Important reforms to bolster the work of Victoria Police and help keep the Victorian community safe have today been introduced to the Victorian Parliament.
The Justice Legislation Amendment (Police and Other Matters) Bill 2022 delivers changes to help police effectively undertake their day-to-day operations and continue to deliver the services the community expects.
Under the legislation, police will have new powers to protect the security of police premises, including police stations, giving officers the ability to move people on who don’t have a legitimate reason to be there, or pose a threat to the peace.
Currently, police can only remove antagonistic people from police premises if they have committed an offence.
The legislation also establishes a framework for the Restorative Engagement and Redress Scheme which supports current and former police officers who have experienced sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace, providing more transparency around the eligibility criteria and increased privacy protections for participants.
The reforms will also give Victoria Police the option to charge for profit sporting, entertainment, and commercial operators for the real cost of policing commercial events. The commercial events industry will be consulted on the specific regulations needed to give effect to these new reforms before they commence.
Police can currently only enter into agreements with commercial operators for additional police services inside events but cannot recover costs for services outside venues such as traffic management and managing crowd behaviour.
The legislation also:
- makes clear that Protective Services Officers can use specialist police terrorism powers when operating in an authorised area in the event of a terrorism incident
- provides a clear obligation for police personnel to only access, make use of, or disclose police information if required by their current duties
- enables the Chief Commissioner to take more than one disciplinary action in response to a police officer or PSO who has a criminal charge proven against them
- amends the Sex Offender Registration Act to support police to actively monitor registered sex offenders to reduce the risk of reoffending.
These changes build on the Andrews Labor Government’s record $4.5 billion investment in police, which has already delivered an additional 3,135 new police across the state, with more to come.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“We’re delivering sensible but necessary reforms that support the day-to-day operations of Victoria Police, so they can continue their excellent work keeping Victorians safe.”
“These reforms also deliver increased integrity measures, ensuring police using and disclosing information appropriately, and giving the Chief Commissioner greater disciplinary powers where officers have broken the law.”
Reviewed 23 June 2022