Steps to Address Racial Profiling

Ending racial profiling requires numerous strategies.

Steps for Victoria Police

  1. Introduce best practice recruitment, training and integrity practices to screen out recruits/police officers with overt racial/religious biases;
  2. Introduce training to eliminate unconscious racial/religious biases and racial/religious profiling (anti-bias training);
  3. Review all policies and outstanding operational orders (similar to Operation Molto) to remove direct or indirect discrimination.
  4. Make amendments to the Victoria Police Manual Policy and Guide to require that police issue receipts and collect data on race and stop/search outcomes when people are stopped/searched on the street or in their cars and to ensure the public reporting of this data. 1
  5. Introduce a “Youth Protocol” 2 that:
    1. acknowledges that young people have rights to privacy, freedom of movement, freedom from arbitrary detention and equal treatment when they are in public spaces;
    2. requires that police officers only stop a young person when they have reasonable grounds to believe they have committed an offence or are a witness to an indictable offence or to prevent the commission of an offence (such as injury to a person or property damage).
  6. Review training to ensure that:
    1. police stops and searches are conducted in compliance with the rights to privacy, freedom of movement, freedom from arbitrary detention and right to equal treatment AND are only conducted where there is a clearly defined reason to conduct the stop such as an offence has been detected OR through statutory powers as for Preliminary Breath Testing;
    2. Searches by consent are only conducted where the person provides full and informed consent and evidence of the consent is obtained in writing (as required in the Victoria Police Manual).

Steps for the Victorian Government

  1. Introduce legislation that:
    • Inserts a non-discrimination clause in the objectives of all legislation that provides police with powers;
    • Specifically makes unlawful the practice of racial profiling;
    • Provides remedies for both individual and systemic racial profiling;
    • Shifts the burden of proof for people with complaints of racial profiling to law enforcement agencies;
    • Requires that police officers collect “specific data” to be entered into LEAP data, complete a running sheet and provide a receipt whenever they stop, question or search a person who is not under arrest. Specific data includes, race/ethnicity of the stopped person, reason for the stop, location, time, name of the officer and outcome of the stop;
    • Requires the regular (quarterly) publication of the officer’s police station (and policing region), the race/ethnicity of the stopped person, the reason for and the outcome of the stop.
  2. Legislate to require the independent (non-police) investigation or all complaints against police that allege racial/religious discrimination/racial profiling or breaches of sections 8, 9,10, 17, 21, 22 of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 by IBAC or equivalent independent investigation agency.  Publically report on the outcome of these investigations.
  3. Fund an ad-campaign to inform the public about the new stop and search data collection and receipting requirements.  Support the Victoria Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and Community Legal Centres to provide community legal education about the reforms.
  4. Appoint a steering committee of people (including young people) from indigenous and migrant communities/representatives, lawyers, academics, police officers, IBAC officers to be hosted at the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission to monitor data collection results, training and investigation results and make recommendations to Government, Victoria Police and IBAC on improvements.

Steps for the community

  • Challenge stereotypes and racist myths in our local and national media about ethnicity and crime.
  • Support initiatives and projects which seek to change discriminatory policing practices.
  • Support individuals who are taking legal action against discrimination in your community.
  • Write to your member of Parliament in Victoria to tell them about the changes to the law that you want.
  • Keep informed. Come along to one of our events or forums and stay in touch with this website for resources, news and updates.
  • Subscribe to our contact list below.


  1. For example, the data could be published on the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission website every month/quarterly.
  2. See for example Victoria’s Homeless Protocol.