Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Former top cop slams Victoria police

There's a lot to slam. They were never brilliant but they went downhill fast after the Leftist Vic. government appointed a totally incompetent but very "correct" fat feminist to lead them

OUTSPOKEN officer Gary Jamieson has reaffirmed his call for a return to "back to basics" policing in Victoria, saying the force's entire philosophy must change.

Former assistant commissioner Jamieson - a 37-year police veteran and one-time rival of Simon Overland for the force’s top job – in today’s Herald Sun accused Victoria Police of being distracted by "silly side issues" and raised concerns the force has been taken over by interstate and overseas career professionals who are "running their own agenda".

Speaking on radio 3AW today, Mr Jamieson said police numbers weren’t going to increase in great numbers no matter who was in government, so it was up to command to ease officer’s workload for their many "masters" and get them back on the streets.

"You’ve got to get more out of what you’ve got," he said. "And credit to Simon (Overland) he’s doing a lot of good work in trying to get more police back on the street. "But it’s also about trying to cut their workload back down so they can do the things which are important to the public.

"And I think that’s the missing link that we are just not doing that work that is really important to the public. "People just want to be safe. They just want to feel safe and so that means having people out on the streets to make sure that happens."

Mr Jamieson said work for other government departments and increasing PR spin was distracting Victoria Police from its core responsibility. "I think the spin is part of the problem," he said. "But I think the other part is that police have lost momentum.

"It’s a little bit like St Kilda in the grand final. "They come out one week and play absolutely superbly. The next week they work very hard, they battle very hard, but they seem to get nowhere."

"This is a whole philosophy of policing that has to change. "The basic role of policing is public safety, keeping the community safe and meeting community expectations."

Mr Jamieson said Western Australian police had successfully implemented a back-to-basics approach but the idea had failed to win the Victorian government’s favour when he was a contender for the job of police commissioner. "That’s exactly the line that I took," he said. "They obviously found a better model – a better person perhaps."

In today's Herald Sun Mr Jamieson wrote: "Over the past decade, the recruitment of police leaders from outside this state, bringing with them their unique policing models, has resulted in policing in this state becoming far too confused," Commander Jamieson wrote. "We have lost direction on what Victoria Police should be doing by making the model of policing far too complex."

The extraordinary breaking of ranks by Commander Jamieson is a clear broadside at former chief commissioner Christine Nixon, Mr Overland and Deputy Commissioner Sir Ken Jones, all considered management specialists drafted from interstate and overseas.

Commander Jamieson writes the force's top brass drafted from interstate may be placing their own careers ahead of the community. "Can today's police executive create the excitement and passion their police force needs - or is their focus about continuing to experiment with their policing model?" Commander Jamieson writes. "And does the police executive have the ... unwavering commitment to serve our state, or are they happy to serve any state which presents an opportunity to further their own personal careers?"

Commander Jamieson also claims that police officers who understand the community have been passed over for promotion. "Leaders who have a burning desire to improve their own society - drawn from an ingrained understanding about local wants and needs and the best way of satisfying these - are often overlooked," he said. "It is clear to me that policing is very local, fundamental and based on traditional practices of serving your community.

"But does Victoria's own police command today understand grassroots policing? Does it understand the connection established between their police officers and the public? "Have today's police leaders had the same experiences - and therefore built up the same skills - presumably have the same skills - to support the difficult work that is frontline policing?"


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