Call to waive $2.3m of ‘excessive’ COVID fines imposed on young people, Simone Fox Knob, The Age, 2 February 2021
Taina Lefort, a solicitor from Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre, said one 15-year-old client was fined for breaching stay-at-home orders while going with his young girlfriend to Centrelink and to get her a pregnancy test. It was two days after restrictions were first enforced. She said police alleged he had been loitering. The centre applied for a review but it was rejected.
City of Melbourne threatens to fine protesters for ‘excessive noise’, Bianca Hall, The Age, 15 January 2021,
Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre executive officer Anthony Kelly said even if only a few people were fined, it could have a deterrence effect on other protesters. “My opinion is that it’s inappropriate and a misuse of the laws,” he said. “It’s always dangerous when any law is used outside its original intended purpose.”
Senior Ibac police oversight lawyer resigns amid string of leadership departures, Nino Bucci, Guardian Australia, 10 December 2020.
Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission deputy commissioner Katie Miller resigned with almost a year remaining on her contract, joining a director, an investigations team leader, a senior lawyer, and at least two other lawyers in departing since March.
Special prosecutor to investigate police over Gobbo scandal, Tammy Mills, Chris Vedelago and Paul Sakkal, The Age, 30 November, 2020
The Victorian Greens and the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre used the royal commission’s final report to call for Victoria’s corruption agency to be given more power to investigate police misconduct. Currently, police investigate most complaints against officers internally.
Police take year to find independent investigator for swingers shooting, Cameron Houston, The Age, 26 November, 2020
“It must be hugely embarrassing for Victoria Police to acknowledge what everyone has been saying for years: that there is an inherent conflict of interest in having police investigating themselves,” Mr Husper said. He called on the Labor government to adopt the findings of a joint parliamentary committee in 2018 that recommended expanded powers for IBAC to effectively scrutinise allegations of unlawful conduct by police.
Victoria police refuses to reveal how many young people tracked using secretive data tool, Nino Bucci, Guardian Australia, 23 November 2020
Victorian police say a secretive data tool that tracked youths and predicted the risk they would commit crime is not being widely used, amid fears it leads to young people from culturally diverse backgrounds being disproportionately targeted.
Complaints grow over the police tactic of ‘kettling’ at Melbourne anti-lockdown protests, Jack Payntor, News.com
Human rights advocate Anthony Kelly, of Melbourne Activist Legal Support and the Police Accountability Project, said kettling effectively put people under arrest and in police custody for long periods of time.
State stands firm as civil liberty group calls for lifting of protest ban, Rachael Dexter and Simone Fox Koob, The Age, 6 November, 2020
The Police Accountability Project, which is run by Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre and has been vocal about the treatment of protesters at the highway construction site in Ararat where sacred trees have been felled, said it backed the idea of a “fresh look at their tolerances and excercises of [police] discretion”. “We support the public health approach, but you can’t police yourself out of a pandemic,” said principal solicitor Gregor Husper.
Abusers in the ranks, Hayley Gleeson. ABC investigations, 19 October 2020
Police are too often failing to take action against cops who commit domestic violence, fuelling a culture of impunity in forces across the country and putting victims at risk, an ABC News investigation has found.
State of dobbers: should you report a neighbour for a COVID-19 breach? Tom Cowie, 17 October 2020
“We have seen a really racialised narrative around the pandemic,” says Tim Lo Surdo, the national director at Democracy in Colour, a racial and economic justice organisation led by people of colour. “When you have authorities telling people to dob in their neighbours, then of course they’re going to be doing that through a racialised lens.”
Sudanese and Indigenous Australians Disproportionately Fined Amid COVID-19 Restrictions, Madeleine Keck, Global Citizen, 2 October 2020
“For many, the disproportionate rate of fines for Indigenous Australians and migrant populations isn’t surprising. These communities, particularly Indigenous people, are disproportionately sent to prison in Australia — with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults accounting for around 2% of all Australians and 27% of the national prison population.
Victorian coronavirus fines not being reviewed properly, Melbourne community legal centres say, Rachel Clayton, ABC News, 30 September 2020
Community legal services representing vulnerable people who have been fined by police for breaching Victoria’s stage 4 coronavirus restrictions say the fines are not being waived on appeal despite their clients having legitimate excuses.
Picnicking rule-breakers face $5000 fines with police to blanket parks, Simone Fox Koob, The Age, 28 September 2020
“Victoria has gone down the pathway of focusing on law enforcement and punishment as a way to address a public health emergency,” said Daniel Nguyen, advocacy co-ordinator for the Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre’s Police Accountability Project.
Sudanese and Aboriginal people overrepresented in fines from Victoria police during first lockdown, Josh Taylor, The Guardian, 28 September 2020
People who were born in South Sudan and Sudan were overrepresented in the fines issued. They made up 5% of the fines but only make up around 0.14% of the Victorian population. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 4.7% of the fines, despite making up just 0.8% of the population in Victoria.
‘Theatre of strength’: where the thin blue line meets the mental health crisis, Mahmood Fazal, The Guardian, 26 September, 2020.
“Gregor Husper of the Police Accountability Project, a public interest legal project, told Guardian Australia: “These systemic issues arise from the number of unwarranted police contacts with people experiencing mental illness where there is no underlying offending. In many cases, these encounters are triggered for no better reasons than the person’s unusual behaviour has attracted police attention, in the absence of any reasonable belief of unlawful activity or threat of harm to others.”
‘Overreach and overzealous’: concerns over Victoria’s proposed new police powers, Matilda Boseley, The Guardian, 21 September, 2020
Daniel Nguyen, advocacy co-ordinator for the Police Accountability Project, said there was no justification to expand the areas where PSOs can be deployed and few measures in place to make them accountable. “Since its inception, the PSO program has been plagued with findings of excessive force and misconduct with no evidence to show our communities are safer,” Mr Nguyen said.
The Failures of Police as First Responders for Mental Health Callouts, Sam Elkin interviews Gregor Husper from the Police Accountability Project for 3CR Community Radio’s ‘Done By Law’ Program (approx. 20 minutes) 15 September 2020.
Video shows Victoria police car knock man to ground before officer appears to stomp on his head, Matilda Bosely, Guardian Australia, 14 September 2020
Police Accountability Project’s principal lawyer Gregor Husper said striking the man with a police car was vastly disproportionate.
“At the point where he’s walking away from them, what possible justification can the police have for driving into him? Other than if that person is going to cause a terror event,” he said. “Certainly not to effect an arrest, it’s way excessive for that.”
An 89-year-old fled civil war. But after 7 police confronted her at home, she no longer feels safe in Melbourne Virginia Langeberg, SBS News, 11 September 2020
Taina Lefort, a solicitor at Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre, said innocent family members should be treated with respect and without heavy-handed policing.
“That number of police officers going there without a search warrant. Why was a warrant not issued? It appears police didn’t have grounds for a warrant. And knowing that the mother had limited English, they went to the mother first,” Ms Lefort told SBS News.
Age EDITORIAL: Overstepping the mark in enforcing lockdown undermines the cause, The Age, 7 September, 2020
“During times of crisis, it is essential that the exceptional powers placed in the hands of government and law enforcement agencies are justifiable, proportionate and limited in time.
Police break down door of conspiracist accused of inciting anti-lockdown protest, Ashleigh McMillan, The Age, 4 September 2020
“Protest is continually downplayed in terms of its importance,” Mr Kelly said. “What we would say, is that protest events are so important for the fabric of society and democracy and the ability of us as citizens to raise concerns … they need to be given priority in terms of considerations.”
Victoria police powers under scrutiny after fines issued for exercise and going to supermarket, Melissa Davey, Guardian Australia, 3 September, 2020
“We are unaware of anyone who has successfully challenged an infringement,” Nguyen said. “We have also had clients with mental health issues who had infringements issued against them we believe are uncalled for. We feared at the beginning of the pandemic that when it came to police enforcement of health directives that it would disproportionately impact those from diverse, Indigenous and public housing communities, and those with mental health issues, and that is what we are seeing.
Age Editorial. Police revelations make case for systemic reform, The Age, 2 September 2020.
“The tens of millions spent on this royal commission will be wasted unless this government is prepared to give its anti-corruption body the independence, money and authority to hold all institutions to account.
The slippery slope: The most radical assault on our civil liberties is raising concerns. Nicola Berkovic, The Australian, 26 August 2020
Flemington & Kensington Legal Centre chief executive Anthony Kelly says policing during the pandemic has been “problematic”. He says some community groups have been targeted disproportionately to the outbreaks they have experienced and says Victoria Police has refused to release data to enable independent bodies to examine this.
Coronavirus hard lockdown of Melbourne public housing towers left residents feeling like ‘criminals’, inquiry hears Jason Om, ABC News / ABC 730, 25 August 2020
Some residents were allowed out to exercise but only in an outdoor area enclosed by temporary fencing, which the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre described as a “prison yard”. “Our concern around that was why, again, were these people treated as if they were criminals,” said Daniel Nguyen from Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre.
Curfew must involve a plan for those who have no choice but to be out, Elena Campbell, The Age Opinion, 4 August 2020
“As with most other measures adopted to slow the spread of the virus, however, the imposition of a curfew and increased enforcement powers associated with the declaration of a state of disaster will have the greatest impacts on the most vulnerable Victorians.”
More COVID-19 fines for Victoria’s most disadvantaged areas, Adam Cooper, The Age, 4 August 2020
“Victoria’s three poorest communities have copped 10 per cent of its COVID-19 fines, while its three most advantaged local government areas were dealt less than two per cent of infringements in the same period.
LIVES IN THE SKY SERIES: ‘My daughter wants to be a doctor’: young migrants in Melbourne’s high-rises face a bright future. James Button and Julie Szego. Photography by Christopher Hopkins, The Guardian, 14 July 2020
Yet writing in the Age after the conflagration in the US over the police killing of unarmed black man George Floyd, lawyer Daniel Nguyen from the Flemington-Kensington Community Legal Centre’s Police Accountability Project argued that structural changes are still needed to ensure Africans aren’t being singled out by law enforcement. He wants any police officer who stops to question a member of the public to be required to issue a docket recording the rationale for the stop, and the person’s “perceived ethnicity”. This data, he says, should be provided to an independent monitoring body, and allegations of discriminatory policing must be independently investigated.
LIVES IN THE SKY SERIES: ‘We’ll see you after dark’: how Melbourne police targeted African men in high-rises, James Button and Julie Szego. Photography by Christopher Hopkins, The Guardian, 11 July 2020
Two years later, Victoria Police settled a case brought against it by six young men alleging racial profiling and discrimination between 2005 and 2009. It was one of a long list of complaints made against police in Flemington and Moonee Valley in that period. The men were from African families living in the Flemington, Kensington and North Melbourne flats. Victoria police denied any wrongdoing but agreed to review their public relations and cultural awareness training as part of the settlement.
Melbourne’s public housing coronavirus lockdown tells a story of two cities, Alan Weedon, ABC News, 9 July 2020
The nearby Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Service has previously claimed that many of the towers’ residents of African descent are subject to over-policing and racial discrimination.
Chief Medical Officer backs Victoria’s lockdown of ‘vertical cruise ship’ towers, Jarni Blakkarly, SBS News, 5 July 2020
The Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre said in a statement that it was “extremely concerned” about the hard lockdown. “Residents are reporting confusion, fear, anxiety and tonight have been navigating contradictory directions from police and authorities as they try to prepare for a sudden five-day highly restrictive lock down,” the legal centre said on Saturday night.
“We have long called for health responses that centre care and wellbeing, not punitive responses that will result in further harms,” they said.
A group of 3,000 Melburnians have been locked down in public housing towers. But how will authorities manage it? Evan Young, SBS News, 5 July 2020.
The Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre’s Dan Nguyen said the group was was “very concerned” about what Mr Andrews called a hard lockdown. “Residents have been reporting a lot of shock. There’s a lot of anxiety and a lot of fear with very little information. The information that came by was almost instantaneous … and it came from the police on their doorstep,” he said. “Policing seems to be the centralised approach here in Victoria and it just can’t be. We need a public health approach.”
Thousands of public housing tenants under hard lockdown as COVID-19 spreads, David Estcourt and Clay Lucas, The Age, 4 July 2020
[Tamar Hopkins] said the unprecedented police presence on the estate would alarm and traumatise many residents, not calm them. “This estate is already under unprecedented police monitoring, and [the Premier’s] statement reflects deep ignorance about that history, and a lack of awareness about the consequences for the people who live there,” she said.
Victoria police enforcement of Covid-19 lockdown risks harming vulnerable communities, Melissa Davey, 3 July 2020
Daniel Nguyễn, the advocacy coordinator of the Police Accountability Project, a public interest legal project that monitors human rights abuses by police and represents victims, said they were seeing an intensification of police resources to surveil lockdown postcodes including the deployment of public order units, mounted officers and remote drones. “We are concerned that this militarisation and policing crackdown will disproportionately impact communities already weary of being targeted and exacerbate their sense of isolation during this lockdown,” Nguyễn told Guardian Australia.
Victorians slugged more than $10 million in coronavirus fines, Claudia Farhart, SBS NEWS, 22 June 2020
“Mr Nguyen said the Flemington Kensington Legal Centre had taken on multiple cases from Victorians who had received coronavirus fines, some of whom had been fined more than once.
But he said the volume of Victoria Police’s fines is not the only cause for concern; equally troubling to the Police Accountability Project is where those fines are being handed out.
Law enforcement and racial profiling, Santilla Chingaipe, The Saturday Paper, 13 June 2020.
“For some years, we’ve been watching the expansion of police use of predictive technologies and programming to target policing on particular communities. It’s in part driven by racialised crime panic that Victoria experienced from 2016 to late 2018,” says Kelly, “but it’s also driven by the growth of predictive policing around the world.”
Calls grow to ‘defund’ police, Lachlan Keller, The Hatch, 10 June 2020
CEO Anthony Kelly is following the case in Minneapolis closely, and is hopeful the current attention on policing can create real political will for change here in Australia as well. “Governments in Australia should be on notice now, that blindly allowing police to have carte blanche powers and continually expanding their reach is just not acceptable to the wider community,” he said. “It’s no longer viable to see police as a primary response to social problems. It’s a social problem in itself, policing is not a solution.”
Covid-19 lockdown: Victoria police data sparks fears disadvantaged unfairly targeted, Michael McGowan, Andy Ball and Josh Taylor, The Guardian, 6 June, 2020.
“There needs to be some explanation as to why we’re seeing enhanced policing occurring in some of these areas,” said Daniel Nguyen, an advocacy co-ordinator with the Police Accountability Project run by Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre. “If it’s not discrimination, OK, but let us know why. And this is the problem we’re seeing. Without clear data it’s difficult to dispel the valid concerns people do have that certain ethnic or cultural backgrounds are being more affected by these rules.”
Victoria coronavirus fines: City of Melbourne and Frankston have the most fines, Lucy Mae Beers, 7 News, 5 June 2020
“Victorians have been issued 5957 fines since officers were granted the power to give $1652 fines to individuals and up to $9913 for businesses. This is more than double the fines issued in Queensland, which is 2069 and three times those in NSW at 1290.
‘Stop and search’ is a global problem that Australia must also face, Daniel Nguyen, The Age Opinion, 2 June 2020.
Australia is by no means immune to the types of targeted and deeply racialised policing we see reported in the United States, and our policing and criminal justice systems must also bear the same level of scrutiny.
Age Editorial. Expanded PSO roles would need to come with better training and scrutiny, The Age, 21 May, 2020.
So it’s hardly surprising that the latest proposal to expand the reach of PSOs has again been met with scepticism. Gregor Husper, principal lawyer with the Police Accountability Project, said he was concerned about a lack of accountability measures: “The public has no confidence in the police complaints system … Incremental increases in police powers are incrementally eroding hard-won freedoms.” The Age shares such concerns.
Advocates signal alarm at report exonerating police over botched raid, Jess Malcom, The Citizen, 8 May, 2020
“Broadly in Victoria we see racialised policing and we see marginalised groups subject to more policing,” says Gregor Husper, principal lawyer with the Police Accountability Project. “Allowing police to use their discretion is really just another opportunity for police to perpetuate their prejudices against marginalised members of the community.” …
What to do if Victoria Police give you a coronavirus lockdown fine, Rebecca David, Herald Sun 7 May, 2020
“It comes as Police Accountability Project data from their Covid Policing in Australia website revealed instances where people believed cops had overstepped the mark…
Victoria has issued the most fines for lockdown breaches, while the ACT hasn’t fined anyone, Claudia Farhart, SBS News, 24 April 2020.
“New police data suggests there are substantial differences in how each Australian state and territory is enforcing coronavirus restrictions. While each state and territory has implemented similar social distancing rules agreed by the national cabinet on the basis of medical advice, the number of fines issued in each jurisdiction ranges from almost 2,000 to zero.”
Australians Are Sharing Their ‘Frightening’ Encounters With Police Over Social Distancing Laws, Jared Richards, Junkee, 22 April 2020
COVID-19 Policing In Australia was founded last week by a coalition of advocacy organisations, including Amnesty International, Police Accountability Project and Digital Rights Watch. The site invites people to report any “problematic” policing they’ve encountered over the enforcement of social distancing laws, which vary in each state and territory but ultimately aim to curb public movement.
Legal and human rights groups urge caution over use of emergency powers, Rebecca David, Herald Sun, 21 April, 2020
“Victoria Police must ensure its responses (to the COVID-19 pandemic) are aligned to the current circumstances and do not infringe upon the health, human rights and dignity of Victorian residents and visitors,” a statement from the Police Accountability Project says.
Compliance fines under the microscope, Osman Faruqi, The Saturday Paper, 18 April, 2020
“A coalition of legal services, co-ordinated by the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre, has written to police commissioners around the country, calling on a uniform approach to data collection and oversight…
Coronavirus fines vary across the country, prompting calls for clearer guidelines, Matthew Doran, ABC News, 17 April 2020
A website has been set up, attached to the Police Accountability Project in Victoria, for people to share their experiences dealing with police during the coronavirus outbreak. When it comes to the “common sense” test being promised by the Victorian Police, Ms Reinecke is not convinced that solves the problem.
Calls grow for police to release guidelines used to enforce coronavirus lockdown rules, Elizabeth Daoud, 7News, 15 April, 2020
“Calls are growing for police in all states and territories in Australia to release guidelines used to enforce COVID-19 social distancing regulations.
COVID-19 lockdown fines ‘eroding public confidence’, top cop warns, Tammy Mills, The Age, 13 April 2020
“The Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre launched a website – Policing COVID – to track police powers during the pandemic. The centre said it had received reports that ranged from the inconvenience of being questioned by police outside homes or accosted while exercising, to more serious incursions such as searches or arrests. Some people reported interactions that were unpleasant, clumsy or that felt like they were “being interrogated”.
Victorian police issue more than 400 fines for coronavirus breaches over Easter weekend, ABC News, 13 April 2020
“On Monday the alliance of community legal groups including Liberty Victoria said 20 reports of “concerning police interactions” in Victoria had been lodged with the new COVID-19 Policing in Australia website in the past week…
How To Get Out Of An ‘Unfair’ Coronavirus Fine, Josh Butler, 10 Daily, 13 April 2020
“The Police Accountability Project, spearheaded by Melbourne’s Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre, has launched a new website called Covid Policing, tracking coronavirus laws nationwide. The first report of the new project spoke of “numerous reports” from citizens nationwide, complaining “of interactions with police that were unpleasant, clumsy, like being ‘interrogated’ or have left them feeling stressed, anxious or more fearful to go out again.”
Concerns police using coronavirus powers to target marginalised communities in Australia, Jarni Blakkarly, SBS News, 12 April 2020
“Legal advocates and researchers have urged police to issue more police data and provide clearer guidelines on how fines are being issued for the breach of coronavirus-related public health regulations in each state and territory. The call comes amid concerns that culturally diverse and low socio-economic groups are bearing the brunt of the police actions…
Jogger sent home as confusion over lockdown laws leaves Victorians in breach, David Estcourt, The Age, 12 April 2020
“Community legal centres have blamed inconsistent government messaging and rapidly changing rules for dozens of Victorians inadvertently breaking the law during the crackdown on freedom of movement designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Legal and human rights advocacy groups have called for careful scrutiny of the way police are fining those found to have breached the Chief Health Officer’s directives. A coalition of groups, including Liberty Victoria and the Police Accountability Project, have set up a national website where people can report interactions with police that they felt were unfair.
Lawyers call for halt to policing low-level crime during pandemic, Tammy Mills, The Age, 30 March 2020
“Lawyers from The Police Accountability Project, run by the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre, have called for a moratorium on the enforcement of the law in relation to non-violent and low-level crimes in an effort to reduce the number of people in courts, remand centres and prisons.
Legal chatbot to combat police misconduct launched, Jerome Doraisamy, Lawyers Weekly, 11 March 2020
“In what is being heralded as an “Australian first”, Flemington Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre, Josef and Robinson Gill have teamed up to launch “Police Complaints”, a legal bot which will enable users to converse with a bot which will then automatically draft a letter of complaint with all required information, including how and where to send a complaint so as to get a desired outcome.
Police using facial recognition cameras at Victoria’s busiest stations, Farah Tomazin, The Age, 25 December 2019
“Surveillance and tracking technology is susceptible to existing biases and prejudices,” said Anthony Kelly, who heads the Police Accountability Project at the Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre. “It will inevitably be pointed towards and most impact those who are already targeted by police – the poor, the mentally ill and people who are politically active.”
Legal observers find police ‘set tone of violence’ at anti-mining protests, Benjamin Miller, The Age, 6 December 2019
“A 45-page report, co-authored by Anthony Kelly, executive officer of the Flemington and Kensington Legal Community Centre, claims police were unnecessarily aggressive during arrests, made unlawful use of police powers and entered the three days of protest from October 29 to 31 with an “antagonistic” attitude.
‘This isn’t over’: Woman who won police shooting payout demands justice, Cameron Houston and Tom Cowie, The Age, 14 November 2019
“I want to know when IBAC will launch their independent investigation. There is so much more to the incident than the public are aware of.”
Brutality checks on activists, Anthony Kelly, Saturday Paper, 9 November 2019
“In the world of public-order policing, control is paramount. Control of space, control of numbers, control of the narrative – all come into play in the operational orders that guide such policing…
Age Editorial: Police complaints system in urgent need of improvement, 28 October 2019
“It’s time Mr Andrews listened more carefully to those who are calling for change to a system that should be better.” – The Age
Former Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Brett Guerin will not be charged over online posts, Bridget Rollason, ABC News 2 September, 2019
“The executive officer of the Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre, Anthony Kelly, said the information needed to be available to Parliament immediately. “We still don’t know if Guerin’s racist attitudes were known to the Chief Commissioner or others in VicPol command at the time of his promotion,” Anthony Kelly said. “These questions will remain unanswered unless the Operation Turon findings are released.”
Police mark the city a “designated area”, Meg Hill, CBD News, 29 August 2019
“Certain police powers expanded over the past decade have become increasingly concentrated in the CBD as their focus has shifted to protests. Victoria Police were given the power to declare a “designated area”, within which they have expanded search and move-on powers, in a 2009 amendment to the Control of Weapons Act 1900.
Police union head ‘proud’ of officers involved in botched Fitzroy raid, ABC News, 16 May 2019
“The head of Victoria’s police union has said he is “proud” of the way officers handled a botched Melbourne raid that left an innocent man with a broken arm and serious shoulder injuries.”
‘This is not a one-off’: Hares & Hyenas police raid shows the reality of violent policing, Lauren Caulfield and Jess Ison, Star Observer Opinion, 14 May 2019
“For communities who face sustained racial targeting by police, especially Indigenous communities who remain at the ground zero of deaths in custody and hyper-criminalisation, this is an ongoing reality. Whilst some LGBTQIA+ people may be able to successfully access support from the police, other members of our community cannot….”
Watchdog to probe botched Victoria police raid, Mark Schliebs and Remy Varga, The Australian, 14 May 2019
“Victoria’s anti-corruption commission has taken over the investigation into a botched raid that has left an innocent man so badly injured he may lose the use of an arm, after heavily armed police mistakenly stormed his flat.”
‘Looking Middle Eastern’: Victoria police accused of racial profiling in arrest that broke man’s arm, Melissa Davey, The Guardian, 14 May 2019
“Nik Dimopoulos’s “only crime was looking Middle Eastern” before he was arrested by police so forcefully that he may have permanent damage to his arm, according to his lawyer, Jeremy King.”
Police admit they “made a mistake” in violent arrest at Melbourne queer bookstore, Benjamin Ansell, 9 News, 14 May 2019
“Victoria Police has admitted it “made a mistake” when officers raided a Melbourne property over the weekend, leaving a man in hospital with serious injuries.”
Police visit bookshop to make personal apology to victims of bungled raid, Rachel Eddie and Zach Hope, The Age, 13 May 2019
“One of Victoria’s top ranking police officers has taken the rare step of offering a face-to-face apology to the housemates of the man who was wrongly arrested and seriously injured in a bungled pre-dawn raid on Saturday.”
IBAC to investigate botched Fitzroy raid that left innocent man with ‘major injuries’, ABC Radio Melbourne, 13 May 2019
“Victoria’s anti-corruption watchdog has launched an investigation into a botched police raid that left an innocent man with serious injuries.”
Melbourne police break man’s arm in mistaken arrest at Fitzroy’s Hares & Hyenas bookshop, Damian McIver, ABC News, 13 May 2019
“There are fears an innocent man may lose the use of his left arm after he was seriously injured during a botched police raid in Melbourne.”
Fitzroy blunder: Melbourne man falsely arrested considering legal action, Lucy Mae Beers, 7 News, 13 May 2019
“The innocent man left hospitalised after being arrested in a case of mistaken identity outside a Melbourne bookshop is now considering legal action.”
Victoria Police investigated after brutal, mistaken arrest, Natalie Wolfe and Rohan Smith, News.com.au, 13 May 2019
“Nik Dimopoulos was terrified when police stormed his home, broke his arm and arrested him. Today, they admitted they made a mistake.”
Victim of mistaken arrest undergoes surgery as lawyers called in, Erin Pearson and Matilda Boseley, The Age, 12 May 2019
“The victim of a bungled police operation above a Fitzroy bookshop on the weekend is expected to launch legal action after what’s believed to be a case of mistaken identity left the man with serious injuries.”
Vic police raid leaves innocent man hurt, Caroline Schelle, The Australian, 12 May 2019
“A man mistaken for a car jacker may lose the use of his arm after he was seriously injured during a botched police raid in Melbourne.”
Man hospitalised after police operation at wrong Fitzroy property, Chris Vedelago, Rachael Dexter and Matilda Boseley, The Age, 12 May 2019
“Police are under investigation over an operation at a Fitzroy property that left a man undergoing surgery for serious fractures to his arm following an arrest that is being treated as a case of mistaken identity.”
Police admit to bungled raid which left innocent man with serious injuries, The Herald Sun, 11 May 2019
“Police have sensationally admitted to “stuffing up” a bungled raid on Saturday that left an innocent man with serious injuries — and have finally apologised to the victim, who now fears he may never regain full use of his injured arm.”
Calls for Victoria to borrow police oversight ideas from Northern Ireland and New York, Karen Percy, ABC News, 23 January 2019
“Systems to deal with police brutality in Northern Ireland and New York should be considered for adoption in Victoria, legal experts say, after a doctor joined a growing list of alleged victims of excessive force in the state.
Police Force – ABC 7.30pm Broadcast 7:30pm Mon 21 Jan 2019.
Victorian Government faces pressure to overhaul how police misconduct is investigated, Fran Kelly, Radio National Breakfast 21 January 2019
Policeman on trial for allegedly bashing a woman and breaking her nose, Jean Edwards, ABC News, 22 November 2018.
“A woman allegedly bashed by a policeman in her home more than 20 years ago has told a Melbourne court how she woke up bloodied in the back of a divisional van with a broken nose.
‘Harassed and followed’: cop bashed woman at home, court told, Rebekah Cavanagh, Herald Sun, 22 November 2018
Victoria’s ‘broken’ police complaints system needs major overhaul, committee says, Zalika Rizmal, ABC News, 4 September, 2018
“A Victorian parliamentary committee has called for a major overhaul of the state’s police oversight system after a 15-month inquiry into how claims of misconduct and corruption are investigated.
Victoria’s ‘broken’ police complaints gadget wants predominant overhaul, committee says, Cathy Boyer, Newsline, 4 September, 2018
“A Victorian parliamentary committee has called for a predominant overhaul of the enlighten’s police oversight gadget after a 15-month inquiry into how claims of misconduct and corruption are investigated.
Victoria police should not investigate serious misconduct itself, landmark report says, Melissa Cunningham, The Age, 4 September, 2018
“Serious police misconduct should not be left to the force to investigate, a landmark parliamentary inquiry has found.
Collingwood brawl was not ‘gang violence’, legal service claims, Erin Pearson, The Age, 4 September, 2018
“Legal observers who were present at the brawl outside a Collingwood pub at the weekend say alcohol was to blame and not “gang behaviour”.
Brawlers in police sights over Vic fight, Georgie Moore and Christine McGinn, The Inverell Times, 4 September, 2018
“Dozens of revellers have been interviewed by police over a brawl which spilled out of a Melbourne record launch and left seven people in hospital
Police charged over alleged brutality after media expose, Nick McKenzie, The Age, 31 August, 2018
“Victoria’s anti-corruption commission has charged two police officers over allegations of brutality after The Age published footage showing them allegedly using excessive force during a welfare check of a disability pensioner.
Court opens door to domestic violence victim to sue police for negligence, Mandy Shircore and Heather Douglas, The Conversation, 30 August, 2018
“This week the Victorian Supreme Court refused an application by the State of Victoria to strike out a claim by Tara Smith and her three children.
Victoria court to decide whether police were negligent in family violence case, Luke Henriques-Gomes, The Guardian, 28 August, 2018
“A Victorian court will decide whether the police were negligent in failing to protect a woman and her three children from nearly a decade of abuse, in what the woman’s lawyers say will be a landmark test case.
Woman sues Victoria Police for failing to protect her from her violent ex-partner, Sarah Farnsworth, ABC News, 28 August, 2018
“Woman sues Victoria Police for failing to protect her from her violent ex-partner
Community Called to Challenge ‘Racist Myths’ Targeting African-Australians, Luke Michael, Pro Bono Australia , 10 July, 2018
“Community organisations are being encouraged to challenge “racist myths” targeting African-Australians after an incendiary television report on “African gangs running riot”.
Watchdog finds ‘deficiencies’ in the way police investigate complaints, Tom Cowie, The Age, 22 June, 2018
“Victoria Police is failing to address conflicts of interest between officers and the investigators who examine complaints against them, while members are still reluctant to “dog” on their colleagues and give evidence against those who do the wrong thing.
Trace: Cold case families ‘relieved’ as new laws make it easier for coronial inquests to be reopened, Rachael Brown, ABC News, 21 June, 2018
“The long wait for seven families hoping to have cold cases reopened could soon be over, after the Victorian Government introduced new laws to make it easier for coronial findings to be set aside.
How racial profiling still persists in Australia’s policing system, Ahmed Yussuf, TRT World, 19 June, 2018
“Racialised policing is so deeply entrenched in the Australian security system that it often translates into lifelong trauma among the members of African communities who are often at the receiving end.
‘African gangs’ debate polarises Australia, Trevor Marshallsea, BBC News, 18 January 2018
“Mr Kelly told the BBC one reason for the recent apparent upsurge in incidents was simply that Australia is in the middle of its lengthy summer school holiday break. Sadly, he said, the “over-the-top” media reportage had strengthened the arm of white nationalist groups, which had been active in writing to media outlets, politicians and police about the supposed threat of African communities.
Far right group threatens to take a stand over ‘African gangs’. Liam Mannix, The Age, 4 January 2018
“Legal advocates, meanwhile, say it is just the latest symptom of a growing movement toward vigilantism, the flames of which are being willingly fanned by our political leaders.
Criminologist warns against sensationalising Victoria’s African youth crime, Andrea Booth, SBS News, 4 January 2018
“As a South Sudanese migrant lambasts young African men for committing violent crimes in Victoria, a criminologist warns the media against overblowing the issue.
Is Melbourne in the grip of African crime gangs? The facts behind the lurid headlines, Calla Wahlquist, The Guardian Australia, 3 January 2018
“Anthony Kelly, the executive officer of Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre, which covers areas with a significant migrant population, said calling these groups “gangs” was “ludicrous”.
POLICE reject it as time-consuming and counter-productive, but human rights groups say it collects vital information to prevent discriminatory policing….
African Australians using video as a tool against racial profiling, Santilla Chingaipe, SBS News, 11 July 2016
The protests in the United States against the killing of black men by police have highlighted the role social media video apps in recording the incidents…
Gang members won’t be deported: Vic police, News.com.au/AAP, April 29, 2016.
Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre chief executive Anthony Kelly welcomed the chief commissioner’s measured comments. The lawyer said it was outrageous to suggest some gang members should be deported if found guilty of a crime…
There’s Nothing ‘PC’ About Objecting To Racial Profiling, It Just Doesn’t Work, Tamar Hopkins, New Matilda, 30 March 2016,
Victoria Police’s zero tolerance policy on racial profiling has come under attack in recent weeks. Could critics of the policy have a point? Can stopping people based on a profile that includes race be justified? The research says no…
Victoria Police working to shift away from old-school culture, Anthony Kelly, The Age, 23 March 2016
The agents of racism, Micheal Green, Overland, 16 March 2016
“The ban on racial profiling doesn’t prevent the police from investigating any crimes – it just prevents them from stopping people because of their skin colour (rather than reasonable cause)…
Melbourne riot: claims police going soft on African youths ‘inaccurate and dangerous’, Michael Safi, The Guardian, 15 March, 2016
“Speculation a gang brawl in Melbourne’s CBD was the result of police going soft on African or Islander youths is “shockingly inaccurate and dangerous”, according to the lawyers behind a landmark case that banned racial profiling in Victoria…
Neil Mitchell hits out at handling of CBD riots, says police ‘too scared’ of being accused of racial profiling, Neil Mitchell, 3AW Mornings with Neil Mitchell. 15 March 2016
“But not everyone agrees. Anthony Kelly is the Executive Officer at the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre and was involved in the 2013 legal case that found Victoria Police had been racially profiling members of the African community…” [Audio]
South Sudanese Association upset by profiling, Santilla Chingaipe, 15 March, 2016
“Mr Kelly says Victoria police are getting better at breaking the nexus between race and criminal behaviour…”
Did Cops plant gun on Slain Robber? Herald Sun, 17 December 2015
A CORONER has been asked to reopen an inquest into the police shooting of notorious bank robber Graeme Jensen amid renewed claims police lied about him being armed…
Graeme Jensen death: Coroner asked to re-open inquiry into shooting of armed robber by police, ABC Online, 17 December 2015
The coroner has been asked to re-examine the death of a notorious Melbourne armed robber who was shot dead by police, with his sister saying she has new evidence about the case…
Police officer should be charged over 1996 attack on Corinna Horvath, IBAC told, Nino Bucci and Jane Lee, The Age, 17 November 2015
A Victoria Police officer who punched a woman in the face during an unlawful raid on her home almost 20 years ago should face assault charges, the state’s corruption watchdog has been told….
Calls to combat racial profiling, Rebecca David, Herald Sun, 3 November 2015.
VICTORIA needs an independent authority to investigate complaints of racial profiling and misconduct by police, legal and human rights groups say…
Victoria Police official prohibits racial profiling, Michael Green, The Age, 27 September 2015
Ten years ago, Daniel Haile-Michael and his teenage friends felt nervous walking the streets of Flemington: they were scared of being harassed by the police. And then they sued them, for racial discrimination….
Protesters take action against Victoria Police after capsicum spray claims, David Hurley, Herald Sun, September 11, 2015
The Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre has lodged complaints with Victoria Police on behalf of the protesters who brought parts of Melbourne CBD to a standstill on July 18.
Border Force: could you be stopped by an official?, Jane Lee, The Age, August 28 2015
Sophie Ellis, a lawyer at Flemington-Kensington Legal Centre, said Victorians had the right to privacy and freedom of movement under the state’s Human Rights Charter. “That means that people have a right to be out on the street, to be with friends in public places,” she said…
Daniel Haile-Michael and Maki Issa co-author report into Victoria Police racial profiling, Tamara Heath, Moonee Valley Leader, July 14, 2015
RACIALLY discriminative policing is “as common as being asked to pay for goods at a store” for young men of African and refuge backgrounds, according to a Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre report…
Report reveals young Africans feel victimised by police, Rebecca David, Dandenong Leader, July 14, 2015
YOUNG African men in Noble Park and Dandenong say they are regularly subjected to racial profiling by Victorian police, ranging from serious assaults and racial taunts to public ridicule, a new report reveals….
Racial discrimination and harassment still rife in Victoria police, study finds, Oliver Milman, Guardian Australia, 14 July 2015
Africans Daniel Haile-Michael and Maki Issa, who were part of a landmark case alleging racial bias against Victorian police, say young migrants still live in fear…
Young migrants avoiding Melbourne CBD because of police behaviour: Legal Centre report, ABC World Today, 14th July 2015
Vic police seek details on racial profiling assault allegations, Tom Nightingale, ABC World Today, Tuesday 14 July 2015
The Victorian Police service is asking for clarification about allegations that some of its police officers have assaulted African-Australians…
Police Association up in arms over plan for officers to provide receipts, Melissa Townsend, Dandenong Leader, 27 March 2015
A TRIAL requiring Greater Dandenong police to produce a receipt for every informal interaction with the public has been slammed by The Police Association of Victoria.
Lawyers say race ‘critical’ in receipting program, Sue Hewit, Moonee Valley Weekly, 18 March, 2015.
Victoria Police’s trial “receipting” program to stamp out racism will fail to collect data that could reveal racial profiling patterns, according to community lawyers.
Moonee Valley Police set to launch trial program following race discrimination case, Lynh Ly, Moonee Valley Leader, 11 March 2015
THE long-awaited police receipt trial will start in Moonee Valley this month, when officers will be required to document their approaches.
DPP v Kaba: Our freedom of movement, liberty, and right to not be racially profiled, Fia Walker, Right Now, 19 February 2015.
One sunny afternoon, Magnus Kaba (“Kaba”) and a friend were driving along the streets of Flemington when two uniformed patrol police officers stopped their car for a random check of licence and car registration…
Train commuters deserve better guards, The Age Editorial, 16 February, 2015
These aggressive responses by transport security officers have been shown, by the Victorian Ombudsman in the first instance and the magistrate in the second, to be indefensible…
CCTV footage of capsicum spray use on teens forces Victoria Police internal investigation, Louise Milligan, ABC 7.30, 12 February 2015
Video and transcript available
Victoria Police launch internal investigation into use of capsicum spray on teenager after fare evasion, Louise Milligan, ABC news, 12 February 2015
Victoria Police has launched an internal investigation into the actions of two Protective Services Officers (PSO), after viewing extraordinary CCTV footage which shows two teenage boys being repeatedly sprayed with capsicum foam just because one did not have a valid railway ticket…
PSO’s spray teenage boys with capsicum foam over railway ticket, Aisha Dow, The Age, 12 February 2015
Victoria Police have launched an internal investigation after two teenage boys were repeatedly sprayed with capsicum foam – because one did not have a valid railway ticket….
Flemington legal centre chief calls for police to record motorists’ ethnicity during vehicle checks, Moonee Valley Leader, Linh Ly, January 14, 2015
POLICE should record motorists’ ethnicity when performing vehicle checks to ensure racial profiling is not occurring, a legal centre chief executive says…
The Pointy End Of Police Racism: A Ken Lay Retrospective, New Matilda, Anthony Kelly, 13 January 2015
The Victorian Police Commissioner has resigned, to near universal acclaim. Anthony Kelly from the Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre weighs in…
IBAC to review Corinna Horvath complaints to police, The Age, Jane Lee, December 18, 2014
The Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission is reviewing Victoria Police’s handling of allegations police attacked a woman almost 20 years ago…
Police excceeded powers and breached human rights of African man, Judge says, The Age, Stever Butcher and Jane Lee, 18 December 2014
A Victorian judge has found that police exceeded their powers and breached the human rights of a man who claimed to have been racially harassed.
Flemington: ‘Justice Fighters’ shortlisted for human rights award, Moonee Valley Weekly, Sue Hewit, 25 November, 2014
Two young Flemington men dubbed “justice fighters” have been shortlisted for a human rights award for their work against racism.
Corinna Horvath attack: Woman bashed by police receives apology 18 years on, ABC News, September 22, 2014
A woman bashed by Victorian police officers almost two decades ago has received compensation and an apology from Chief Commissioner Ken Lay.
Victoria Police apologises, pays compensation to Corinna Horvath The Age, Jane Lee,
Victoria Police’s Chief Commissioner has apologised and paid compensation to a woman almost 20 years after her nose was broken in an unlawful police raid.
Moonee Valley police to trial receipt program to address concerns about police racism and profiling Moonee Valley Leader, Linh Ly, 9 September, 2014
MOONEE Valley police will hand out “receipts” to people they stop and search as part of a pilot program to address racial profiling…
Police to hand out receipts in bid to stamp out racism, Moonee Valley Weekly Review, Sue Hewitt and Jo Davy
Moonee Valley Police will be among the first in Australia to hand out “receipts” explaining why they have stopped people on the street, in a bid to stamp out racism in the force…
Coroner can’t rule out foul play in drowned refugee’s death, SBS News, Greg Dyett and Sarah Abo, 28 August 2014
“What we’re seeing is police that all too often view African youth as being potential criminals, rather than being victims or vulnerable and needing care and respect and I guess what we’re seeing here is that Michael Atakelt was one of these criminalised young men….”
Coroner’s open finding on Maribynong River death, The Age, Larissa Nicholson and Adam Cooper, 28 August 2014
The state coroner has found it is not possible to determine the circumstances around the death of a young Ethiopian-Australian man whose body was found in the Maribyrnong River….
Coroner’s findings leave Michael Atakelt’s family with no answers, Maribynong Leader, Bridie Byrne, 28 August 2014
Judge Ian Gray has handed down an open finding into the death of Michael Atakelt, 22, who was found floating near the Raleigh Rd bridge on July 7, 2011…
‘Legal advocates help make community policing fair’, The Age / The Voice, Volume 10 Number 8, Stav Psonis, August 11 2014,
“Two law graduates and a current JD student have joined forces with the Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre to educate the community about fair policing…”
‘Inflation nightclub in race furore over cancelling Africa Fest’, Herald Sun, James Dowling, July 17, 2014
“The event promoters claim an Inflation Nightclub manager told them their night would not be going ahead “because the majority of your patrons will be African”…”
UN Condemns inadequate response to police violence, Australian Lawyers Alliance, Sophie Ellis, 3 July, 2014
“A powerful condemnation of the failure of Victoria’s laws to provide adequate remedies to victims of police violence has been delivered by the United Nations Human Rights Committee…”
‘Abbott government says it is not legally bound to compensate Corinna Horvath’ Sydney Morning Herald, Jane Lee, 30 June, 2014
“Remedy Australia legal adviser Elizabeth Evatt said Australia was obliged to remedy human rights violations and ensure they did not happen again.”
‘Police Power and Abuse: A gap in Victoria’s legal system’, Right Now, Meghana Sharma, 24 June, 2014
“If you are victimised by a member of the police force in Victoria, fighting for compensation can be an arduous and ultimately fruitless exercise.”
‘Victoria Police bashing breaches international convention’, The World Today, Rachael Brown, 6 May 2014
The UN Human Rights Committee says Victoria should be vicariously liable for police misconduct and should amend its laws to that affect. It relates to the police bashing of Corinna Horvath in 1996….
‘UN says Victoria should compensate victim of police beating’, The Age, Jane Lee, 5 May 2014
The United Nations says Victoria should compensate a woman almost 20 years after four police officers beat her unconscious, breaking her nose and jaw.
‘Justice for woman bashed by police 20 years ago’, 7:30 (ABC-TV), Louise Milligan, 5 May 2014
‘United Nations says Victoria breached International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by not compensating police bashing victim’, ABC News. Louise Milligan, 5 May 2014.
The United Nations has delivered a scathing decision on the Victorian Government and its police force, saying it has breached the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) after failing to compensate a woman viciously bashed by police…
Police put on notice over racial profiling The Age, Carolyn Webb, May 4, 2014
People fed up with race-based police attention have formed a bold new group to ensure the force keeps its promise to overhaul its attitudes and actions…
Victoria Police has embarked on a campaign to stamp out racial bias. But as a new division is launched to drive this reform, critics ask whether this can change the culture of the force.
Three police officers sacked, others disciplined over racist Sunshine stubby holders, The Age, Beau Donelly
Three police officers have been sacked and other high ranking members, including an inspector, face disciplinary action over a racism row in which stubby holders mocking African migrants were circulated around a suburban station…
Police training in Sunshine aims to end racial profiling The Age, Nino Bucci, 18 January 2014.
Victorian cops react to racial profiling inquiry, SBS World News Radio, Richard Parkin, 2 January 2014
Police in Victoria have launched a three-year plan to improve how they interact with minority communities…
Police pledge on racial bias The Age, Rania Spooner and Nino Bucci, December 31, 2013
Victoria Police has pledged to eliminate racial bias in its ranks and has revealed plans to trial giving receipts after searches on the street….
Victorian police act against racial bias but say racism is not systemic, Guardian Australia, Oliver Milman, December 31, 2013
Pilot program will give receipts to people stopped and searched as part of three-year plan to improve relationship with minorities…
Vic top cops admits past racial profiling, News.com.au, December 31, 2013
RACIAL profiling has occurred within Victoria Police, the state’s police chief has admitted for the first time.
Secret police operation ‘targeted’ African-Australians, ABC News, Jeff Waters, 30 December 2013
The ABC has uncovered details of a secret Victoria Police operation targeting young African-Australians in Melbourne’s inner north. Operation Molto...
Racism in the ranks, The Age, Michael Green,
Are Victorian police biased against people of particular ethnic backgrounds? A chorus of voices is speaking out about racism and the force is taking steps to tackle the problem…
‘Overpolicing’ and the death of a young black man, Overland Journal, Micheal Green, 4 September, 2013
‘Do you believe the Footscray police has done their duty of care?’ Getachew Seyoum asks. He is standing at the bar table, during the coronial inquest into the death of his son, Michael Atakelt, who was found dead in the Maribyrnong River in July 2011…
Push for anti-racism search laws, The Age, Nino Bucci, August 14, 2013
‘Racism is so intrinsic in the police force that officers should get written consent before stopping and searching people deemed to be suspicious, the Law Institute of Victoria have recommended…
Police Ready to listen, Africans have plenty to say, The Citizen, Squirrel Main, 17 June 2013
A multi-media article on the Victoria Police Inquiry into racial profiling…
Police oversight ‘biased’ against public complaints, Maris Beck, Sunday Age, 17 March, 2013
‘Legal advocates fear Victoria Police’s public complaints process is biased, with court documents revealing a police investigator directed witnesses on how to write their statements about an officer accused of assaulting a man…’
Police likelier to stop Africans, (includes video) The Age, Vince Chadwick and Jane Lee,
YOUNG men of African origin are more than twice as likely to be stopped, searched, and questioned by police than the rest of the population in parts of Melbourne, an analysis of a police database has revealed…
Victoria Police settles racial profiling case, ABC PM, Samantha Donovan, 18 February, 2013
The Victorian police force has avoided a trial over claims that its officers commonly resort to racial profiling.
Victoria Police settle racial harassment case, The Age, Vince Chadwick, February 18, 2013
Older Media reports
Police face charges on race claims (19/03/10 The Age)
Racism and cover-up pervade response to deaths in custody (10/03/10 The Age)
Racism claims put spotlight on OPI-police ties (19/03/10 The Australian)
Police must deal with racists in the ranks ( 19/03/10 Brisbane Times)
Victorian police investigate race claims ( 19/03/10 The Australian)
Victorian police watchdog shelved racists complaints (18/03/10 The Australian)
Victorian police chief Simon Overland admits racists in ranks (17/03/10 The Australian)
Top cop defends Vic force despite report (16/03/10 Sydney Morning Herald)