|Leader of The Reason Party and Member for Northern Metropolitan, Fiona Patten, is urging Police Minister Lisa Neville to immediately implement a monitoring system for racial profiling in Victoria – a full three years after Victorian Police committed to do so. |
Racial profile monitoring is where police collate demographic data for all stops, searches, move-on orders and stop outcomes including the issuing of fines and use of force and for the information to be shared with an independent oversight body.
The system was the key recommendation from the Flemington-Kensington Community Legal Service report ‘Monitoring Racial Profiling: Introducing a scheme to prevent unlawful stops and searches by Victoria Police’.
“We hear anecdotally about racial profiling in Victoria, but how can we overcome it if police aren’t record keeping?” said Ms Patten.
Alongside community advocacy groups, Ms Patten has asked for a demographic breakdown of Covid-19 fines issued by Victoria Police, but has yet to receive a response.
“In NSW the Covid-19 fines disproportionately affected Aboriginal communities, in Victoria we have no public data on it – this is disastrous for police accountability,” said Ms Patten.
Victoria issued the highest number of fines for breaking coronavirus rules, but the data breakdown on those fines is the most opaque.
Thousands of Victorians marched on Saturday to protest police brutality against people of colour and Aboriginal deaths in custody.
Victorian Police LEAP data from Flemington and North Melbourne (2005-2008) was analysed and found that young African people were 2.5 times more likely to be subject to an arbitrary “stop and search” than their peers.
“Communities are concerned they are unfairly targeted by police, they have a right not to be discriminated against” said Ms Patten.
“If we measure racial bias, we can work to reduce it. This is simply a request to collect data and to share it with an independent body, just like they do with the Crime Statistics Agency.”
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