New Police Equipment To Protect Victorians

15 December 2019

More than 700 police will have specialist training and access to semi-automatic rifles to protect the community from major incidents involving armed persons and serious incidents such as terrorism.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville joined Victoria Police to announce Huntsman Aus has been selected to deliver semi-automatic rifles and training to the Public Order Response Team (PORT) members.

Officers at the Ballarat, Geelong, Morwell and Shepparton 24-hour uniform police stations will also receive the rifles and training.

The PORT is a frontline support unit which is deployed across Victoria as required. The four regional stations were selected to strengthen police response in key regional areas.

PORT is specially trained to tackle issues such as CBD violence, weapons searches, crime or drug operations and terrorism. They also provide rapid responses to major incidents at short notice.

Police in London, New York and Paris use similar rifles and have deployed police members with this firearm capacity in response to recent major security incidents.

This capability is specifically designed to enable police to protect the community in situations of active armed offenders or terrorist attack, especially in our growing regional communities.

Semi-automatic rifles will be assigned to police on a shift by shift basis, rather than personally issued, and will be stored securely on site until required for use.

Huntsman Aus will also provide ancillary equipment, which includes an optical sighting system, tactical light, sling, carry case and spare parts.

Victoria Police members will be given appropriate training from March 2020, with the rollout of the firearms to be phased in from May 2020 until Dec 2021.

The semi-automatic rifles form part of the Andrews Labor Government’s record $3 billion investment in Victoria Police, which is delivering 3135 new police, new technology and equipment to give them the resources they need to keep the community safety.

More than 1900 of the Labor Government’s 3135 new police have been deployed or allocated to communities across Victoria so far.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville

“These new rifles are about equipping our hard-working police officers with the very best equipment in the face of emerging risks – in Melbourne and in regional areas.”

“These semi-automatic rifles will help police officers respond quickly to major incidents at short notice, as well as the ongoing threat of terrorism.”

“Our record $3 billion investment in police is delivering the state-of-the-art resources officers need to protect the community every day and keep us safe.”

Reviewed 07 August 2020

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