11 Gangs top threat list
GANGS rank as Victoria’s biggest emerging crime threat, according to police, amid intense concern about their safety on the job.
A Police Association Victoria survey of more than 1000 members found 23 per cent rank gangs as the key future crime threat.
Drugs followed with 22 per cent and family violence with 21 per cent.
The survey, completed during August and September, also found members worried about their safety.
Two thirds reported being threat- ened while on duty and just over a third being physically attacked.
Only a fifth of those quizzed were confident they wouldn’t get sick or injured as a result of their work.
“This result demonstrates the scale of the problem that we have been talking about for some time,” Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt said. “It is why reform is so important. “We need to ensure that police are protected at work when they are protecting the community.
“The best way to do that is by imposing significant consequences on those who target police, to deter others from doing the same.”
Victoria Police Commander Shane Cole, from the force’s health, safety and deployment division, said support was in place for police. This included mental health and physical care.
“The safety and wellbeing of our officers, both physical and mental, is absolutely paramount,’’ Commander Cole said.
Mental health and terrorism also ranked as major emerging crime threats, listed by one in 10 officers as their biggest concern.
“The Victoria Police Intelligence Community has processes in place to ensure early detection, assessment and reporting of emerging risks, issues and trends,’’ Victoria Police spokeswoman Alex Day said. “This information is shared among the organisation and our partners to assist with our decision making and planning.
“Along with this we also have specialist investigative teams within the regions who meet regularly to identify and disrupt emerging issues that happen across the state.”
Lack of frontline police and court practices such as plea bargaining seen to be hindering effective policing were among other concerns.