Wayne Gatt responds to Lilydale and Epping police shooting

Broadcast on Nine Network's Today on 16 September 2020

A series of high-profile incidents in recent days has highlighted the ever-present need for all frontline members to be armed with conducted energy devices (also known as Tasers).

The widespread rollout of tasers is something The Police Association has been advocating for, for more than a decade, as an additional tactical option to offer a less than lethal outcome, should offenders refuse to surrender peacefully.

This call was amplified prior to the last state election, receiving a policy commitment from the Opposition but not the re-elected Government.

While TPAV’s advocacy on this issue has seen tasers rolled out to specialist units and regional areas, we’ve continually reminded all parties that nothing less than a full rollout to all frontline members is required, as yesterday’s incident so publicly illustrated.
Given the frequency with which members are confronted by people in a mental health crisis in the course of their daily duties, this is an issue that TPAV will continue to fiercely advocate for.

You may have heard TPAV secretary Wayne Gatt talking to a number of major media outlets about this very issue in the aftermath of the Lilydale and Epping incidents this week (see video below).

Members may recall the success TPAV had, with the invaluable support of our members, in advocating for the recent roll out of long-arm rifles to members at a time when Victoria Police was not initially supportive. 

Together, we were successful in influencing Victoria Police and the Government to introduce long-arm rifles, and with our continued advocacy, we hope a similar outcome is reached on the widespread provision of tasers.