Liberty Victoria deeply concerned about expanded use of Protective Services Officers in Victoria
Liberty Victoria is deeply concerned about the Government's desire to vastly widen the use of Protective Services Officers (PSO's) in areas around the state. PSO's were introduced to provide a visible presence of policing on the public transport network and associated areas. They are not members of Victoria Police. They have a limited role and receive far less training than members of Victoria Police.
The Government has announced legislation that would permit the use of PSO's in "crowded" spaces, to "maintain public order." This is particularly concerning in light of the current use of the National Guard against protests in America. The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission has previously reviewed the use of PSO's and expressed concerns about the way PSO's use their powers and the risks associated with granting them further powers.
Though they receive far less training than Police members, PSO's are nevertheless required to interact with vulnerable members of the community and the proposed expansion of their role will increases risks associated with these interactions. Liberty Victoria is opposed to the use of PSO's in these expanded ways which may lead to further instances of excessive use of force, and predatory behaviour against the public.
For enquiries contact Liberty Victoria at
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03 9670 6422