Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police Ken Lay has flagged the possibility of a police restructure to favour the introduction of a series of specialist task forces to tackle problematic issues in the Victorian community such as organised crime, domestic violence and the ice (crystal meth) epidemic. In an article published in The Age today, Lay is quoted discussing then need to move towards a ‘taskforce’ style of policing:
“For 160 years, we’ve had a model of police where we put blue shirts into police stations to address crime … Now, that was fine when local criminals lived in local areas and every policeman knew their local crooks and could catch them for doing local burglaries … but when you look at things like domestic violence, ice and organised crime, putting police at police stations is not going to address the issue.” (Zielinski, 2014)
In an interview on The World Today, Deakin Criminologist Associate Professor Darren Palmer was asked to respond to Lay’s proposed move towards taskforces. Palmer discussed how this strategy has been employed previously and what might trigger a shift towards establishing police taskforces. In answering whether this would represent a positive strategy for Victoria Police, Palmer comments:
It’s not about taking all police off the streets but some police to actually focus on particular areas of crime that are proving troublesome.
To read the full interview with Darren Palmer on The World Today, click here.
To read Caroline Zielinski’s article in The Age about Ken Lay’s plans for the future of Victoria police, click here.
In a follow up article published in The Age this afternoon (27 May), Lay noted that it was time for Victorian Police to get ‘smarter’ and that a key component of that would be the formulation of taskforces. Read the follow up article by Mex Cooper and Henrietta Cook here.