Updates and latest news

  • Brett Guerin and institutional racism in Victoria Police

    IBAC has recently handed down its report into racist, sexist and homophobic comments by the former head of Victoria Police’s ethics department, Assistant Commissioner Brett Guerin. Called Operation Turon, IBAC’s investigation found damning evidence of online misconduct by Mr Guerin. But once again, this has been lost opportunity to identify and tackle systemic racism within Victoria police.   The...

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  • The Co-opting of Human Rights Language

    As human rights-based organisations, we are calling out the COVID “anti-lock down movement” for its dangerous co-opting of human rights frameworks and language.    The “anti-lockdown movement” uses words like freedom, democracy and human right, which serve to hide harmful, conspiratorial and far-right ideologies within the movement. Many of these ideologies are in opposition to human rights.   The COVID public health measures have undeniably human rights impacts. But the misuse of human rights language by anti-lockdown activists confuses, hampers and undermines genuine human...

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  • Impacts on Weapons Use by Victoria Police

    The Police Accountability Project (PAP) condemns the use of new weaponry and the rising militarisation of Victoria Police. We express concern about the oppressive policing of demonstrations generally.  On Saturday 21st of August we saw Victoria Police use new weapons on protestors for the first time since their purchase in 2018. While PAP does not support the “anti-lock down protests”, we do hold serious concerns about the escalating use of weapons by Victoria Police. The more weapons Victoria Police have at their...

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  • What’s wrong with risk?

    Leanne Weber  Risk factors, risk assessment and risk-based predictions dominate public discussion these days across a range of policy areas from the economy to climate and public health. But what are the pitfalls when risk-thinking dominates our dealings with young people in conflict with the law? I address this question by identifying practical and conceptual limitations of risk as a statistical construct, and highlighting concerns about how risk calculations...

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  • Victoria takes another cautious step toward independent investigations

    We finally have a formal government response to the joint parliamentary IBAC Committee’s Inquiry into the external oversight of police corruption and misconduct in Victoria which was released in 2018 that we have been waiting for.  Two years late but at last we have one.

    The commitments contained in this Implementation Plan are positive.

    There is commitment for legislation – for…

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  • Why police should not be in our schools

    Victoria Police are planning to bring back some sort of ‘Police in Schools’ program.  We don’t know the details as yet but it will be announced later this year, but the ABC has reported that it will not be as comprehensive as the police in schools program that was abandoned 30 years ago in 2005. 

    But any police in school…

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  • Policing biosecurity: police enforcement of special measures in New South Wales and Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic

    The first research paper using data from the national COVIDPolicing.org.au monitoring project has now published.

    The authors, Louise Boon-Kuo , Alec Brodie , Jennifer Keene-McCann , Vicki Sentas & Leanne Weber seek to identify the potential impacts of COVID policing in relation to everyday street policing in NSW, the policing of public protests in NSW and Victoria and the…

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  • Lawyer X inquiry calls for sweeping change to Victoria Police, but is it enough to bring real accountability?

    There have been a series of reviews and inquiries into Victoria Police over the past two decades. They have pointed to deficiencies in its management of informants, along with broader issues related to culture and leadership. Despite this, the royal commission findings reflect many of the same issues.

    If things are to substantially change, however, reforms need to extend beyond…

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  • OC FOAM CLASS ACTION – IMARC Protests 2019

    Phi Finney McDonald and Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre’s Police Accountability Project are investigating a potential class action against the Victorian State Government for Victoria Police’s use of pepper spray against protesters at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne between 29 and 31 October 2019.

    Read more here.

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  • Urgent scrutiny of police powers and access for legal observers at Djab Wurrung sacred trees protest

    Human rights and legal organisations have condemned a police operation targeting Djab Wurrung protestors who are protecting sacred Djab Wurrung trees in Victoria and are calling for urgent scrutiny of police powers and access for legal observers to monitor police actions during the protest.

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  • Victorian Government must respond to IBAC’s calls for critical resourcing.

    IBAC Commissioner, The Honourable Robert Redlich AM, QC, has made the strongest calls yet for adequate government resourcing of Victoria’s Independent Broad Based Commission against Corruption (IBAC).

    In his message released this morning,(15/10/2020) Redlich says “It is deeply concerning that IBAC’s budget has remained largely static since we were founded. This means that today IBAC cannot investigate a significant number…

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  • How close is Victoria to having independent investigations of police misconduct?

    So, where is the push to get independent investigations in Victoria up to at the moment?

    For the past two years the Andrews government has been sitting on an important report that recommends a system that could independently investigate serious police corruption and misconduct.

    The government was supposed to respond to this report within six months. So why such…

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  • Independent Investigations Policy Briefing

    Victoria requires a fully independent system to investigate serious incidents of alleged police misconduct, human rights abuses and complaints.

    We urge the Victorian Parliament to, taking into consideration our concerns outlined above, swiftly legislate to implement all 69 of the recommendations contained in the ‘Inquiry into the external oversight of police corruption and misconduct in Victoria’ Report.

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  • Our ten key concerns with policing under Stage 4 restrictions

    These new Stage 4 restrictions in Victoria are important to slow the spread of COVID 19 and we recommend people follow the CHO directions. Yes, you should wear a mask, stay home and abide by thee new public health restrictions.

    How these restrictions are policed however, is a huge area of concern and warrants scrutiny and debate.

    Here are…

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  • The Victorian Government must end discriminatory measures and withdraw hundreds of police from public housing

    Legal and human rights groups condemn the heavy-handed, policing response to a public health emergency, rather than the much-needed support communities need to prevent COVID-19 transmission. We stand in solidarity with the 3000 people in hard lockdown.
    The deployment of hundreds of police and the coercive measures across public housing estates in North Melbourne and Flemington is a discriminatory response…

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  • Remove police from public health responses

    The Police Accountability Project is calling for the immediate withdrawal of police from the public housing estates experiencing the hard COVID lockdown in Flemington and North Melbourne.

    We call on government, DHHS and all agencies to abide by the principle of ‘Do No Harm’ in that all health responses to this pandemic should not cause additional harms.

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  • Systemic racism, violence, and the over-policing of minority groups in Victoria

    Risk-based tactics like pre-emptive breaking up of groups, close monitoring of known offenders, and unjustified police stops all translated into perceptions of unfair targeting by young people interviewed from these communities.

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  • In support of #BLACKLIVESMATTERAUSTRALIA

    The Police Accountability Project, run by the Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre is united in its support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people across the world fighting to dismantle a justice system which is inherently racist and discriminatory.

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  • About the call for COVID-19 Stop data monitoring scheme

    The stories coming through the covidpolicing website only give us snapshots of what is going on, but these sometimes disturbing accounts and the questions they raise have given urgency to the call for a comprehensive police-stop data monitoring scheme. When many thousands of COVID-19 stops are being made by police every day, it is only the police’s own…

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  • ‘Data-driven policing: The hardwiring of discriminatory policing practices across Europe’

    New technologies such as facial recognition, video surveillance systems, body worn cameras, automatic number plate recognition and social media monitoring are used to collect data which is then used to create and analyse trends in crime. These trends become the foundation for policing practices that aim to predict and prevent people who are likely to commit crime and…

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  • IBAC findings fail to build trust and leave many questions unanswered

    The IBAC have released a summary of findings into its inquiry about serious injuries caused by police in a bungled arrest of an innocent man. This followed a raid by the police Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) on the Hares and Hyenas bookshop on 19 May 2019. The findings are not legally binding and do not provide a…

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  • Policing the Pandemic

    As Victoria escalates its crisis response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Victoria Police must ensure its police responses are aligned to the current circumstances and do not infringe upon the health, human rights and dignity of Victorian residents and visitors.

    There is urgent need to reduce the number of people coming into contact with the criminal legal system during this unprecedented…

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  • Australia’s first police complaints chatbot

    Australia’s first police complaints chatbot has been launched by Josef Legal, Robinson Gill and ourselves to help people take the first step of making a formal complaint about police misconduct in Victoria.

    The Police Complaints Chatbot is designed to assist people in Victoria making a complaint to either Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) or Victoria Police regarding alleged police…

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  • Peer Advocacy Team finalists in national anti-racism award

    A team of young advocates against racial profiling by Victoria Police is a finalist in the 2019 Racism: It Stops with Me Award. The winners were announced at the National Human Rights Awards at Friday 13 December 2019.

    Two members from the Peer Advocacy Team, Barry Berih and Sajda Yakub, flew to Sydney to attend the award ceremony at…

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  • An Open Letter to the Premier of Victoria: Investigation of police misconduct

    Dear Premier,

    In light of yet more shocking revelations in the national media about the abject failure of the current system of police complaints in Victoria we believe that action on the investigation and oversight of police corruption and misconduct is urgently required. As such, the range of community and legal organisations undersigned call upon the Government urgently bring…

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  • Release the findings of Brett Guerin investigation: Our statement IBAC’s Operation Turon

    The Police Accountability Project calls for the release of Operation Turon findings that expose potential leadership failures within Victoria Police.

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  • Independence critical in death-in-custody investigations

    Revelations in Victoria’s Coronial Court today have highlighted systemic problems with police-contact death investigations in Victoria.

    The Coronial Inquest into the death of Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day has heard concerns regarding the perceived independence of the police investigator assigned to investigate on behalf of the Coroner.

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  • Calls for real change in policing of people with mental illness

    The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System has been urged to avoid “piecemeal reviews and more training updates” by police accountability advocates who say that the policing of people experiencing mental health issues is a vital area of system-wide reform. The submission by the Police Accountability Project has also called for an end to having police as…

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  • Renewed calls for Independent police complaints system

    In April 2016 Tommy Lovett was set upon by plainclothes detectives from Darebin Police. He was seriously assaulted, capsicum sprayed and ultimately hospitalised for his injuries. Police were looking for a suspect described as an ‘Aboriginal male, aged in his 40s with a goatee and red hat’. At the time Tommy was 18, wearing a black hat and riding…

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