats with local dairy farmer Greg Goulding about recent cattle thefts in the area.
Police were called to the Cohuna District Hospital and spoke to staff about a complaint made against a woman acting erratically in the hospital.
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR
A/Sgt Neil said he enjoys being part of the Cohuna community. He is involved with coaching the local cricket and football club.
Watch the Cohuna country police in action at http://bit.ly/vpcohunapolice
Cohuna Police Stationâ€™s A/Sgt Andrew Neil was nominated by his community as Gannawarraâ€™s Citizen of the Year. He was recognised for his dedication and hard work in trying to combat the drug ice in his community and involvement in the youth-based program, Cambodia Alternative to Schoolies, where students travel to Cambodia for two weeks undertaking humanitarian work in orphanages.
Editorial: Mandi Santic Photography: Clay Burke POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
COP LAYS DOWN
Police Life reflects on Ken Lay’s career in the wake of his retirement and looks at what has made him one of the most likeable chief commissioners. There is no doubt Ken Lay has been a very popular chief commissioner. Within days of announcing his retirement in January, he received a flood of emails from police and community members who were touched by his commitment to Victoria. When Police Life spoke to those who worked closest to him over the past three years, the word ‘compassionate’ was used to describe him in almost every conversation. That element of his personality has been reflected in his dedication to family violence, particularly after Luke Batty was killed by his father last year in February. Commander Robert Clegg worked as Mr Lay’s staff officer and has known him for more than 40 years. “He really put the spotlight on family violence. The Luke Batty incident really affected him,” Cdr Clegg said.
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
“He felt the whole system could be improved and took that on board. He changed processes for warrants so they could be executed immediately and joined forces with Rosie Batty. The issue of family violence became personal for him.”
Mr Lay spent his early years of policing in Prahran and St Kilda and later gained experience in roles including operational, detective, training and corporate positions, as well as working in regional and metropolitan areas.
Mr Lay cared about his employees, the community and, most of all, his family.
He moved to more senior roles, Assistant Commissioner for Region 3 and Traffic and Transit Safety, before achieving the role of Deputy Commissioner (Road Policing) where he made progress in reducing the state’s road toll.
Just after he was appointed Chief Commissioner in November 2011, Mr Lay told Police Life that without the support of his wife and children the top job would be impossible. “Whether you are a constable or the Chief Commissioner, the job would be so much harder without a supportive partner, and mine has always been fantastic,” he said. He and his wife Christine met at Victoria Police. Mrs Lay graduated in 1977 and worked as a senior constable before resigning in 1983. Mr Lay announced his retirement to focus on looking after her as she battles illness. A country boy, born in Korumburra in 1956, Mr Lay told Police Life it was his work as a police officer where he was first exposed to violence and people who used drugs and alcohol.
While he achieved a lot in his tenure as Chief Commissioner and during his 41 years as a police officer, Mr Lay told Police Life in 2011 his proudest moment was when he was sworn in at Victoria Police in 1974 after serving as a police cadet. “I still vividly recall how proud I was of my achievement, but also how proud my family and friends were as well. I was determined not to let them or myself down,” he said. Cdr Clegg said Mr Lay was driven by the welfare of his police and would often call the families of officers who had passed away to pay his respects and those who had been injured to check on their wellbeing.
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
Image Lay’s legacy Ken Lay served as a police member for 41 years.
WITHOUT FANFARE, HE CARED DEEPLY FOR OUR STAFF AND DEVOTED A LOT “QOFUIETLY, TIME TO ILL MEMBERS AND THEIR FAMILIES. THE WORK HE HAS DONE IN FAMILY VIOLENCE AND THE RELEASE OF THE BLUE PAPER WILL BECOME A MAJOR PART OF HIS CONSIDERABLE LEGACY. ” It wasn’t unusual for him to be visibly upset after those conversations.
When three police were injured in an explosion while conducting a welfare check at a home in Middle Park in January last year, Mr Lay quickly visited them in hospital and kept in contact with them, meeting with one only a few weeks before his retirement. Whether it was to get approval for their project, to ask him to speak at their event, or just to say hello, Mr Lay’s time was valuable. “He was always in the office before 6.30am and at least four times a week wouldn’t finish work until about 9 or 10pm,” his executive assistant Vicki Pell said. Among the hundreds of emails he got, 30 to 40 requests for him to speak at events were received every week, normally in regards to leadership and family violence and were often booked a year in advance.
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
“We used to have a meeting every week where we would sit down and go through the upcoming requests for him to speak at events,” Cdr Clegg said.
“Work your magic” he would say to his staff, handing them a task before walking away with a smile.
“He wanted to do them all.”
Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright said he was proud to have been part of Mr Lay’s leadership team.
But, no matter how busy he was, or how difficult and complicated an issue was, he didn’t show it. “He had a calming effect on the office,” Ms Pell said. “He never ever raised his voice and he never stressed.” While his achievements as Chief Commissioner are well documented, some lesser known details are that he had a passion for cycling, wine and football. He wasn’t very tech savvy, once locking himself out of two iPads in one day, and was a frequent caller to Victoria Police’s IT Helpdesk.
“Ken has received much acclaim and it is richly deserved,” he said. “Quietly, without fanfare, he cared deeply for our staff and devoted a lot of time to ill members and their families. The work he has done in family violence and the release of the Blue Paper will become a major part of his considerable legacy. “I’d like to thank him for his service to Victoria Police over the past 41 years.”
Here are just a few of the many things Ken Lay achieved during his tenure as Chief Commissioner. • C reated a world-first Family Violence Command to focus on family violence, which will be established soon. • Appointed an additional 2700 police and protective services officers, increasing Victoria Police by nearly 20 per cent. • Introduced a new uniform in 2013. • Introduced a tougher stance on bikies and organised crime. • Challenged the community to think differently about its model of policing through the Blue Paper. • Challenged how Victoria Police engages and responds to diverse communities. • Embarked on a process to stamp out predatory behaviour in Victoria Police. • Made Victoria Police more responsive and accountable through a significant restructure.
Photo: Nicole Cleary/Herald Sun
TWEET RESPECT Commissioner Lay, thank you for your dedication and service to the state of Victoria. I’m very sad that you feel you have to resign. I have the utmost respect and understanding for you in your decision to support your wife in her illness. You are an honourable man with compassion for your fellow man. Thank you! FELICITY GAY MOORE Loss of a great leader of the force. I hope his successor is carefully chosen to continue his legacy. Thank you for your service Commissioner Lay. PETER BAXTER A compassionate and humble man, who has been a terrific leader. These are some big shoes to fill! A hero who I have nothing but respect for and will not forget. Good luck in the future and I hope for nothing but a positive result for Mrs Lay. BLAKE VONV
I believe that Commissioner Lay is the best that Victoria has ever had. PETER GUILD Job well done Ken Lay. MATT CAMERON-TIPPING It is with heartfelt sadness that we have lost a great leader of our police force, who always tried to improve the quality of our security and safety and lead the charge on various initiatives. Thank you for your service Commissioner Ken Lay. You will always be fondly remembered and our thoughts and prayers are with your wife and family as you face the journey of combating her illness together. SHARON DZODZADINOV Fare-thee-well Mr Commissioner - a wonderful, humble, unassuming man who simply got on with the job. JANINE NENE SLATER
Sincere best wishes to a gracious and esteemed leader, and thank you for your contribution to our state. HELEN CESTER A man of Honour and humility, a pride to the service and a sad loss to the force. However true to his values he has put those he cares for the most first. LUKE RAISBECK Thank you for your outstanding leadership and devotion to Victoria. Your 41 years of service speaks for itself. I wish you and your family all the very best. You are a role model for the past, present and future members of VicPol. Thank you. MOHAMMED SHABBIR ALAM Ken Lay an ‘officer and a gentleman’...best wishes to him and his beautiful wife and family. Praying for them....Sad day for us Victorians losing the best CC of police. NICOLE SCOTT
Editorial: Maria Carnovale POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
Putting Victims First Victims of crime are getting better support than ever with a number of programs aimed at helping prevent re-victimisation. Katia Peters* finally has her family back. With the help of police and support services she managed to free herself and her three teenage daughters from a paedophile who was once a close family friend. The man sexually assaulted the girls over a number of years until Ms Peters put a stop to it by contacting police and seeking an intervention order. “I had no idea what was going on until I picked up my daughter’s phone and found a number of sexually provocative messages on it,” she said. “He would come over regularly for dinner and spend a lot of time with the girls. I felt terrible because I welcomed him into our family and trusted him. It nearly tore us apart.” Ms Peters who lives in country Victoria, was referred to the Victims Assistance Program (VAP) after reporting the crime to police. She has had ongoing support from police and a VAP case manager, who provides counselling and assistance with the court process. “The police from the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team have been excellent with me and always take time to check up on me or update me on the progress of the case,” she said. The VAP is a Department of Justice and Regulation (DJR) funded network of services to help victims of violent crime. The Victoria Police Victims Advisory Unit (VAU) is working on a number of initiatives to support victims of crime and has partnered with DJR to deliver the VAP at police stations. The VAP co-location model was first trialled at Werribee Police Station in 2010 and has since been rolled out at 15 police stations across Victoria, including Melton, Mildura, Frankston and Colac.
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
It was launched at Bendigo Police Station last year in October and Benalla and Shepparton in November. There are plans to expand it to other police stations in the future. Benalla’s Inspector Dan Trimble said VAP was a crucial service for victims because it prepared and supported them in navigating the criminal justice system. “It means we can provide face-to-face contact with victims of serious and violent crimes soon after a crime occurs and support their emotional and psychological needs,” he said. One of the case managers working at Benalla Police Station, Gateway Health’s Pat Austin, said she enjoyed working closely with police to provide direct and immediate support to victims. “I work daily with a diverse range of people and crime types including victims of assault, armed robberies, homicide and aggravated burglary,” Ms Austin said. “I explain the court process and provide in-court support and assist with things like victim impact statements. “Police at Benalla have made me feel part of the team and I regularly attend meetings with them, talk about cases and share information to support their work.” DJR’s manager of Victims Services Amanda Smillie said the VAP allowed police to access a more comprehensive and flexible service for victims of crime to ensure support was in place over the entire criminal justice journey. “When a victim is supported early and is engaged as a witness, preparation for a court process is more thorough and the victim’s experience of the courts is more positive,” she said. “Police also have an opportunity to talk to the case manager about ways to provide support and the wide range of services victims can access.”
Victoria Police also launched its victim e-referral system called VPeR in October last year. It allows police to make a referral for support while submitting a crime report. It is a consent-based service that provides referral options for multiple issues including alcohol and drug misuse, victim support and at-risk youth. The VAU’s Inspector Jan Demarte said VPeR provided better support for victims and others in need of assistance. “As an organisation we decided to take full control of the referral process and build it into our crime reporting system,” she said. Insp Demarte said her unit was always looking at ways of developing referral pathways to help victims. “We have identified new referral types and are working with our stakeholders to get new agencies on board to provide support services.” *Names have been changed to protect the identity of victims.
If you are a victim of crime and need support call the DJR Victims of Crime Helpline between 8am and 11pm on 1800 819 817 or visit victimsofcrime.vic.gov.au
Editorial: Anthony Loncaric
“It means we can provide face-to-face contact with victims of serious and violent crimes soon after a crime occurs and support their emotional and psychological needs.” POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
OUT & ABOUT
P R E STO N P O L IC E STAT I O N 8:00am
Sen Sgt Peter Sambell and Sgt Jim Petsas prepare for the day ahead.
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
PRESTON POLICE ARE WORKING HARD TO PUT THE BRAKES ON RECENT CAR THEFTS, FINDING CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS 12 BEHIND THE WHEEL.
Officers work hard to engage with local residents.
Police kit-up before heading out to Northland Shopping Centre where they proactively patrol.
Some locals say they are playing out video games like Grand Theft Auto in real cars on real streets. Police Life met with police and found out they’re not messing around with community safety. Darebin Police Service Area’s (PSA) Inspector Adrian Dalzotto said theft of and from motor vehicles had risen in the area. Police have arrested children as young as 12 for stealing cars, or things inside them, and driving dangerously on local streets. But police are focusing on stopping the behaviour. “We have been working with local stakeholders and getting additional support from specialist units,” he said. “Because of the extra police numbers we have had a greater presence in the community, which is a deterrent and allows us to engage proactively with locals.” The Preston team works closely with Darebin Council, youth services and local schools to address crime issues, including young people involved in vehicle thefts. One team member, Leading Senior Constable Jo Parissis, regularly visits schools to speak to young people and a road safety program is due to start in April at a local school. “It’s a five-week pilot and we’ll be addressing the consequences of crimes, the dangers of speed and provide other road safety information,” she said. Police recently had success with a program run with the Northland Youth Centre where a group produced a road safety DVD. “The young people involved in the program were close friends with a 13-year-old who died in a collision in a stolen car,” Ldg Sen Const Parissis said. “They did it to honour their friend and educate others. Those kids have gotten to know me, they trust me and ask for help and advice quite often.”
Sen Sgt Sambell and Sgt Evans meet with staff and security at Northland.
When Police Life spoke to Ldg Sen Const Parissis, she had just returned from the Ropes Program, a court-ordered initiative where young people spend a day with police doing rope activities and talking about the impacts of crime on victims and the community.
“There have been a number of programs developed to get young people involved in the community and we regularly take part in local events.
Ldg Sen Const Parissis was awarded the Community Police Award by the Preston Rotary Club last year for her work with young people.
“Our members are trained in cultural awareness and understand the barriers between police and some parts of the community. We’re always working to break down any barriers so everyone can feel confident in their police.”
“It’s quite rewarding when you have success with the kids,” she said.
Police at Preston are also busy targeting other crimes including drug offences, burglaries and violent crime.
“They used to just look at me as the cop who arrested them, but now they trust me.”
Darebin Crime Investigation Unit’s Senior Sergeant Michael Baade has been working on and off in the area since 1987.
Preston has a population of more than 30,000 with many more people going in and out of the area every day. Preston Market and Northland Shopping Centre have thousands of shoppers through their doors every week and outdoor shopping strips also attract large numbers. Last year, the Northland Precinct Action Group was established with police and representatives from centre management, security and local council to improve safety in and around the centre. Local police are often seen patrolling the area. “We do a lot to improve safety and perceptions of safety in the community and have had excellent results over the past 12 months,” Insp Dalzotto said. “Preston is a growing area with a diverse community.
He said many offenders travelled through the Darebin PSA to get to and from the city. “A lot of criminals travel in and out of the suburbs of Preston, Northcote and Reservoir on the way to and from the city,” Sen Sgt Baade said. The Darebin CIU is one of the largest in the state with two senior sergeants, seven detective sergeants and 26 detectives on board. “At Preston Police Station we’ve also got the Darebin Crime Scene Services Unit, the Family Violence Unit and a Proactive Unit,” he said. “We’re all working together to reduce crime in the area.” It is working. “There has been a strong focus on getting extra police on the street and we have slowed down crime. We’re seeing good results,” Insp Dalzotto said.
“We have one of the largest Mosques in Victoria’s metropolitan area, and the Islamic Museum of Victoria is close-by in Thornbury. “We also have a fairly large Aboriginal community.” Insp Dalzotto said police were dedicated to maintaining good relationships with community groups.
Left Patrolling in Preston Constable Mark Hendy and Senior Constable Justin Jolley at Preston Market. Photography: David Johns
Tips to prevent theft of and from vehicles are provided to shoppers.
Police chat with a local trader at Preston Market.
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
CAREER IN FOCUS
SERGEANT TIMOTHY LAMBOURNE Sergeant Timothy Lambourne joined the job to make a difference. Inspired by his father who was a police officer, motivated by the tragic loss of his brother and determined to help people from diverse backgrounds – this is his story. St Kilda Police Station’s multicultural liaison officer Sergeant Timothy Lambourne was only 15 years old when his older brother died in a road collision. He was deeply affected by the tragedy and wanted to make a difference. At 20, he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and join Victoria Police. After graduating from the Victoria Police Academy in 1996 he worked at the Traffic Operations Group at St Kilda, Prahran and Moorabbin police stations where he spent four years persistently delivering road safety messages. “My brother’s death was extremely tough on my family,” Sgt Lambourne said. “A lot of friends I grew up with also died on the roads. “Working in traffic was highly rewarding as I felt I was contributing to reducing the road toll.” He later worked general duties for 12 years at Caulfield, Moorabbin, Frankston, St Kilda, Dandenong and Brighton police stations. His father, retired senior sergeant Gerry Lambourne, was his boss for three years at Brighton Police Station and Sgt Lambourne said it was an experience he’ll never forget. “It was fantastic working with my dad. He served for 35 years and I learned a lot from him,” he said. “His professional work ethic greatly influenced me and I will always remember the good memories we shared.”
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
Sgt Lambourne said during his time at Caulfield he developed a keen interest in helping people with multicultural backgrounds. “With so many Jewish people in Caulfield, I became really intrigued to learn more about their culture and beliefs.” When St Kilda Police Station’s multicultural liaison officer position came up four years later, he jumped at the opportunity. “I had a good grounding and understanding of what was expected of me and loved being exposed to different cultures and people,” Sgt Lambourne said. “I’m passionate about community engagement and giving a voice to everyone.” For the past two years, Sgt Lambourne has worked with multicultural communities, identifying and getting a better understanding of religious beliefs. He works closely with the Aboriginal community in St Kilda. “Aboriginal people have important cultural ties to St Kilda and many of them travel from regional areas in the summer months to visit family,” he said. “I ensure their needs are met and work with local agencies such as the Galiamble Men’s Alcohol Drug and Recovery Centre which recognises the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of Aboriginal people.” Sgt Lambourne also works with the large Jewish community. “During holy periods we might have 10,000 Jewish people walking local streets to and from their synagogue. It’s my responsibility to ensure everyone’s safety,” he said. Working with local Jewish and Aboriginal services has given Sgt Lambourne a deep appreciation of different communities, beliefs and cultures. “Jewish women who are victims of family violence are often referred to me because of my understanding of their community,” Sgt Lambourne said.
“It’s important for police to establish cultural differences like knowing Orthodox Jewish women can’t shake a man’s hand and can’t be alone in a room with a man that’s not their husband.” Over the past 12 months police have taken action in cases where some cars had driven past synagogues and abused congregants. “I recently charged a man with stalking offences because he made abusive and threatening calls to a prominent Jewish Rabbi,” he said. Sgt Lambourne has been involved in establishing various initiatives that have enhanced the safety of local multicultural and faith communities and has contributed to building a shared understanding and closer relationship with police. He has developed a training day where officers broaden their understanding of the Jewish community. “If police don’t understand cultural and religious customs it can create a bit of an issue when dealing with people,” Sgt Lambourne said. “Being culturally aware builds good relationships and enables mutual respect among both parties.” One of his biggest challenges is engaging with sectors of the community who do not wish to engage with police. “There are people who are used to looking after themselves and it’s my role to build partnerships with those people, respecting their wishes but also have a relationship with them and make them understand police are there to help,” he said.
Right Sgt Timothy Lambourne Sgt Lambourne received the Police and Community Multicultural Advisory Committee Multicultural Award at Government House last year. Editorial: Mandi Santic Photography: Andrew Henshaw
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
A CONCERTED EFFORT TO IMPROVE SAFETY ON MELBOURNE’S PUBLIC TRANSPORT NETWORK HAS ALLOWED THE TRANSIT SAFETY DIVISION TO RAMP-UP ITS EFFORTS WITH FANTASTIC RESULTS.
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
Editorial: Jane McCubbin Photography: Shane Bell
235 284 HIGHLY VISIBLE POLICE OFFICERS
TICKETING AND TRANSPORT INFRINGEMENTS
19 31 ARRESTS
Images Transit safety 01 First constables Anthony Vulling and Mark Carbone review a brief at TSD’s control centre. 02 First constables Lauren Morse and Robert Hickey discuss the outcome of a recent operation. 03 Sergeant Scott D’Rozario chose a career in policing.
It led to 19 arrests and the execution of warrants in excess of $200, 000 for outstanding fines as well as 284 ticketing and transport infringements.
The Transit Safety Division (TSD) Divisional Response Unit’s (DRU) Sergeant Scott D’Rozario has just come off a 12-hour shift after a joint operation in the south-eastern suburbs, but it doesn’t show. The operation was a success leading to the arrest of two men with a third arrest to come. “We executed three warrants for numerous graffiti jobs and a robbery,” he said. It took more than a year for the operation to reach its conclusion and involved careful planning and coordination. Sgt D’Rozario and his crew were heavily involved behind the scenes and on the frontline.
Only recently, TSD coordinated Operation Safeguard as part of a broader police strategy to target public transport trouble-spots in Dandenong and Noble Park.
He said the experience was invaluable and allowed him to manage his own operation and see plenty of action on the frontline through coordinated investigations.
These two suburbs topped the list for the most assaults against transit members in the state.
“Another sergeant and I headed up the New Years Day Warrant Day of Action. In two days we were able to execute 31 warrants,” he said.
The operation saw 235 highly visible police officers flooding the transport network in and around identified hot-spots in the south-eastern suburbs in December last year. It led to 284 ticketing and transport infringements, 19 arrests and the execution of warrants in excess of $200, 000. The local area commander for Transit South, Inspector Graham Higginbotham, said the operation was a success and no assaults against transit members were reported during the operation.
“If we’re catching them, we’re having a win,” he said.
“The feedback we got from the public was really positive and other areas are now looking to adopt the program in the next 12 months. Safeguard operations are already regularly running on the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines,” he said.
“It started off as an isolated offence and from there we linked it to a whole lot of other offences combining to create a fairly substantial investigation.”
Since the deployment of Protective Services Officers (PSOs) at train stations, TSD has been able to allocate its police resources to specialist areas in the division.
Sgt D’Rozario chose a career in policing over the army because he wanted to be an investigator. He said that although he loved the work, it was the positive interactions with the community that were a highlight.
This has allowed police to focus on reducing public transport crime by having investigative teams in the DRU, Crime Investigation Unit, Robbery Taskforce and tasking team.
He said the intricacies of the investigation, contribution of his crew and the arrests gave him the most satisfaction.
“It’s really nice when members of the public let us know they appreciate our presence,” he said. “It’s great when little kids say ‘hi’ and want to have their photo taken with you.” Sgt D’Rozario admitted not everyone feels the same way about police.
TSD does some of its best work when its specialist units collaborate and it is likely Sgt D’Rozario will continue to work alongside the tasking team in his position at the DRU. Only recently the tasking unit supported the DRU in the successful prosecution of a 34-year-old Tongala man, who is serving a two-year sentence for theft and more than $200,000 worth of criminal damage to Myki machines across Victoria. The DRU-led investigation presented many complexities with offences taking place across a range of jurisdictions. Police used security camera footage to piece together the investigation and it took six weeks of careful planning to arrest Mr Garbutt in December last year. Sgt D’Rozario said the complex nature of this investigation and the ongoing work at DRU kept him attracted to the job. “At the moment we’re doing a lot of investigative work, particularly around criminal damage. It is really demanding but also really rewarding. I think the results speak for themselves,” he said.
It also means TSD police have the chance to branch out into different fields and gain new skills so they can better serve the community. Sgt D’Rozario has enjoyed the opportunities afforded to him at TSD having spent three months with the tasking team before his appointment at DRU. POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
VICTORIA POLICE PROTECTIVE SERVICE OFFICER (PSO) 1ST CLASS JAMES VONGVIXAY CAME TO AUSTRALIA AS A LAO REFUGEE IN 1981. NO STRANGER TO ADVERSITY, PSO VONGVIXAY HAS BATTLED TO OVERCOME SERIOUS INJURY FROM A RANDOM ATTACK WHILE ON DUTY. 01
ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY It has been a long road to recovery for PSO Vongvixay, who was presented with the Victoria Police Star in December last year. The award, given to officers who are seriously injured or killed on or off-duty, was given to PSO Vongvixay after a routine patrol turned to tragedy. He was randomly attacked on the steps of Parliament House more than two years ago. PSO Vongvixay was helping a man with directions when the man suddenly hit him in the head with a hammer, fracturing his skull. The man stole PSO Vongvixay’s gun and fled to a nearby park where he killed himself. In spite of the physical and emotional scars, PSO Vongvixay says he has forgiven the man.
“The guy who hit me didn’t intend to damage me that much, he was unwell, and that’s why I have no anger against him,” he said. “I just forgive him and pray for him, it’s helped in my recovery. He was mentally unwell, it could have happened to anyone.” PSO Vongvixay suffered an acquired brain injury from the attack and spent almost a month in hospital and several months recovering at home. Despite his ordeal, PSO Vongvixay was determined to go back to work and returned to non-operational duties in April 2013. Work has presented its own challenges with injury management and specialist appointments but PSO Vongvixay said he felt well supported. “I feel happy to come back to work and see my colleagues around me, they keep me going, I’m very happy about that,” he said.
In his spare time PSO Vongvixay stays fit. “I used to do handstands. I can’t do it now because as soon as my hands touch the ground, and I put my head down, my feet refuse to move.” His present obstacles have not deterred PSO Vongvixay who does everything with a smile and hopes to one day become an operational PSO again. “I love my family and friends more than before because I almost didn’t see them. It’s a bonus for me now,” he said.
Images Star recipient 01 Assistant Commissioner Chris O’Neill presented PSO Vongvixay with the Victoria Police Star. 02 PSO Vongvixay is getting back to work. Editorial: Jane McCubbin Photography: Clay Burke
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
BADGE AND BEYOND
01 Images Badge and beyond 01 M s Nicholson as a young constable. 02 A fter a distinguished career in policing, she now enjoys travelling and studying Shakespeare.
SANDRA NICHOLSON Retired Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Sandra Nicholson is a role model for many police. She tells Police Life about her policing career and how it opened up a range of opportunities. “I was told becoming the first female district detective inspector in the western suburbs in 1996 would be a difficult job, but that didn’t stop me. It turned out to be an interesting and challenging experience where I was in charge of criminal investigations. Being part of a brilliant and supportive team allowed me to thrive and love my job even more. I worked there for four years before being promoted to detective superintendent at the Ethical Standards Department where I worked on a major project that changed how the department operated by getting more experienced investigators on board. In 2005, I became the state’s sole female assistant commissioner for Victoria Police’s largest region. Although it was highly demanding, I always strived to maintain a personal connection with colleagues. It was important for them to know I was there to listen and help solve their issues.
One of the best parts of policing for me was getting out there and speaking to the community. Some career highlights include being the first female lecturer at Detective Training School and facilitating the introduction of Justices of the Peace at police stations. The skills I’ve acquired from policing, such as great communication and negotiation skills have definitely contributed to the work I am doing now. Since retiring in 2010, I’ve kept busy as a member of five board committees including the Blue Ribbon Foundation Westgate Branch. I also chair La Trobe University’s Art and History Alumni and volunteer at The Youth Junction Inc, an organisation aiming to reduce youth offending rates in Melbourne’s west. I’m passionate about helping young people and believe if you can divert one person away from trouble, it’s worth it. I travel a lot, am currently enjoying studying Shakespeare and French and frequently go to the opera, ballet and theatre.” Women’s Police Office The Women’s Police Office dealt with inquiries involving the welfare of women and children. Female officers would often support young children at court appearances and helped women in need.
HIGHLIGHT ON NICHOLSON 1975
Appointed Constable and worked in the Russell Street, Fitzroy and Mildura Women’s Police Offices
Appointed Detective at Russell Street Criminal Investigation Branch
1977 – 1989
Worked at Doncaster, Reservoir, Preston and Russell Street police stations
Lecturer at Detective Training School. Awarded the Australian National Medal
Appointed Detective Inspector for Melton, Werribee, Sunshine, Footscray and Altona North
Appointed Detective Superintendent at Ethical Standards Department
2000 – Worked at Geelong, Altona North 2005 and Broadmeadows police stations 2004
Awarded the Australian Police Medal
Received the Most Outstanding Female Leader Award at the Australasian Women and Police Awards. Appointed Assistant Commissioner
If you are looking for a diverse, rewarding and sometimes challenging career, visit policecareer.vic.gov.au to apply.
Editorial: Mandi Santic Photography: Clay Burke
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
It is 100 years since Australia became involved in World War I. The many servicemen and women, including 138 Victorian police who served in the war, will be remembered in Anzac Centenary events in coming months. 01
POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
03 Images 100 years 01 Const Newland recently found out he is a descendant of a Victoria Police member who served in war. 02 Const Newland at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne. 03 Victoria Police Shrine Guards perform security and ceremonial duties at the Shrine.
Like hundreds of Australian soldiers who fought and were killed on Anzac Day, there are no known graves for Penrose and Webster. Like on every Anzac Day, Constable Steven Newland will be at the Frankston Dawn Service with his dad, brother and three uncles. They go to pay their respects to those who died in World War I, but this year the service has extra meaning for Const Newland. In October, he was informed by Victoria Police’s Historical Services that his great grandmother’s uncle, Sergeant Herbert Leslie Newland, was one of 138 Victoria Police officers who served in the war. Sgt Newland, who joined Victoria Police in 1912 and died in 1964, was among the troops who left Melbourne in the first convoy in late 1914. He served as a bombardier with the 1st Division Artillery. He returned to Australia on 23 October, 1918 and was reappointed into Victoria Police on 1 April, 1919. Const Newland said it was a shock and nice surprise to find out someone in his family had served with Victoria Police. “I knew there were four brothers in the family who served in the first World War but didn’t know much about them and nothing about Herbert being a police officer before and after he went to war,” he said. Const Newland, who works at Rosebud Police Station, had contemplated a career with the Australian Army before joining Victoria Police in January last year. “I had gone through the recruitment process and was only a signature away from joining the army but decided I wanted a job where I could go home to my family each night,” he said. “I always wanted to serve the community and decided policing was a better option for me. Herbert, like many others, made a huge sacrifice leaving his wife and two children at home to fight for his country.”
In the lead up to the start of the war the Chief Commissioner of the day, Alfred George Sainsbury, was fully supportive of sending police to fight. He even advocated forming a regiment of 1000 men comprising police and police pensioners to “fight to the death”. Those plans were rejected, but the government did allow police to volunteer and the first to enlist did so within days of the outbreak of the war. Not all Victoria Police members who served in the war returned. Twenty seven were killed or died during their service. Reginald Arthur Penrose, Sydney Smith and Isaac Oswald Webster were among the first Australian troops who landed on the shores of Gallipoli on 25 April, 1915, and lost their lives that same day. Like hundreds of Australian soldiers who fought and were killed on Anzac Day, there are no known graves for Penrose and Webster. Smith was laid to rest at Plugge’s Plateau in Gallipoli. A number of police officers who enlisted were recognised for showing outstanding bravery and courage during the conflict. Senior Constable Stanley James Speed was awarded the Military Medal for volunteering to put out ammunition that was on fire, during gunfire, to allow Red Cross Cars to get through and help wounded soldiers. Sergeant Robert William Stynes was also awarded the Military Medal for rescuing a wounded soldier under fire at Dernacourt, France, in April 1918.
A number of decorated soldiers joined Victoria Police after the war, including Victoria Cross recipient Constable George Mawby Ingram who went on to serve as a Shrine Guard with Victoria Police. He was awarded the medal for his part in the last Australian infantry action, the attack on Montbrehain on 5 October, 1918. His battalion had suffered heavy casualties in the advance because of strongly defended enemy positions. Const Ingram led his platoon against a strong point, capturing nine machine guns and killing 42 German soldiers. He displayed great courage on two more occasions that day and leadership in the capture of enemy posts and the taking of 62 prisoners. In April this year, the Victoria Police Museum will launch a permanent display in recognition of Const Ingram’s service. To celebrate the Anzac Centenary, the Museum will also launch an exhibition mid-year focussing on Victoria Police officers who went to war. Victoria Police also took part in an event to commemorate the 20 police who departed in the first convoy at Princes Pier, Port Melbourne last year on 19 October. Deputy Commissioner Lucinda Nolan led a march with police representing those who fought in the war.
More information on the officers who served in World War I is available at policemuseum.vic.gov.au
Editorial: Anthony Loncaric Photography: Craig Sillitoe POLICE LIFE | AUTUMN 2015
These are the 138 Victoria Police officers who left policing to join military forces to serve in World War I.* Alexander, Edward Allan, James Allen, Frank Anstee, David Rich Ballantyne, Thomas James Barnden, Albert Edwin Barnett, George William Barret, Alfred Bassett, Edwin Leslie Batt, Thomas Henry Beagley, Eric Edward Filday Bear, James William Belcher, Charles Bell, Leslie Bennett, Edward John Beyers, Henry Hector Bird, David Black, David Gordon Boyd, John Brennan, Richard Prior Brough, William Thomas Bunting, George Ernest Campbell, Roderick MacLennan Carstens, Joseph Francis Caspar, Frederick Cassidy, John Chamberlain, John Robert Chanter, James William Clapham, Henry John Clinnick, Richard James Collins, William George Considine, Joseph Coonerty, James Joseph Cornwall, Edmund McIntyre
Crisfield, Henry Francis Crole, Sydney Ronald Cross, William John Davern, Gerald James Denham, John Henry Donaldson, Arthur John Duffy, Charles Gavan Dunse, Leslie Edgerton, Arthur Ernest Elliget, Walter Francis Evans, Walter Francis Fenton, Henry Clarke Fleming, John Fletcher, John Hamlyn Ford, William Fowles, Herbert Arthur George Foyle, Arthur Herbert Fulton, William Caryl Gillespie, David Francis Gillies, Angus Alex Gorman, John Peter Green, Sydney Frank William Harold Gunn, Thomas Clinton Hall, John Leslie Harrington, Abraham Harrison, Edward Hartley, James Hellings, David Harrison Henderson, John Lynn Heron, Keith Edward Garnett Hibberd, Reginald Joshua Highland, Charles Hill, Thomas Frederick Hogben, Harrold David Hollow, William James
Hope, Richard Armstrong James, Frederick Walter Johnson, William Sutherland Jones, Oscar Anglesey Lawton, Francis James Leech, Ernest Edward Lewis, Albert Caesar MacPhie, Angus Marchbank, William Martin, James Mathieson, Angus McCasker, Frederick John McCulloch, William Joseph McDonald, Frederick Leslie McDonald, Hector Norman Ross McDowell, Athol Halliday McInnes, Stephen McMurray, Norman Miles, Thomas William Milne, Peter Adam Moncur, Percy Douglas Morley, Edwin Joseph Moss, Richard George Moulton, William Musgrave Moyle, William Ormsby Mudie, Stanley Robert Nelms, Joseph Leo Newland, Herbert Leslie Oâ€™Donnell, John Thomas Oliver, David William Oâ€™Neill, Phillip Ottaway, Sydney Charles Pape, John Pawley, Henry Pawley, William Taylor
Penna, Reuben Pierce Penrose, Reginald Arthur Potton, Walter John King Rawlinson, Thomas Ritter, Herbert Oscar Robertson, William Thomas Robinson, Albert George Russell, Albert Arthur Seton, Thomas Sharpe, Edward William Smith, Charles Hartop Smith, Sydney Smith, William Snowdon, David Leslie Speed, Standley James Stanbury, Charles Henry Stearnes, Harold Campbell Stewart, John Stynes, Robert William Taylor, Charles Alfred Thompson, Peter Trewin, Charles Lester Gordon Vincent, Leslie Moore Walker, John Archibold Watt, Thomas Owen Watts, William James Waugh, George William Weatherhead, George Arinson Webster, Isaac Oswald Williams, Samuel James Williamson, William Willman, Thomas Leslie Wilson, James Jerald Wright, Arthur * Source: They served in blue, khaki & blue by M.Grant
Anzac Day is on 25 April. To find out how you can commemorate those who served in war, visit shrine.org.au