Superior Service Delivery Through Minimum Police Staffing
Victoria Police is the only Australian mainland state police department and the only emergency service in Victoria that does not report response times. As a result, measurement of its service delivery to the community is minimal.
In the absence of any mechanism to assess resources against demand, a situation emerges where a crisis of confidence develops when it comes to the ability of police in Victoria to respond to calls for assistance in a timely fashion.
Safety for both the community and our members relies upon safe and adequate minimum staffing levels to ensure proper responses to public calls for assistance are achieved - something which is commonplace in other essential services, including the education and health sectors in Victoria.
Regrettably, prescribed minimum staffing levels have never been a feature of policing in Victoria. TPAV submits that the introduction of minimum staffing levels is long overdue.
Victoria Police retains a responsibility each and every day to maintain an emergency response capability to protect the community.
Tasking police to response duties with inadequate resources endangers first-responders and the community they are protecting.
To remedy this long-standing anomaly, the Police Association makes the following recommendations:
- All 24-hour stations deploy a minimum of a divisional van/response unit on all shifts, ensuring a 24-hour response capability with a minimum of two members attached to each unit.
- All 24-hour stations be opened to the public around the clock with a minimum of two members being available to assist at all times.
- All frontline response units should be staffed by no less than two members.
- All existing rural and one-member stations should be retained and open for a minimum number of shifts in consultation with the local community. All one-member stations should always be backfilled to cover long-term absences to meet community expectations.
- In regional Victoria, out-of-hours service is provided by members on availability, and that at least two members are made available and in close enough proximity to provide the most rapid response possible to calls for assistance.
- That the reporting of response times should be considered for policing in Victoria, but only once adequate measures are put in place (inclusive of those set out above). This ensures that Victoria Police is able to provide the most efficient frontline response on par with other policing jurisdictions in the country.