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Report considers future of police force

Campaspe region police inspector Paul Margetts says proposed superstations won't replace community policing.

ELAINE COONEY June 12, 2014 3:20am

Victoria Police’s new inspector for the Campaspe region Paul Margetts said there would still be a place for local on-the-ground policing in the Rochester district in 2025.

His comment followed the release of ‘Victoria Police Blue Paper: A Vision for Victoria in 2025’.

The document outlines the need better match resources to demand; to improve capability through workforce reform and technology and to collaborate more closely through partnerships.

The document outlines outsourcing some administration duties, implementing supersites and the importance of physical and psychological health of police members.

Inspector Margetts welcomed the report, but said there would be no changes to policing in the short term.

He said Rochester was a 16-hour station with no administration assistant, so officers spent much time carrying out administration duties.

Inspector Margetts said better technology such as on-site electronic reporting devices would cut the administration burden, but believed it would be expensive.

He said the station could outsource administration duties in the future.

Inspector Margetts said the introduction of supersites was viable if officers were given appropriate on-field support.

He said if Rochester police officers lived in the district and the large police station was in another location, the officers could start and finish the day in their hometown and some days not need to visit the supersite.

‘‘It’s not so much about where they are stationed, but about the service they provided,’’ he said.

Inspector Margetts said he did not foresee the policing structure in Rochester would change dramatically in the next 10 years.

He did not believe the district required more police members and said three more officers would be introduced to the Echuca station soon and Rochester’s retiring Leading Senior Constable Steve Dempsey would be replaced in the coming months.

The paper called for officers to be ‘‘maintain a physical standard above that of the average member of society’’ and for them to be assessed before progression payments.

Inspector Margetts said it was important police officers were physically, emotionally and spiritually fit for their career and life.

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