The Andrews Labor Government is replacing outdated and unsafe police and emergency services radios to help them safely and effectively fight crime and respond to emergencies.
Minister for Police Lisa Neville and Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino today announced a seven-year contract with Telstra to upgrade police and emergency services radio equipment.
The new radio equipment will replace outdated analogue systems with new secure, encrypted digital equipment providing better voice clarity, coverage and the capability to track the location of devices, improving member safety and response times.
Importantly, the new radios will stop communications being intercepted by the public through a smartphone app or scanner.
The contract delivers on an election commitment and provides more than 8000 radios for Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Services, Life Saving Victoria and Corrections Victoria, and can be expanded to provide radio support services for other Government agencies.
Work is underway upgrading the radio towers with further work on key base infrastructure in early next year enabling the roll out of the in car and hand held radios from middle of 2017.
The Labor Government invested $11.5 million in the 2015/16 Victorian State Budget for police to upgrade to the new digital system, with further funding realised through efficiencies made by moving to the new digital system.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“After four years of inaction by the former Liberal Government we’ve got on with the job of delivering for country police and ensuring they have the modern resources they need to catch criminals safely and effectively.”
“The safety of Victorian Police is our highest priority and we’re making sure that the public can’t listen in on police operations and they have the right tools to catch criminals.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino
“We’re providing our emergency services personnel with the resources they need to effectively respond to emergencies and keep Victorians safe.”
“This sophisticated technology is more secure, has better voice clarity, will reduce the risk of communication failures and improve safety for our emergency services personnel and the community.”