Wednesday, 05 March 2014

The Commission welcomes Victoria Police taking strong action in response to incidents of racism

The Commission welcomes Victoria Police taking strong action in response to incidents of racism within the police force and making it clear there is an ongoing commitment to ensure racism is never an accepted part of Victoria Police culture.

Any incidents of racism are extremely concerning to the community and undermine the credibility of Victoria Police. There are laws in Victoria that prohibit racism and it is encouraging that Victoria Police is taking steps to ensure that it is held to the highest account and acts within the law. In its role in policing and protecting the community, Victoria Police must exercise its significant powers over individuals lawfully, effectively and in a manner that builds public trust and confidence.

Members of Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse communities need to be confident that their police force will treat them fairly and these kinds of incidents erode public trust and make it difficult for the organisation to perform its role in the community effectively. However, by making it clear that Victoria Police is committed to taking action to address issues of racism and stamp it out within the force, Chief Commissioner Ken Lay recognises the need to get it right.

The Commission has been working with Victoria Police on a training program that challenges inappropriate behaviours. The Commission will continue to work closely with Victoria Police to ensure that racism is not tolerated at any level of the police force.