The Andrews Labor Government has joined Victoria Police to unveil the new Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (FTAC), designed to combat terrorist and lone actor attacks and keep the community safe.
Specialist police will team up with forensic and mental health experts at the new centre in a bid to target high-risk persons who pose a serious threat to the Victorian community to intervene early and prevent violence.
Minister for Police Lisa Neville today helped officially open the $31.6 million centre, which aims to better identify and respond to individuals who may threaten the safety of themselves and the public.
These individuals may have come to the attention of counter-terrorism police and other agencies because they may exhibit extremist ideology, show indicators of being radicalised or have extreme grievances.
The centre, at the City West Police Complex on Spencer Street, will be staffed by 13 specialist police, forensic and mental health experts and is expected to process up to 300 people in its first year.
It brings together senior, experienced police and mental health clinicians, and a senior analyst to respond to individuals who may have complex needs and who pose a risk to themselves and others by engaging in problematic and high-risk behaviour.
This provides a structured and coordinated approach to respond to serious threats of violence posed by people with complex needs that could result in terrorism or other extreme violence.
The team will assess and determine appropriate interventions, which could include mental health, alcohol and drug treatment.
The Victorian FTAC model was developed with input from leading forensic mental health specialists including Forensicare, Melbourne Health and Monash Health.
Similar centres also operate in New South Wales, Queensland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The Labor Government has committed to a suite of new laws to protect Victorians from terror attacks as part of the biggest overhaul of counter-terror laws since they were first introduced.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“We know that centres like this help identify high-risk individuals and have the potential to stop violent incidents before they occur.”
“We have promised to give Victoria Police the resources they need to keep the community safe – and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
“This centre brings together police and mental health experts in one place to identify, target and respond to those who may pose a risk, allowing for early intervention and treatment.”