New Custody Officers To Free Up More Frontline Police

The Andrews Labor Government has delivered more than 400 Police Custody Officers (PCOs) who will from this week be deployed at police stations across Victoria to free up police officers so they can return to the frontline and protect the community.

The final 30 PCOs graduated last Friday with the full roll-out now complete – with PCOs across the state commencing their first shifts this week.

The number of police officers performing custody shifts at police station jails has dropped by more than 90 per cent at the 22 stations where PCOs are stationed.

PCOs have delivered more than 90,000 shifts since January 2016, helping to release police officers from custody duties so they can focus on catching criminals and target their attention on keeping communities safe.

The Labor Government delivered $148.6 million in the 2015-16 State Budget with PCOs now in place in areas across Melbourne and regional Victoria including Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton, Sale, Mildura, Bairnsdale, Wangaratta and more.

PCOs and Supervising PCOs have become a valued and skilled part of some of Victoria’s busiest police stations – by managing prisoners in cells, supporting police, supervising offenders and transporting them to and from court.

The government announced a new Supervising PCO role early last year, with 56 now in place across the state, leading a team of PCOs and further freeing up police time to prioritise frontline duties.

The safety of the community is the government’s highest priority with an additional 3,135 new frontline police to be delivered over the coming years.

The first 300 police have already been allocated to Victoria’s booming growth areas with more police officers to be allocated when and where they’re needed most.

The Labor Government is delivering a massive community safety boost through its historic $2 billion Community Safety Statement, including tough new laws and police powers, improved mobile technology, new and upgraded police stations and training facilities.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville

“These PCOs will free up more police so they can focus on what they do best – reducing harm and crime and keeping the community safe.”

“With so many PCOs now in place we’re seeing a huge reduction in the number of police officers carrying out custody shifts and more opportunity for police to get out onto the frontline.”

“We have been clear that we will give Victoria Police the resources and the laws they need to tackle crime with the recruitment of an additional 3,315 new police hitting the streets.”