Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (17:51): My adjournment matter is for the attention of the
Minister for Police and Emergency Services in the other place. In March last year I raised the need for all police officers to have access to non-lethal weapons, such as tasers. I stated that:
“The increased assaults upon our police members have become all too familiar occurrences. Our protectors are placing themselves at risk on a daily basis. It is irresponsible and reckless of us not to allow every police member on the front line access to tasers to protect them”…
Not only does this sentiment is still hold true today but unfortunately the pressures on police have only grown since that initial adjournment debate. This is evident in the nightly news bulletins, which illustrate some of the many challenging circumstances in which Victoria Police and PSOs currently find themselves. It should also be noted that in rural and regional Victoria resources for police, including tasers, are even scarcer. The recent police shooting in Lilydale is further proof that all frontline patrols need urgent access to conducted energy devices, or tasers, in order to safely protect frontline officers, the community and those involved in the incident.
Ultimately when police do not have these tools they possess fewer options for protection, and fewer options can mean the risk of serious death or injury dramatically increases. No police officer goes to work wanting to injure or harm members of the community, and therefore the provision of a conducted energy device, or taser, is essential. The Police Association Victoria has expressed as much recently and also the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health’s System. Given the understandable need for all frontline officers to have access to non-lethal weapons, the action that I seek is for the minister to roll out conducted energy devices so that all general duty divisional vans have access to a taser across the state as a matter of urgency.