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THE VICTORIA POLICE MAGAZINE
True detective DETECTIVE SUPERINTENDENT PATRICK BOYLE IS AN EXPERT IN UNDERSTANDING STREET GANG CULTURE AND INVESTIGATING VICTORIA’S MOST SERIOUS CRIMES.
PLUS KEEPING VICTORIA’S EVENTS SAFE > A DAY IN THE LIFE OF POLICE INSTRUCTORS STOPPING ORGANISED VEHICLE THEFT > OUT AND ABOUT WITH HASTINGS POLICE AND MORE
Spring events Police work behind the scenes of Victoria’s major events to ensure they are safe.
Training police Instructors at the Victoria Police Academy impart their skills and experience on police.
COVER: Detective Superintendent Patrick Boyle is in charge of Victoria Police’s Finance and Cybercrime Division. Photography: Shane Bell Police Life is produced by the Media & Corporate Communications Department, Victoria Police, GPO Box 913, Melbourne, 3001, Fax: 9247 5982 Online police.vic.gov.au/policelife facebook.com/victoriapolice twitter.com/victoriapolice Email email@example.com
Out and about Hastings police are proud to serve their community.
Preventing crime A police officer in Knox has introduced methods to prevent crime.
Managing Editor Julie Carter Editor Maria Carnovale Journalists Jane McCubbin 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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Behind the Badge True Crime Our History
A young constable has been supported in the aftermath of her father’s death.
A MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF COMMISSIONER Victoria Police is much more than a law enforcement body. As the articles in this edition demonstrate, our relationships with the communities we serve are a valuable part of our identity. In my first two months as Chief Commissioner I’ve had the privilege of hearing about some of the great work happening across the state, from diversion pilots and crime prevention initiatives, to our ongoing work in community engagement. I also had the privilege of launching the Future Directions of Victim-Centric Policing, which provides a new focus in the way we approach victims of crime. Prevention has always been a core part of our role but we’ve evolved our practices over time to work with the community and involve all Victorians in making our state a safer place.
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
It’s pleasing to see so many initiatives focusing on victim outcomes and preventing harm before it occurs. All these great examples have one thing in common – they bring us together with the community. We know we can achieve great things when we work together, and I encourage you to read about the many activities in this edition of Police Life that highlight the strength of our relationships.
Graham Ashton AM Chief Commissioner
MAKING NEWS For the latest police news visit vicpolicenews.com.au
POLICE SACRIFICE REMEMBERED A special ceremony was held in honour of police who served in World War I at the Victoria Police Anzac Centenary Commemoration Service in August. The commemoration marked the anniversary of a significant conflict, the Battle of Lone Pine, in August 1915 and paid tribute to the 138 police who enlisted in the war. Police and descendants of police who had served were invited to the event at the Victoria Police Academy in Glen Waverley, which included the unveiling of a dedicated memorial and a tribute to the 27 officers who lost their lives. The memorial was carved from the wood of the Lone Pine tree that once grew at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance, with the seed coming from the original Lone Pine at Gallipoli. Victoria Police’s Reverend Dr John Broughton said thousands of police had worked for the organisation throughout its history and each had contributed to the standards, traditions and values it holds.
“One outstanding contribution came from our officers who left policing to serve and fight for their country,” he said. “The Anzac service was an acknowledgement of those selfless acts and reinforced the organisation’s proud tradition of serving the community. “It was also an opportunity to remember the families who were left behind as they were and are the backbone of our organisation.” After the war many returned servicemen joined the ranks of Victoria Police, to continue serving their community at home. Rosebud Police Station’s Constable Steven Newland’s ancestor Herbert Leslie Newland left Victoria Police to enlist in the army during WWI and returned to the organisation at the end of the war. “It gave me a great sense of pride to learn about Herbert’s story and gain greater understanding of who he was and what he did,” Const Newland said.
“I hold a high amount of respect for our Anzacs and military members current and past, knowing what I know about the 138 police who served here and overseas shows the types of characters they were.” The Anzac Memorial will remain on display at the Academy Chapel along with a plaque and honour roll acknowledging the 138 Victorian police who served and 27 who died during the war. To learn more about the contribution of police during WWI visit the Above and Beyond exhibition at the Victoria Police Museum or visit policemuseum.vic.gov.au
Image Centenary Service 01 V ictoria Police officers and Shrine Guards
observe a minute of silence. Editorial & Photography: Jane McCubbin
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
SMALL TALK VOXPOP
QUIZ A COP
What advice would you give to someone who is experiencing family violence? CONSTABLE ABBY HARRISSON St Kilda Police Station
If I find $50 on the ground, do I have to take it to a police station? A person can be charged with theft if they find or accidentally come across something belonging to another, then keeps it or deals with it as if they are the owner. Items you find should always be taken to a police station. If the item isn’t claimed within three-months, you can then take ownership.
“Don’t be afraid to speak out and seek assistance from police and other support agencies. Consider using the courts to help minimise future risk. Have confidence that Victoria Police will take all family violence matters seriously.” CONSTABLE SALLY WALSHE South Melbourne Police Station
LEADING SENIOR CONSTABLE SHANE BYRNE Rosebud Police Station
Submit your Quiz a Cop law enforcement questions via the online form at bit.ly/vpquizacop on the internet.
“It’s important for anyone experiencing family violence to know they are not alone and that life will get better. With support services and careful planning, victims of family violence can get the support they need and live a life free of family violence.” SENIOR CONSTABLE SCOTT WEST Mornington Peninsula Family Violence Unit
“Speak to somebody. From a policing point of view we would like people to speak to us so we can help. Either way, we want them to say something and not let it go unnoticed.”
@RedVespa Thanks @VictoriaPolice for doing point duty in the rain this morning on vic pde! Doing a much better job than the traffic lights ever did!
BE PART OF THE STORY
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
@heraldsunphoto #SuperCute pic @VictoriaPolice officer looking after child during his mothers #rescue http://bit.ly/1gN3H94 #vicpol (see the photo on page 6) @redcrossbloodau @VictoriaPolice It’s great to see so many of you rolling up your sleeves to save so many lives! We can’t #thankyou enough. #bloodsaves
A wonderful policeman helped me a couple of weekends ago when my car was hit by a kangaroo in the middle of the night leaving me stranded in rural Victoria. He was so calm, kind and helpful and he made an awful situation that much more bearable so thanks to him and all his colleagues. DEBBIE WILKINSON
Join the Conversation 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
Answers are published weekly on Victoria Police’s Facebook page.
I must say I respect the police, yesterday one helped me put new registration plates on my car as the others were stolen, he did not have to put them on for me and all I say is thank you very much.
DID YOU KNOW?
Victoria Police was one of the first and possibly only police forces in the world to have its own private hospital.
I have the highest respect for the police. It’s a tough tough job and they do it well. MICHAEL DODSON
BEHIND THE BADGE
JOSEPH LOGAN Rank: Leading Senior Constable Age: 67 Graduated: 2000 Station: South Melbourne Why did you decide to become a police officer? Growing up I wanted to be a police officer. Back then you had to meet a certain height requirement and because I was a bit short I didn’t apply. I worked as a bank manager for a while and, after I had my family and the kids grew up, I decided to make my childhood dream come true and became a police officer at 52. Having two siblings in the force, one who is still serving, also inspired me to join.
What is the most challenging aspect of your role? Family violence and the use of drugs, especially ice, is a challenging issue as it’s impacting so many families. Dealing with difficult offenders is a challenge. I’ve dealt with an offender who kept harassing his ex-wife. He was put in jail for a period of time and was later released. We did the best we could to help the victim and her children and still keep an eye on her today. I really feel for them as it’s such a hard thing to go through. What was a notable investigation you worked on? I’ll never forget one case involving a young man getting king-hit on the back of the head in an unprovoked assault. While he was knocked unconscious, the offenders threw billiard balls at his head. He was rushed to hospital and could’ve died. It was absolutely terrible. We ended up charging two offenders and one got a conviction.
You have been working on the divisional van for 15 years. What do you enjoy about it? I like interacting with community members and dealing with families. I enjoy helping people, including those overcoming trauma. If I can positively influence someone to do the right thing, I know my job is all worth it. I also find a lot of satisfaction in mentoring and guiding new officers on the job. Editorial: Mandi Santic Photography: Andrew Henshaw POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
IN BRIEF PROACTIVE POLICING STORIES
CONSTABLE SHOWS THE HUMAN SIDE OF POLICING A photo of a police officer and toddler at the scene of an emergency rescue in Upper Ferntree Gully went viral in July. Knox Police Station’s First Constable Ben Timpson was captured sitting on the ground playing with two-year-old Flint Strange, while emergency crews worked to free his pregnant mother trapped under a car in the family driveway. The pair became fast friends when Const Timpson started playing with the toddler to distract him. Const Timpson said he tried to comfort Flint, who seemed a little distressed because he didn’t know where his mother was. “I was pointing to the fire trucks and ambulance but he wasn’t interested, all he wanted to do was play with his toys and eat his biscuits so I just stayed with him and made sure he was OK,” he said. Flint’s mother was taken to hospital via air ambulance and is recovering from her injuries, while his baby brother appears to be unharmed. Photo courtesy of Herald Sun
FIRST GREEK POLICE WOMAN RETIRES The Subpoena Management Unit’s Sergeant Cally Kwas has retired after 34 years of service. As Victoria Police’s first police woman of Greek heritage, Sgt Kwas played a pivotal role in building bridges between police and the Greek community. She recalled numerous occasions where Greek community members knocked on her door asking for help. “Due to the language barrier, so many Greeks came to me and asked for assistance,” Sgt Kwas said. “I spent a lot of time listening to people’s problems without them fearing I would air their ‘dirty laundry’ within the Greek community and was often called to settle industrial strikes where a large Greek workforce was involved.” Image Sgt Kwas early in her career
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
ISAAC’S WISH GRANTED Police helped make a young boy’s wish come true by taking part in a Make-A-Wish Australia visit. Five-year-old Isaac, diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, said when he grows up he wants to be a rock star, police officer or dog trainer. He was surprised by special visitors including the Dog Squad’s Leading Senior Constable Nathan Vipond who brought along a German Shepherd police puppy-in-training, as well as a Labrador puppy sniffer dog. Ldg Sen Const Vipond taught Isaac a few dog training tricks, before he was presented with his wish – a little Chihuahua puppy. Photo courtesy of Make-A-Wish Australia, Big Tree Photography
SWAN HILL COMMUNITY HONOURS POLICE
POLICE TEAM UP TO TACKLE CRIME
A group of Swan Hill community members created an honour board recognising Victoria Police officers who have died in the line of duty for their local National Police Remembrance Day service.
Victoria Police and Australian Federal Police (AFP) specialists officially joined forces to form the Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Team (JACET).
The Knit and Knatters group knitted blue and white forget-me-not flowers - one for each officer who has died and sewed them onto the banner, which includes the names and stories of how the officers died.
The team investigates the download of child exploitation material from websites, file sharing on peer-to-peer networks, video streaming sites, computer enabled grooming and contact offending.
Swan Hill Highway Patrol Unit’s Sergeant Les McPhee said it was a wonderful contribution.
Detective Senior Sergeant Pixie Fuhrmeister said JACET’s formation would assist with tasking and coordination, resource sharing, intelligence gathering and training.
“It’s a real community project and a great way to honour the memory of police killed in the line of duty.” National Police Remembrance Day is on Tuesday, 29 September. See the back page of Police Life for information about the Melbourne service, or visit police.vic.gov.au for regional services.
JACET will build on current efforts to investigate online child exploitation.
“It’s pretty much doubled our capacity and effectiveness,” she said. “We have been working hand-in-hand with the AFP for years and JACET was a natural progression. “Online investigations have a lot of cross-border, cross-national investigations and the AFP’s cooperation is invaluable.”
ODD SPOT CORNER Commenting crook
Prickly time with new friend
When the photo of a wanted man was put up on Victoria Police’s Facebook page, it got a surprising response from the man himself.
Two Mildura police made a spiky new friend, Kevin the echidna, while on nightshift in June.
He commented on his photo, saying “Can you use a better photo tho. This is a horrible mugshot.”
The echidna was seeking refuge under a rubbish bin from young people who had been poking at it.
Victoria Police responded with “Hi Daniel, please visit your nearest police station and we’ll arrange for a new photo to be taken!”
Officers placed Kevin in a cloth bag in the divisional van as they travelled to the vet.
The man was taken into custody only days later.
The officers unsuccessfully tried to get Kevin out and sought help from Mildura Holden staff, who partially removed the car seat to set him free. Kevin made it to the vet and is doing prickly-well.
The situation turned prickly when he escaped from the bag and took sanctuary under the passenger seat. POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
Spring is the busiest time on Victoria’s events calendar and Victoria Police’s State Event Planning Unit (SEPU) is behind the scenes making them safe for all to enjoy. A roaring crowd of almost 100,000 soccer fans lit up the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the International Champions Cup Australia (ICCA) final between Real Madrid and Manchester City in July. Fortunately the crowd was generally wellbehaved and only five people were evicted, four for alcohol-related offences and one pitch invasion. The SEPU worked behind the scenes to ensure those attending could enjoy it safely. As part of the State Emergencies and Security Command’s Division, the unit of 26 officers plan and liaise for events and major police operations across Victoria.
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
They coordinate the police response to international and domestic events such as the Grand Prix, Australian Open Tennis, Spring Racing Carnival, Avalon Air Show, AFL, soccer and cricket matches. The SEPU also work on major demonstrations and conferences including the Reclaim and Occupy Melbourne protests, G20 World Economic Forum and interstate and international deployments to areas affected by floods, bushfires and earthquakes.
“We have to organise well in advance and liaise with many key stakeholders and private security to make sure an event is run efficiently. “We check logistics, police numbers, security details, traffic management and work out if there is a need for other police units such as the Public Order Response Team.” He said an integral aspect of the planning involved conducting risk assessments and analysing previous post-event debrief reports.
Police carefully organise crucial details so events are well-run and ordered.
“The safety of the community and police takes precedence. Learning from past events is very important,” Insp Bowd said.
This includes making risk and threat assessments, attending frequent meetings and committees, and coordinating appropriate numbers of police at events.
“A strong relationship with venue management, promoters, security and other stakeholders is essential.”
SEPU officer in charge Inspector Greg Bowd said event planning could be quite complex. “Some events, especially the international ones, like the Cricket World Cup and Football Confederation’s Asian Cup took two years to plan,” he said.
Insp Bowd said police worked with diverse stakeholders for the ICCA. “We attended numerous meetings and collectively made decisions about security of the teams and the venue itself and worked closely with event promoters and officials from the MCG and AAMI Park Stadium.”
“Some events, especially the international ones, like the Cricket World Cup and Football Confederation’s Asian Cup took two years to plan.” SEPU’s Senior Sergeant Helmut Pimperl said police were briefed before every event.
“We urge event goers to continue giving us helpful tips and information.”
“The SEPU officer works closely with the police commander to oversee and identify any problems in areas of a venue, or after-match activities and deploy extra police if needed,” he said.
The SEPU is also responsible for planning and coordinating state funerals and dignitary visits.
“While most crowds behave in a good manner, we sometimes have to deal with alcohol-fuelled and violent spectators. “Most venues have a good and effective system where spectators can report antisocial behaviour. Police then step in and deal with the unruly event goer, which can include arresting someone or issuing penalty and banning notices.
“We negotiate a lot with international representatives, who meet with us prior to a dignitary’s visit. Then, with our key stakeholders we coordinate the visits,” Insp Bowd said.
Looking ahead, it will be business as usual for the SEPU as they continue to have a police presence at events. “At the end of the day, we want the event to have concluded in a safe, secure manner with minimal incidents and for everyone to go home safely.”
One of the most intense events the SEPU has been involved in was during the 2012 Grocon and Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union industrial dispute. “Operation Inverlay involved about 1070 police being deployed for one day during the ongoing demonstration,” Insp Bowd said.
Images Police at the Real Madrid training session. Editorial: Mandi Santic Photography: Andrew Henshaw POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
CAREER IN FOCUS
DETECTIVE SUPERINTENDENT PATRICK BOYLE Detective Superintendent Patrick Boyle knew early in his career he wanted to be a detective. “I was always attracted to the whole investigation process – from discovering why it happened to who did it,” he said. “I’m very fortunate to have worked alongside many admirable officers who share the same devotion to policing as I do.” Close to 40 years into his policing career, he manages investigations into some of Victoria’s most complex crimes relating to fraud and extortion, criminal proceeds and e-crime in the Crime Command’s Finance and Cybercrime Division. “We’ve had some great successes, being the first in the world to seize 24,518 bitcoins worth $9.2 million and imprisoned some dodgy accountants and lawyers for fraudrelated crimes,” Det Supt Boyle said. His dedication to finding answers and solving crime has influenced the way Victoria Police operates and Det Supt Boyle has been involved in setting up squads and taskforces, and examining how police investigate crime. Det Supt Boyle was first exposed to crime squads during the investigation of the Turkish Embassy bombing in 1986.
“It was one of Victoria Police’s first incidents dealing with terrorists. It definitely broadened my knowledge and interest,” he said.
“I want to understand more about the evolving street gang phenomena and speak to recognised authorities in this field.”
Throughout his career, Det Supt Boyle has worked as a detective at various police stations, nine crime squads and transit. He also had management roles at the Ethical Standards Department and in the Boroondara police service area.
Det Supt Boyle is also overseeing major taskforces looking into trade corruption and investigating the July riot at Melbourne’s Remand Centre.
While leading the former Asian Squad in 2002, he was introduced to what would become one of his biggest passions – understanding street gangs.
He is also a board and life member of the Blue Ribbon Foundation, which perpetuates the memory of Victoria Police officers killed in the line of duty.
In 2004, Det Supt Boyle was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship where he undertook a research project about street gang identification and travelled to the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Canada. He was later commended for his work and began lecturing about street gangs. In May, Det Supt Boyle completed a Master of Education thesis What is a Street Gang? A Victorian Case Study. The research is the first of its kind and focuses on Victoria Police officers’ understanding of street gang culture. After spending four years on the report, Det Supt Boyle said he wanted to expand on his research.
Right Career detective Det Supt Boyle was awarded the Australian Police Medal in 2003.
If you are looking for a diverse, rewarding and sometimes challenging career, visit policecareer.vic.gov.au to apply.
Editorial: Mandi Santic Photography: Shane Bell 10
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
SPECIALIST CENTRES SUPPORT VICTIMS Purpose-built centres are providing sexual assault victims with a more supportive and efficient process from the time of reporting to the closure of their case. Hayley* stands quietly in a queue at her local police station. As she waits she looks at the police officer behind the counter and rehearses what she is going to say. When she reaches the front of the line, Hayley whispers her request and asks to talk to someone about a sex assault she has experienced. It is the first time Hayley has ever told anyone and the first time she has heard the words coming out of her own mouth and she’s worried about how her attacker will react. This is a situation faced at many police stations across the state but what happens next has drastically changed in some areas with the establishment of four Multidiscipline Centres (MDC) in Victoria.
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
MDCs are specially-designed to cater to the needs of victims and survivors of sexual offences and child abuse. The principal centre in Dandenong has been open for 12 months and houses Dandenong’s Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT), Child Protection and specialist counsellors. It also contains two purpose-built forensic medical suites and a forensic medical officer. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the Dandenong centre has victim sensitivity in mind. All those who enter are greeted with the word welcome colourfully displayed in 20 languages and the warmly-lit reception area is furnished with couches, handmade blankets and children’s toys. Dandenong SOCIT’s Detective Sergeant Jo McDonald said the centres were exclusively for victims and encouraged reporting. “In the past a victim had to go to a police station where the offender was also taken. It’s already confronting to come forward for these types of offences and this created an additional barrier,” she said.
At Dandenong’s MDC victims have access to police, the Department of Human Services’ Sexual Abuse Intervention Team (DHS SAIT), South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (SE CASA) counsellors, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine doctors and nurses all working together. The services are open to victims of sexual assault, regardless of their age, including children who have been sexually and physically abused. Det Sgt McDonald said victims were no longer required to travel from one location to another or forced to schedule multiple appointments, which simplified the process and increased the likelihood of victims following through with complaints. “The interagency communication is fantastic. Say we get a report that a father is sexually abusing his child, we speak to staff at DHS, share our intelligence and plan a suitable response,” she said. “If we need to bring the child back to the centre SE CASA staff are immediately available for crisis counselling and there are medical facilities if needed. “All of these options are available. It’s a way to encourage people who have never said anything about these crimes to report to us.”
MDCs were created following a Victoria Law Reform Commission (VLRC) justice system review into sexual offences in 2004, which made 201 recommendations on how agencies could be more responsive to complaints and encourage people to report to police and see the case through to trial. SOCITs were also born out of VLRC recommendations with police practices streamlined into specialist detective teams investigating sexual offences and child abuse.
Dandenong’s MDC is the busiest centre in the state with the SOCIT managing about 1700 investigations last year. In one of Melbourne’s growth corridors, the area was chosen to be the principal MDC offering additional services including a cyber specialist area and video conference capabilities. All of these features are designed to improve the services available to victims and encourage reporting.
These practices ensured victims had continuity, helped them build trust with police and removed the burden of having to constantly retell their story.
Det Sgt McDonald said for her it was about making a difference in the lives of some of society’s most vulnerable people.
Det Sgt McDonald said MDCs offered victims a central point and SOCITs gave victims one person to call if they needed to discuss their case. “What I’ve found is victims have a higher vested interest and feel like they are believed,” she said.
“When I have someone coming to see me, especially children, I can see they’ve got something to tell me and then they tell me this horrific story. They walk out feeling better, it’s that burden shared,” she said.
“For them a concern is, ‘will anyone believe me, am I alone in this?’ Having that constant person throughout the process makes them want to see it through to the end just as much as police do.”
“I can’t change what has happened to them, I can’t undo anything but I can change what continues to happen to them. I can get them out of situations, I can make a difference in their lives.”
SOCITs are also based at MDCs in Geelong, Mildura and Seaford with plans to move local SOCITs to new centres opening in Bendigo and Morwell in coming months.
*Name has been changed
TO REPORT A SEXUAL ASSAULT OR CHILD ABUSE CALL YOUR LOCAL POLICE STATION.
F or information on support services visit police.vic.gov.au and click the Advice tab on the left side of the page.
Images Dandenong MDC 01 The team in Dandenong includes police, DHS and Monash Health staff. 02 A children’s playroom in the centre. 03 Victoria Police’s Det Sgt McDonald and Det Sen Const Luke Shore. Editorial: Jane McCubbin Photography: David Johns POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF
The Victoria Police Academy is home to some of the most respected and knowledgeable police in the job. Police Life spent a day with police training instructors. Sergeant John Scicluna is well-known across Victoria Police. Twenty years of teaching recruits and experienced police means he is one of the first police new recruits get to know and the most memorable with his energetic nature, enthusiasm, and a distinctive moustache to add to the mix. Hundreds of police recruits train at the Victoria Police Academy in Glen Waverley every year. There are also hundreds more veteran police officers who complete inservice training every year. All of them are put through the rigorous police curriculum. At the head of the classrooms and in the lifelike training scenario village, the instructors have the task of making sure all police who undertake their training perform to the highest possible standard. They also keep abreast of changes in society and adapt training to keep police prepared. Earlier this year, the training curriculum was adapted to include methods for resolving active shooter incidents. The training starts in the classroom with a short video reflecting on the Columbine massacre in the United States, where 13 people were killed and more than 20 injured. The two offenders committed suicide before police could reach them. 14
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
While incidents like this are thankfully few and far between in Victoria, police are gaining skills to prepare them for a similar incident. Police Life watched as a group of police from young constables, protective services officers and long-serving police from stations across the state completed their third day of training - a scenario assessment. Inspector David De Francesco, who developed the active shooter element of the training, said putting police through lifelike scenario training was critical. “The training is in a real environment on the final day. Even though they know it is training, they go into work mode and put their learning into practice,” he said. Teams of two moved around the scenario village quickly as the sound of gunshots swirled around them. A man with a gun is on the loose, had already shot one person and is threatening to shoot others. The police weave their way down the village street, past the bank and through the service station, where the shots are coming from. A young woman playing the role of a victim jumps out in front of them, “I’ve been shot”, she screams. Police head in the direction she was pointing, followed by Sgt Scicluna and a safety officer who are monitoring their movements as they make their way around the scene. “Hurry up, he’s got a gun!” they shout at the police in training, “people are dying!”. Less than a minute after police entered the scene, the shooter, actually another police officer playing the part, was cornered.
At the end of the dramatic scene when all was quiet once again Sgt Scicluna approached the two officers. “Remember what we’ve been telling you for the last couple of days. Work together,” he reminds them. The two police are sent back to start the scenario again, so the techniques are embedded in their memory and are able to be recalled at critical times. “We give them a briefing. Tell them how they performed, what they could do better,” Sgt Scicluna said. “It’s all about getting them ready for anything. They use the skills they learn here on the job.” Leading Senior Constable Michelle Elsum has also been on both sides of the training. She went through the Academy as a police recruit 15 years ago and has returned recently to take on the role of an instructor. Today she is running her recruit squad of 22 police through the training program, before taking them for firearms training. “I wanted to be a teacher years ago and now I have been afforded that opportunity, while still doing the job I enjoy,” she said.
Images In training 01 Cranbourne's Sen Const Royce Dayton and Const Amelia Vanhoof take part in training. 02 Sgt Scicluna gives a safety briefing before scenario training. Editorial: Maria Carnovale Photography: Shane Bell
Ldg Sen Const Elsum starts by giving an overview of what the recruit squad can expect during the three-day course.
Police have the shooter cornered in a shop.
Two police move through the village as part of their assessment, using techniques they have learnt over the past two days.
Sgt Scicluna briefs two police who have gone through their scenario.
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
With a growing domestic and international demand for vehicle spare parts and scrap metal, Vehicle Crime Squad (VCS) detectives focus on reducing and preventing profit-motivated vehicle theft. The Victoria Police State Anti-Gangs Division’s VCS investigates organised crime-related vehicle thefts, including re-birthing, a criminal activity where a vehicle is given a new identity and re-sold. Officer in charge Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Ward said the squad, including 10 detectives and one intelligence research officer, was identifying organised crime offenders. “Crime syndicates are getting car thieves to steal luxury cars for them, strip down the car into parts, put them in containers and ship them overseas,” he said. “Some offenders have also been winding back speedometers so they can sell a vehicle at a higher price.” Last year motor vehicle thefts increased by 11.5 per cent in Victoria compared to 2013. To prevent thefts VCS detectives work with the automotive industry including vehicle manufacturers, scrap metal dealers, insurance companies and the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.
Det Sen Sgt Ward said it was imperative to work closely with stakeholders. “We oversee general crime trends in the state, liaising with many different organisations and conduct compliance checks to ensure the scrap metal industry follows rules and regulations,” he said. “While most are legitimate business owners, we have come across some who were breaking the law for financial gain and located parts from stolen vehicles.” Between September 2013 and June 2014, the inter-agency Taskforce Discover, led by the VCS, was set up to examine how the motor wrecking and scrap metal industries may assist profit-motivated crime. The taskforce audited 432 motor wreckers and scrap metal dealers statewide.
Detectives found the offender was not a legitimate business owner and didn’t hold the required licence and registrations. In April last year, police visited the unregistered business address and found two stolen cars on the property. They later executed warrants on the offender’s home address. A substantial amount of property was seized, including a number of on-board diagnostic readers, blank keys, vehicle log books and personal documents. A variety of stolen car parts were also seized, including a number of bull bars. The investigation located invoices from several locksmiths, which gave detectives the details of all keys cut for the offender. Over two years they had cut 106 car keys with special codes that were used to steal the cars.
It discovered stolen vehicle parts were being shipped overseas and uncovered substantial breaches of relevant regulations, including businesses not having required licences and serious work safety and environmental hazards.
The offender was charged and sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment with a minimum of 14 months.
But it was Operation Neoplastic that produced outstanding results.
“We’re finding out organised crime is occurring across the state. Our relationship with police in regions is important as they help us identify the culprits and we can target them,” he said.
The operation centred on a business in Melbourne’s north and identified 71 stolen vehicles after the business owner exported 11 containers of vehicle parts and accessories to countries in the Middle East with a value of about $400,000.
Det Sen Sgt Ward said police were continuing to produce results.
“The squad has played a pivotal role in cleaning up the motor wrecker and scrap metal industries.”
Images Vehicle crime Police from the VCS inspect cars in search of stolen parts. Editorial: Mandi Santic Photography: Andrew Henshaw 16
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
PREVENT YOUR VEHICLE FROM BEING STOLEN WITH THESE TIPS • Install an anti-theft device such as an immobiliser or visible locking device • If parking your vehicle on the street find a well-lit area • Do not leave valuables in the vehicle • Do not leave your keys in the ignition or hide spare keys anywhere in the vehicle • Do not leave paperwork in the vehicle that can identify where you live, as a thief could work out that you’re not home. Personal information could also be used to steal your identity.
Taskforce Discover was awarded the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators President’s Award in March.
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
OUT & ABOUT
H AST I N G S P O L IC E STAT I O N
A/Sgt Walters and A/Sen Sgt Michie on beach patrol.
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
Hastings Police Aboriginal Liaison Officer A/Sgt Walters introduces himself to Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association representatives.
Insp Nyholm prepares for the day ahead.
Nestled on Western Port, the town of Hastings and its surrounds is a place to enjoy fishing, boating and winery tours. From a policing perspective this quiet and idyllic area has presented its challenges and led to stronger community engagement. Tragedy has struck at the heart of the Hastings region in the past few years with the murder of jeweller Dermot O’Toole in a botched armed robbery and the death of 11-year-old Luke Batty, killed by his father in front of horrified onlookers at a children’s cricket clinic at Tyabb the following year. Both incidents fell within the Hastings police response zone. Southern Metro Division 4’s local area commander Inspector Karen Nyholm reflected on the impact these incidents had on the community. “No doubt the impact hit police and the community very hard,” she said. “The magnitude of the Luke Batty incident was very personal and had a profound effect on the local community and Australia more broadly, but this is the core of where it happened. “It’s our school children who went to school with Luke, it’s the neighbours who knew him and still know his mother, it’s that impact and the ripple effect. The pebble dropped here.” Confronted with such adversity and through the course of its 129-year history, it has never been clearer to Hastings police that the key to it all lays with community. Insp Nyholm said police were looking for excellence in policing in prevention, response and investigation and piloted a Frontline Practice Initiative, which promotes examples where police have demonstrated these qualities.
“If we get it right with the victim, it’s better for them, their family and friends and helps police build trust with the community,” she said. Insp Nyholm said there was no end to the positive initiatives coming out of Hastings, one of which is the rotation of all uniform police through its Family Violence Unit. Acting Senior Sergeant Glenn Michie said the station wanted to emphasise family violence was not just about responding to call-outs but making sure people’s welfare was taken care of, referrals issued and follow-up calls made. “The initial family violence response is 10 per cent of what we do and the remaining 90 per cent is follow-up. It’s important for police to understand all aspects of the issue so we can better serve the community.” For A/Sen Sgt Glenn Michie community engagement is about being available and taking time to talk with locals. He recently connected with residents of a housing development that caters to the elderly, intellectually and physically disabled, and low income earners. “I love talking to people and introduced myself to the residents,” he said. “All they want is to live a happy life but if something bad happens I want to know how we can help in a way that is safe for police and residents.” Other local police partnerships include the Senior Citizens Register, run by a not-for-profit group that checks on the welfare of the elderly, Operation Monkey Bike, tackling dangerous off-road riding, and Hastings Blue Light Disco, promoting youth engagement. Hastings police have also arranged a series of conferences to strengthen partnerships with emergency management stakeholders.
These partnerships are important as the Hastings response zone stretches from Baxter to Shoreham and includes HMAS Cerberus and French Island, which is only accessible by air and sea. A/Sen Sgt Michie said it was helpful for police to understand how different agencies like the Coast Guard, State Emergency Services and Parks Victoria worked. “If we know about their business, we are more aware of the different tools available.” Earlier this year a large bushfire almost reached the back doors of homes in the centre of town and three days later a freak electrical storm hit Somerville. Hastings Police Station’s Acting Sergeant Scott Walters recalled the Somerville storm. He tried to clear the road and helped stranded people when a local hall lost its roof. “Two trees missed the car on the way and then I had to stop because there were three or four trees across the main street,” he said. “There were power lines hanging down and I started waving for everyone to stop, cars were piled all over the street, while the hail and lighting cracked all around.” Cooperation between community partners, emergency management services and units based at the station, including the Highway Patrol and Crime Investigation Unit, help Hastings police keep their community safe. Insp Nyholm said Hastings was a beautiful community. “A lot of police make that connection because they are from here or their parents are and they want to make a difference in the area,” she said. Left Beach patrol Police stop at Hastings Jetty, a popular fishing and boating destination. Editorial: Jane McCubbin Photography: Shane Bell
A/Sen Sgt Michie meets with local Hastings residents.
The Hastings Club are given a flyer about the Rosebud Crime Investigation Unit’s armed robbery awareness forum.
A/Sen Sgt Michie crosses High Street in Hastings with eight-year-old Khaleb Walker.
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
Police used special powers to get the truth about a cold-blooded murder and armed robbery that brought down a calculated crew. As Hugo Rich and Leonard Ryan walked into the Blackburn North Shopping Centre on 8 March, 2005, they slipped on their gloves, balaclavas and fluorescent tops. They had just received a call from their lookout telling them the armoured van they were robbing had arrived and the guards were on their way to the Commonwealth Bank inside the centre. As they had done almost every week for the past two years, two Chubb security guards left their armoured truck and walked into the shopping centre. One of the guards, 58-yearold Erwin Kastenberger, was carrying a bag with $162,000. Rich and Ryan confronted the two guards inside the centre’s doors and told them to get on the floor and hand over the money. The guards complied, but as Mr Kastenberger knelt on the ground, Rich hit and fatally shot him before fleeing in the waiting getaway car. Victoria Police Detective Training School’s Detective Sergeant Steve Trewavas, who worked at the Homicide Squad at the time, went to the crime scene along with Armed Robbery Squad investigators. “It was lunchtime and the shooting occurred near the food court where a large number of people were eating and witnessed the events,” he said.
“There were more than 400 witnesses to the crime, including children, some who saw the shooting.” Police immediately suspected a group of men who had worked together on armed robberies in the past, including Rich, whose history was described by one judge as ‘appalling’, having spent 22 years in jail. Rich had been convicted of and served time for armed robbery twice before and also committed a number of vehicle and property offences. While serving his sentence for an armed robbery, Rich met his accomplice, Ryan, in prison and was introduced to Sean Hogan, who acted as the lookout and driver for the robbery. Ryan had a history of involvement in wellplanned armed robberies and worked with a crew of criminals who each had a part to play in the robberies they committed. The murder of Mr Kastenberger at Blackburn North eventually led to this group’s demise. They had carefully planned the armed robbery, renting getaway cars and using phones purchased with false names, but police were hot on their trail. When questioned, Ryan claimed he was sightseeing in Ballarat with another member of his crew, Mark Dickson. Further investigation revealed Dickson had taken Ryan’s phone to Ballarat so he could provide him with an alibi, but was only seen alone on the day.
Rich had a strong alibi. He claimed he met with a lawyer on the day of the robbery, and had a signed witness statement from the lawyer, but police weren’t convinced. Police successfully applied to the Supreme Court for a coercive powers order under the Major Crime (Investigative Powers) Act 2004. These orders can only be granted in offences involving organised crime and give police access to the Office of the Chief Examiner’s (OCE) coercive powers. The lawyer was summonsed to a confidential examination, where he was required to answer questions under oath before the Chief Examiner at the time, Damien Maguire, and the alibi began to unravel. “This was the first examination the OCE had ever done and it proved beneficial in getting evidence against Rich,” Det Sgt Trewavas said. Rich was charged with Mr Kastenberger’s murder and armed robbery and was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 30 years. Almost two weeks after the robbery in Blackburn North, Ryan and his group were at it again. Hogan and another crew member were arrested at Dandenong Plaza in a stolen vehicle with balaclavas and loaded firearms, intending to rob another armoured van. Ryan later handed himself in to police. “For almost five years after we locked up this group, there weren’t any more armed robberies on armoured vans in Victoria,” Det Sgt Trewavas said.
Editorial: Maria Carnovale 20
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
Image The armoured van targeted by the robbery crew.
“For almost five years after we locked up this group, there weren’t any more armed robberies on armoured vans in Victoria.” POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
“ONCE YOU HAVE ENOUGH DATA YOU CAN SEE PATTERNS AND MAKE PREDICTIONS USING GRAPHS, TABLES AND MAPS.” Police may not have access to a crystal ball but possibly the next best thing with the development of a crime prediction tool in the Knox area.
“Once you have enough data you can see patterns and make predictions using graphs, tables and maps. It allows us to take a more proactive approach to policing, task resources more effectively and prevent crimes before they occur,” he said.
The Predictive Policing Tool anticipates when, where and how many crimes are likely to occur based on crime statistics from police databases.
Police use the database to forecast high volume crimes in Eastern Region and established Operation Notify in April to help drive down crime.
Knox Police Station’s crime prevention officer Senior Constable Augustino Nguyen used his business background in planning and forecasting to develop the database following a spate of burglaries in Rowville two years ago. “The prototype I developed predicted a further eight burglaries would take place in the area. Only seven occurred but the results indicated a reasonable level of accuracy,” he said. Sen Const Nguyen built other capabilities into the database including crime categories and trends, offenders and hotspot maps.
The operation initially focused on thefts after predictive mapping indicated there would be a spike in Wantirna, Ferntree Gully and Knoxfield. Sen Const Nguyen gained support from the Knox Life and Activities Club and volunteers dropped 1200 theft prevention flyers in the target zone.
“When I presented my findings to the club they committed a further 20 volunteers to do more letterbox drops and we plan to continue the operation until October.” Sen Const Nguyen has now turned his attention to 3D Power Map technology, which offers advanced predictive capabilities drawing on crime data as it occurs in real time. “It has allowed us to identify connections with crime as they happen and investigate why they are occurring and how we can prevent them,” he said. “If we can understand why, we can start taking further proactive measures and work with our community partners to continue to drive down crime.”
“We had zero incidents in the area, which was a really good result,” Sen Const Nguyen said.
Images Preventing crime 01 Sen Const Nguyen and Ronald Smith drop crime prevention notices in Knox. 02 Volunteers and police walk the streets. Editorial: Jane McCubbin Photography: Craig Sillitoe POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
VICTORIA POLICE IS OFTEN REFERRED TO AS A FAMILY BY ITS OFFICERS. POLICE LIFE FOUND THIS COULDN’T BE MORE TRUE, AS A PASSION FOR POLICING HAS LED TO A LIFETIME OF PARTNERSHIPS FOR MANY POLICE. HERE ARE A FEW OF THEIR STORIES.
Seymour Police Station’s Crime Prevention Officer Leading Senior Constable Wendy Willingham and Eastern Region’s Senior Sergeant Ralph Willingham. Ldg Sen Const Wendy Willingham and Sen Sgt Ralph Willingham first laid eyes on each other while working at Shepparton Police Station in 1988. Fast forward 26 years and the couple are still head over heels. “It might sound cutesy but after 24 years of marriage we still hold hands and are very much in love,” Sen Sgt Willingham said.
“We share similar aspirations and complement each other’s careers and personal lives, making it work for both of us,” he said.
Insp Trimble said he’ll never forget arresting the killers behind one of Victoria’s most unforgettable crimes.
Late last year the Willinghams received a National Emergency Medal in recognition of their duties during the Black Saturday fires in 2009.
“In 2001, I helped arrest the two offenders who murdered policemen Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller,” he said.
Seymour Sexual Offence and Child Abuse Investigation Team’s Detective Sergeant Julie Trimble and Benalla Police Station’s Inspector Dan Trimble The couple first met while working at South Melbourne Police Station in 1993.
Ldg Sen Const Willingham said she believed having a partner in the job had been beneficial to their relationship.
Wedding bells rang four years later and shortly after getting married they welcomed the first of three children.
“We know the job expectations and support each other,” she said.
The couple of 19 years are proud of their policing achievements.
Sen Sgt Willingham agreed.
“I loved becoming a detective and successfully prosecuting offenders at court who had committed horrendous crimes against women and children,” Det Sgt Trimble said.
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
“The result was the culmination of hard work by investigators and other support services.” He said he hasn’t lost any of his passion for policing. “I joined with the view of trying to make a difference, and will until I retire,” Insp Trimble said. Robinvale Police Station’s Leading Senior Constable Kym Cassidy and Sergeant Arthur Cassidy Within two years of first meeting at Moonee Ponds Police Station in 1989, Leading Senior Constable Kym Cassidy and Sergeant Arthur Cassidy started dating. They have now celebrated 22 years of marriage, four children and a combined 57 years in policing.
“As a police couple we often work the van shifts together and communicate a lot more.”
The Cassidys relocated to the country when they took up positions at Robinvale Police Station in 2001.
Wonthaggi Police Station’s Leading Senior Constable Sarah Short and Bass Coast Highway Patrol’s Sergeant Jason Hullick
Sgt Cassidy said they loved working in Robinvale.
A love for policing brought Leading Senior Constable Sarah Short and Sergeant Jason Hullick together when they met as recruits at the Victoria Police Academy in 2000.
“Country policing is rewarding. You get to know people quite well,” he said. Ldg Sen Const Cassidy has enjoyed working with her husband. “As a police couple we often work the van shifts together and communicate a lot more,” she said. Sgt Cassidy said they make a great team personally and professionally. “We work extremely well together,” Sgt Cassidy said. They recognise honesty and communication being the key to a successful relationship. “You can get through anything if you trust and work with each other,” Ldg Sen Const Cassidy said.
Sgt Hullick vividly recalled the day he met his wife of six years.
“Many times we’ve only briefly seen each other when handing over the kids in a car park when working opposite shifts,” Ldg Sen Const Short said. She said making a difference in the community was all worth it. “We love helping people and are devoted to our jobs. Jason inspires me and I’m proud to have him by my side.”
“I thought she was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen,” he said. “We were in the same squad and I still remember exactly what she was wearing.” He believes he is fortunate to have his wife in the same profession. “We understand and appreciate how being an officer can be difficult and in contrast also get to appreciate the wonderful moments of the job,” Sgt Hullick said. Raising their four young children while working has been quite the juggling act for the pair.
Images Police couples 01 The Trimbles are proud to represent Victoria Police. 02 The Cassidys on their wedding day in 1992. 03 L dg Sen Const Short and Sgt Hullick on their wedding day in 2008. 04 The Willinghams holidaying in Egypt.
Visit policecareer.vic.gov.au to find out how you can join Victoria Police. Editorial: Mandi Santic Illustration: Julia Bassett
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
BBEEWWAARREE TRAVELLING TRAVELLING
If someone unexpectedly knocks on your door and offers a cheap deal that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Posing as legitimate tradespeople, travelling con men target the elderly, stay-at-home mums, people with English as their second language and people with disabilities, usually from the beginning of spring to the hotter months. They travel across Australia, typically offering ‘today only’ deals and request cash upfront before a job is completed, offering anything from roof and driveway restorations to painting and garden services. They then disappear with the money, leaving the disgruntled customer with unfinished work. In the past year the number of victims doubled compared to 2013, and the money lost by Victorians to travelling con men increased from $92,000 to more than $1 million. Victoria Police Safer Communities Unit’s Inspector Zorka Dunstan said it was important to look out for warning signs.
“Be cautious of people who come knocking on your door and have no proof of identity, pressuring you to do work on that same day,” she said. “People have lost thousands of dollars falling for shady tactics where in some cases the con men have forced immediate payment from victims and even driven them to an ATM.” Insp Dunstan urged everyone to discuss their plans to get work done with family and friends. “Don’t sign any agreements until you know the business is legitimate,” she said. “Travelling con men are known to advertise their business via flyers or road signs and provide written quotes, so it’s important to do some checks. “Remember, if you ask someone to leave your property and they refuse, they are breaking the law.” If you have any information or have interacted with a travelling con man, contact your local police station. You can also contact the national travelling con men hotline on 1300 133 408. In an emergency call Triple Zero (000).
PROTECT YOURSELF WITH THESE TIPS • D on’t answer the door if you suspect it could be a travelling con man • Never pay cash up front for a promised job • Do not sign an agreement or be tempted by cheap offers without much consideration • Use established tradespeople and check their credentials • Ask for the tradesman’s full name and registration or licence details (if applicable) so you can check these with their industry authority • Take as much information about the con man as you can, including their name and vehicle registration
Above Con men Be wary of tradespeople offering cheap deals. Editorial: Mandi Santic Photography: Photo courtesy of Consumer Affairs Victoria
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
RECRUIT CONTINUES POLICING LEGACY Constable Alexandra Kapetanovski’s childhood dream was to become a police officer like her parents. At 23 she is close to achieving her goal undergoing training at the Victoria Police Academy and making great friends along the way. Const Kapetanovski understands the importance of embracing the police family. In 2012 her father, retired Detective Inspector John Kapetanovski, passed away from cancer and she became involved with Victoria Police Legacy (VPL). “Legacy provides support to bereaved police families. Obviously, it’s something you hope you never have to use but it’s good to know the support is there,” she said. “They also host camps and activities for families and provide new friendships and support with people who share a common bond.”
Continuing another family legacy, Const Kapetanovski decided to become a police officer and is undertaking Victoria Police’s 33-week training program along with 21 squad mates this year. In her 12th week she was sworn-in as a constable and deployed to South Melbourne for work placement. “The first day I was very nervous even though I’ve known policing my entire life, but I have a really good squad and we have become really close and are a great support to each other,” she said. “I absolutely loved working in South Melbourne, you’re constantly busy dealing with different people and get to put what you have learnt into practice.” Both of Const Kapetanovski’s parents were already Victoria Police officers when she was born. She recalled watching her father on television and talking to him about his career, which included being shot by notorious gunman Mad Max in 1986.
“I was pretty interested in the things dad had done and was always asking questions as things came up,” she said. Const Kapetanovski’s mother, Inspector Margie Lewis is a staff officer to Deputy Commissioner Lucinda Nolan and has been in the organisation for 37 years. “I was a little surprised when she told me she wanted to join but I’m very proud. It’s been a wonderful job to me and her father. I’ve worked here all this time and still love coming in every day,” Insp Lewis said.
For more information about Victoria Police Legacy or to donate visit policelegacyvic.org.au Below Family legacy Const Kapetanovski’s proud mother will be at her graduation from the Victoria Police Academy on 13 November. Editorial and photography: Jane McCubbin
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
Victoria Police’s Shrine Guard is entrusted to continue a deeply symbolic duty. In the year of the Anzac Centenary they remain in high demand to perform memorial services and protect valuable monuments. For 80 years, the Shrine Guard has upheld the tradition of guarding and performing ceremonial duties at Victoria’s Shrine of Remembrance, a monument built to honour soldiers killed in war and peace-keeping missions. The first Shrine Guard positions were only open to police but as time passed the responsibility was handed to Victoria Police’s Protective Services Unit (PSU). The PSU’s Inspector Michael Glinski spoke of a rise in demand for Shrine Guard services due to Anzac Centenary commemorations. “In addition to major events including Anzac Day and National Police Remembrance Day, we have a significant number of local events to commemorate 100 years since the Gallipoli landing,” he said. “There are also our daily duties, which include flag-raising, special tree ceremonies and a 24-hour security service for the Shrine.
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
YEAR TRADITION “In many circumstances, the attendance of the Shrine Guard formalises an event. For example, our guards performed an important ceremonial role at Mansfield to honour the restoration of gravesites for police murdered by the Kelly Gang.” The Shrine Guard has also been involved in overseas events, including a contingent of guards visiting France and Belgium last year to commemorate police killed during the Battle of Fromelles. To help keep up with demand for their services, eight Shrine Guards were recently recruited and graduated after completing a two-week course at the Surrey Hills Army Reserve Base in June. The course covers military foot and rifle drill training, marching, flag protocol and history. Protective Services Officer (PSO) senior supervisor Christopher Jeffery said the ceremonial drill work required a high standard of skill that was difficult to achieve. “All actions need to be quick and accurate,” he said. “When gripping the rifle the hand must be a certain height, when marching their elbow needs to be at 90 degrees.
“Timing is critical, especially when performing something like the rest-on-arms-reverse, which is a complex drill movement lasting approximately 40 seconds. During this time the guards can’t see each other.” The military component of Shrine Guard performance has had a positive impact and been a drawcard. Tourists have flocked to the Shrine over the years and shown great interest in the Shrine Guard, especially their traditional uniform, inspired by the original Light Horse Infantry uniform worn in World War I. PSO Jeffery said he recently spoke to a Shrine Guard who was recognised while holidaying in outback Queensland. “He turned up at a caravan park in the middle of nowhere and was speaking to a man who recognised him,” he said. “The next thing he knew the man’s wife ran into their house and grabbed a photo from the mantelpiece and there was a photo of him in his Shrine Guard uniform next to the guy. There would be millions of mantelpieces around the world with Shrine Guards on them.”
01 Aerial view of Shrine of Remembrance dedication, 11 November 1934. About 300,000 people were present, approximately a third of Melbourne’s population at the time. Photo courtesy of the Shrine of Remembrance collection.
02 10th Chief Commissioner Thomas Albert Blamey (1925 to 1936) appointed the first Shrine Guard and was remembered as a distinguished soldier in both world wars.
While some Shrine Guards are permanently based at the Shrine, others provide security to government buildings including Government House in Melbourne’s Kings Domain and perform additional ceremonial duties when required. The Shrine sits on 13 hectares of memorial parkland and is home to the Cenotaph, Eternal Flame, Remembrance Garden, visitor centre and about 200 dedicated memorial or remembrance trees dedicated to Victorian units that served in WWI and WWII. Shrine Guard First Class PSO Graeme Crispe has been based at the Shrine for the past 12 months and has been a Shrine Guard since 1999. He said the Shrine Guard conducted more than 100 tree services a year. “Most soldiers killed overseas didn’t come home. So for the families who couldn’t travel overseas this was their way of having a place they could pay their respects,” PSO Crispe said. “I really like doing the small tree services; it means a bit more. We usually only see two or three faces at these ceremonies and there are less every year. It’s significant because you realise they may not be able to come to the next service.”
“Most soldiers killed overseas didn’t come home. So for the families who couldn’t travel overseas this was their way of having a place they could pay their respects.”
Images Guards graduate 01 PSOs about to be appointed Shrine Guards at an official ceremony. 02 Shrine Guard graduates stand to attention. Editorial: Jane McCubbin Photography: Clay Burke
03 The earliest known photo of the Shrine Guard at Government House. The first Shrine Guards were men who had served in WWI.
GEORGE MAWBY INGRAM Victoria Police selected 14 highly decorated WWI veterans to form the first Shrine Guard. Among them was George Mawby Ingram, who received the Victoria Cross for his bravery in WWI. Mr Ingram served the Shrine Guard until March, 1944, when he re-joined the armed forces to serve in WWII. Visit the Victoria Police Museum to see the George Mawby Ingram exhibition or visit policemuseum.vic.gov.au to find out more.
04 Lieutenant George Mawby Ingram was a member of the first Shrine Guard and was the most highly decorated war veteran to serve.
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
BADGE AND BEYOND
Images Badge and beyond 01 A s a detective in 1979. 02 Mr Smith continues work as a private investigator.
VALENTINE SMITH Retired Victoria Police Senior Sergeant Valentine Smith spent almost 40 years with the organisation. He reflected on his police career and how his passion for detective work has continued in the private sector. “There were no surprises when I first joined Victoria Police, as I had already spent three years with the Air Force Police and briefly worked at the Commonwealth Police. A few years after graduating I became a detective and five or six years later the boss of the Dealers Squad saw me giving evidence in court and asked me to consider a position. The squad worked with second-hand dealers, antique dealers and pawn shops, matching stolen property to crimes. It was highly effective and had an excellent arrest rate. Personally, I preferred working on the more complex and quirky investigations. A memorable case I worked on as a detective involved stolen samurai swords. There were many cultural considerations and it involved the Japanese mafia, also known as the Yakuza. 30
POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
While I enjoyed detective work, my time at the Industrial Relations Division gave me a whole new perspective on policing and this was enhanced when I got the job as Seymour Police Station’s officer in charge. It was a fantastic experience to manage a station but I wanted to continue doing detective work so in 1995 I accepted a position with the Crime Stoppers Unit as a detective senior sergeant. At Crime Stoppers I helped facilitate a number of successful crime reduction initiatives in Victoria, across the country and internationally. A highlight was a successful two-month international manhunt in France called Operation Infrared. It led to the arrest of many fugitives, including a South African man wanted for serious rapes and kidnappings and an American man for international drug running. The operation’s success inspired similar Crime Stoppers campaigns at home and provided a blueprint for other international law enforcement agencies.
HIGHLIGHT ON SMITH 1974
Appointed Constable and worked at Russell Street, Traffic and Patrol Division, Colac, Mount Waverley
Appointed Detective Senior Constable Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB)
Worked at Colac, Russell St and Dealers Squad CIBs
Appointed Sergeant at Essendon Police Station and worked at Shepparton Police Station
Industrial Relations Senior Sergeant
Officer in charge at Seymour Police Station
Appointed Senior Sergeant at Victoria Police Crime Stoppers Unit
Awarded the Australian Police Medal for leadership at Crime Stoppers Victoria, which was also recognised globally
Since retiring in 2013, I built a mentoring program for a local government group and now work for a company that supplies a private sector whistle blowing service. I’m also doing some pro bono work on a missing person case involving a 10-year-old boy who disappeared 40 years ago.”
Editorial and photography: Jane McCubbin
LostMates Of four friends who left their policing careers to join the fight in World War I, only two returned.
Isaac’s body was never found.
For the many soldiers who went to battle during WWI, mateship was important. Constables Isaac Webster, Harold Hogben, Frederick McDonald and Percy Moncur were good friends with a common background.
In a sad statement, Percy said that by this time almost all of his police pals were either dead or missing. Only he and Frederick survived the war.
The four men were Victoria Police officers who left their jobs to take up service for Australia during WWI. Isaac, Harold and Frederick had been stationed together at Victoria Police’s Bourke Street West Barracks before enlisting for war. The three were on the battlefields of Gallipoli on Anzac Day in 1915.
Less than a month later, Harold was killed in the 2nd Battle of Krithia, Turkey on 8 May, 1915.
Percy went on to serve his country again in World War II, while Frederick returned to Victoria Police, working in motor patrol in the Criminal Investigation Branch until 1923.
Above and Beyond is an exhibition honouring the service and sacrifice of Victorian police during WWI. See the exhibition at the Victoria Police Museum, World Trade Centre, 637 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm. Visit policemuseum.vic.gov.au to find out more.
Isaac’s name appears on panel 26 at the Lone Pine Memorial Cemetery, Turkey.
Listen to a pod cast about Isaac at bit.ly/vpisaacwebster
It was on this first day of battle, where thousands were killed, that they became separated. Isaac was shot and, although his fellow soldiers dressed his wounds, they were unable to carry him to safety in the enemy fire. He died on the battlefield. When Harold and Frederick heard of Isaac’s death, they tried to return to the site to give him a proper burial, but, as they tried to locate his body, Frederick was wounded and unable to carry out the task.
Above War soldiers Soldiers march down Collins Street. Editorial: Maria Carnovale Photography: Courtesy of Kerr Brothers, State Library Victoria POLICE LIFE | SPRING 2015
NATIONAL POLICE REMEMBRANCE DAY Tuesday, 29 September A Remembrance Day march will start at 10am on Princes Bridge, St Kilda Road, Melbourne.
The public is invited to join Victoria Police in honouring police who have died in the line of duty at a service following the march at the Victoria Police Memorial, St Kilda Road, Kings Domain, Melbourne.