Victoria’s police officers will be even better equipped to fight crime as new ballistic vests hit the beat this month, as part of funding from the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville today joined Victoria Police to announce the rollout of the $41 million investment in new and improved safety equipment, which was developed in close consultation with frontline officers.
The updated vests will help improve personal safety, comfort and mobility of police, while delivering a high standard of ballistic and spike protection.
They provide safe and streamlined access to equipment, improved freedom of movement and a more secure fit.
They are also lightweight, less bulky and have enhanced adjustability and thermal management to adapt to both warm and cold temperatures. Different configurations also allow the vests to be worn in both overt and covert scenarios.
All uniform officers will be equipped with the new vests, along with Protective Services Officers, Police Custody Officers, Highway Patrol members, Crime Scene Services, investigators and the Mounted Branch.
The Government funded the new vests as part of its $596 million Public Safety Package in 2016 and the project has been delivered by Melbourne-based Australian Defence Apparel, supporting the employment of more than 100 people.
The ballistic vests will cater to technological advances and support modern policing, including the roll out of 11,000 body-worn cameras by 2020.
Officers in Melbourne and Yarra police service areas are the latest to receive the new cameras, so anyone living and working in the CBD and the inner suburbs can expect to see them on local police soon.
Almost 4,500 cameras have already been rolled out across Victoria, with police reporting the new technology is already helping in family violence investigations and other crimes.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville
“This is about providing a safer working environment for our dedicated police officers, while giving them better access to state-of-the-art crime fighting equipment.”
“We’ve already seen that the new vests support increased movement, improved access to equipment and are more comfortable to wear in a vehicle.”
“The new vests will also support the ongoing rollout of body-worn cameras, with almost 4,500 cameras already deployed to officers.”