My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Acting Minister for Police.
Family violence is in the spotlight and we currently have a royal commission in Victoria looking into the matter.
The police play a very important role in the area of family violence and often police officers are the first called upon to assist victims and deal with the perpetrators at the scene.
There are 32 family violence units located in Victoria at various police stations across the state. The workers in these units do not go out to the family violence incidents, but rather the police officers on the beat are the ones who do that. It is the police on the beat who have to interview the victims and perpetrators, often at their homes. They have to prepare the paperwork, and the paperwork is long and difficult and there have to be multiple copies made. This leads to an incredible waste of productivity and resources associated with the process. Unfortunately it is the case across a range of emergency service areas. We have heard about ambulance officers standing in emergency departments at hospitals for hours after delivering patients still filling out forms. It would be more practical for all these emergency service people to be back at their jobs, assisting people in the community. In the case of our police force, this is really laborious work and it is time wasting.
In this day and age it is important that technology be used to promote efficiency across all our organisations, and this should include the police force. It is entirely counterproductive that members of our police force are spending hours filling out the same sorts of forms over and over when they could be doing it on an iPad or tablet device where multiple forms are populated at the same time and those documents can then be sent off to courts and to other police stations and services that victims of family violence might be using.
Constituents in my electorate have talked to me about the lack of police resources in a number of our small regional towns. Indeed the two-up requirement — namely, that two police officers must attend call-outs together — has led to a 50 per cent reduction in police availability, and this has a significant impact in country areas. The action I seek of the minister is that he immediately take all steps necessary to equip police officers with electronic devices to enable them to complete the required paperwork in a prompt and efficient manner.