Build­ing com­mu­nity con­nec­tions

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

As mem­bers of Victoria Po­lice we per­form a crit­i­cal role in emer­gency re­sponse and en­force­ment.

How­ever our work in en­gag­ing with all of our com­mu­ni­ties is also vi­tal and in to­day’s col­umn we are fo­cus­ing on the role of our Proac­tive Policing Unit.

This unit has a broad con­nec­tion with the Wim­mera com­mu­nity.

Hor­sham Po­lice Ser­vice Area, in­clud­ing Hor­sham, Hind­marsh, West Wim­mera and North­ern Grampians ser­vice area has a team of proac­tive policing of­fi­cers.

As the name im­plies, proac­tive ap­plies to of­fi­cers who are part of a team that pro­vides a proac­tive or crimepre­ven­tion ap­proach in their du­ties.

The team is made up of a sergeant and a team of five of­fi­cers.

The of­fi­cers are usu­ally re­ferred to as proac­tive policing of­fi­cers and each has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to a par­tic­u­lar crime-pre­ven­tion port­fo­lio.

The team’s manager, Act­ing Se­nior Sergeant Si­mon Grant, also holds the po­si­tion of Agri­cul­tural Li­ai­son Of­fi­cer.

This is very im­por­tant given our ru­ral lo­ca­tion and the ne­ces­sity to ed­u­cate farm­ers around keep­ing their prop­er­ties safe and guard­ing against

theft, be it theft of stock or diesel fuel or other farm­ing equip­ment.

One of our mem­bers holds the port­fo­lio for firearms safety – this of course links with the agri­cul­tural port­fo­lio.

The op­er­a­tional staff work­ing in the unit might hold a spe­cial­ist po­si­tion or a proac­tive port­fo­lio.

There is a Youth Spe­cial­ist Of­fi­cer who has a sig­nif­i­cant role in work­ing with young of­fend­ers who might be caus­ing a high de­gree of harm in their com­mu­ni­ties. There is also a Youth Re­source Of­fi­cer who pro­vides a proac­tive re­sponse, par­tic­u­larly in school set­tings.

All mem­bers of the team, re­gard­less of their ti­tle, work to­gether to pro­vide a proac­tive re­sponse within the com­mu­nity.

This is to as­sist in pro­vid­ing an in­ter­ven­tion­ist ap­proach to po­ten­tially ward off se­ri­ous of­fend­ing, while en­sur­ing that peo­ple are less likely to be­come vic­tims of crime.

The role is en­tirely var­ied – one day might in­volve a mem­ber ad­dress­ing a kin­der­garten group on the role of po­lice in the com­mu­nity.

Another day might in­volve an ad­dress to li­censed-premises staff on what to do in the event of an armed hold-up.

In June this year a dis­trict kin­der­garten was lucky to have a very spe­cial visit from the Po­lice Dog Squad.

This pro­vided the chil­dren with a unique op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­act with po­lice labrador Kevin.

Fur­ther, the visit en­abled the chil­dren to iden­tify the Victoria Po­lice uni­form and en­cour­aged them that at a time when they might need help, that uni­formed po­lice were ap­proach­able and are part of a group of peo­ple who help in their com­mu­nity.

More re­cently, the team worked with Lachie’s Legacy to pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for 32 year-six stu­dents from each of the four pri­mary schools in Hor­sham to travel to the MCG in Mel­bourne to watch an AFL game be­tween Bris­bane and Rich­mond. It was a lot of fun.

Lachie’s Legacy, in hon­our of Lachie Poul­ter who trag­i­cally died of a heart at­tack while play­ing foot­ball for Dunnstown, pro­vides op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple to be in­volved in foot­ball.

The team’s crime-pre­ven­tion role fea­tures the run­ning of lo­cal op­er­a­tions such as Safe Plate days in part­ner­ship with lo­cal hard­ware busi­nesses, with as­sis­tance from com­mu­nity vol­un­teers.

Th­ese op­er­a­tions in­volve the fitting of ‘one-way’ screws to ve­hi­cle num­ber plates to de­crease the theft of num­ber plates, which in turn can flow on to a re­duc­tion in petrol-sta­tion drive-offs.

While we’re speak­ing about ve­hi­cles, the warmer weather in Sep­tem­ber and Oc­to­ber also brings a rise in thefts from mo­tor ve­hi­cles.

It is ac­knowl­edged that the re­spon­si­bil­ity for th­ese thefts lies with the of­fender but mem­bers of the pub­lic can take ac­tion.

This in­cludes never stor­ing items of value such as wal­lets, elec­tron­ics, phones and loose change in your car.

Al­ways make sure you lock your ve­hi­cle no mat­ter where it’s parked.

FUN AT THE ‘G’: From left, Koby Will­more, Clay­ton Brown, Max Rohrsheim from Hor­sham West-haven Pri­mary School and front, Lan­don Gil­bert, Hor­sham Pri­mary School on a Lachie’s Legacy po­lice trip to Mel­bourne.

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