The Andrews Labor Government will establish a new Fixated Threat Assessment Centre to better identify and target high risk individuals who may pose a serious threat to the Victorian community.
Minister for Police Lisa Neville today announced the new $31.6 million Centre, which will include specialist police, forensic and mental health experts all under one roof.
The Fixated Threat Assessment Centre will provide a structured and coordinated approach to respond to serious threats of violence posed by people with complex needs, that could result in terrorism or perpetration of extreme violence.
It will bring senior and experienced police and mental health clinicians together to better identify and respond to individuals who may pose a risk, and intervene early to help prevent violence.
In addition to the Centre, further funding is being provided to put in place specialist mental health, alcohol and other drug services to engage high risk individuals, ensuring they receive the help they need.
Staff recruitment and establishment of the Centre will commence immediately, and the Centre will be operational by January 2018, and will be based at the Victoria Police Command Complex in Spencer Street. It is expected the Centre will assess around 300 people per year.
The model underpinning the Centre was developed with input from leading forensic mental health specialists including Forensicare, Melbourne Health and Monash Health.
Similar centres are already operating in New South Wales, Queensland, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Today’s announcement is part of the Labor Government’s ongoing reforms to keep Victorians safe from serious and violent threats.
The Labor Government earlier this month promised a suite of far reaching new laws to protect Victorians from terror attacks as part of the biggest overhaul of counter-terror laws since they were first introduced.
These reforms will be introduced in response to a review of Victoria’s terrorism laws by former Chief Commissioner of Police Ken Lay and former Supreme Court of Appeal Justice, the Honourable David Harper.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“Victoria hasn’t been immune to the lone-offender attacks we are seeing across the world and we’re responding by putting the protection of the community first.”
“The centre will target high-risk people in the community who may pose a serious threat to Victorians, including those who hold a fixated grievance and violent extremists.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“The new Centre will bring police and mental health experts together to intervene early and we are also increasing funding to community mental health services to ensure vulnerable people get the help and support they need.”