I am a 3 year member working general duties at a metro Melbourne station. I will endeavour to answer your questions as best as possible and remember I'm here as an individual with my own views, which aren't always in line with the force's stance. AMAA!

proof/verification: http://imgur.com/Oe2sGYL

Ok its 3am so I should probably sleeo. Thanks for all your questions and I hope I've answered them to your satisfaction. Keep sending them in and I'll get to them in the morning!

Keep the questions coming! I'm up at a party on the Murray and wont be back until this evening so I'll answer when I can

Comments: 411 • Responses: 87  • Date: 

lilyflower82143 karma

How did your colleague keep a straight face and remain so patient when dealing with the 'waiting for a mate' guy? (Favourite video of all time by the way!)

vicpolthrowaway33 karma

Ah that cracks me up too! Some members just have ridiculous amounts of patience and professionalism. I can guarantee that wouldn't be the strangest thing he'd have dealt with

treatworka4 karma

The camera might have helped, too.

vicpolthrowaway3 karma


GlitterPink27 karma

What was the most uplifting thing that happened to you on the job?

vicpolthrowaway74 karma

I had to attend the death of a 4 hour old baby which was probably the hardest thing I'll ever have to do, especially dealing with parents that were distraught beyond words. But we just got on with it. A few weeks later my boss called me in to the office to show me a letter the father had written to the station thanking me and my partner for our compassion and understanding. That was definitely a great moment, terrible circumstances but it's rare to get acknowledgement especially in those circumstances

GlitterPink20 karma

Wow, that's very touching. When I started reading I first thought you misread my question. That must've been very hard for everyone involved.

vicpolthrowaway20 karma

Ah yeah apologies but I had to explain the circumstances. It wasn't the best day that's for sure

Thecna225 karma

Someone stole the back seat and steering wheel out of my Comm. Have you found it yet, and if not, why isnt it at the top of VicPolices priority list?

vicpolthrowaway57 karma

Unfortunately we've all been too busy getting those tickets to reach our apparent quotas to investigate.

In all seriousness that's shit beyond belief....have they not heard of pick-a-part? Realistically there's only so far you can take investigations and if there's no witnesses, cctv, physical evidence then there's not much else we can do to link an offender to a crime. To paraphrase one of my favourite movies: "if he'd ejaculated, then stolen your steering wheel and back seat, we'd have a really good shot at catching him"

Thecna212 karma

My brotherinlaw is a cop, firearms instructor, I occasionally ask him the same question but he doesnt have an answer either. I get that its not an easy crime to solve purely because of the trivialness of it. They did send a guy to dust it (which even I thought was a tad excessive), but no luck. Its just annoying. Ive interacted with the cops a lot of over 30years of riding big sports motorcycles (I think you can guess why) and overall 90% of them were quite good, despite me being on the receiving end. I've got off sooo much stuff just from being polite and respectful, its not like I can blame you guys for doing what you gotta do.

The only thing I can suggest is that going into a copshop even for the most benign of purposes (as in, I need this stupid piece of paper signed) I largely find the police quite rigid and unfriendly. Not hostile, but a bit too much defensively unfriendly. Not everyone going in there is a bogan looking for an argument, so praps lighten up a tad. I dont expect McDonalds type over-friendliness, but perhaps a smile wont hurt if the situation warrants it.

ps. please for fucks sake dont become like American cops.

vicpolthrowaway20 karma

I agree...I've had my car broken into before (nothing stolen which was the real kicker!) and no result.

There's probably a number of reasons for that attitude (overwhelmed with work, stress, suspicion of everyone that comes in[given the current climate many stations have directives now to wear ballistic vests while doing reception duties]) but I always greet people with a smile and friendly attitude. It could be the first time they've ever had an interaction with police for all I know.

And don't get me started! Its a whole different kettle of fish over there

timharveyau7 karma

"See, Michaels, you always take a call at a bar because, better or worse, you get a beer out of it."

vicpolthrowaway9 karma

"He looked like Eminem." "M&m, so he was round"

flickering_truth4 karma

In all seriousness, do you actually have quotas to meet?

vicpolthrowaway7 karma

No. I have worked at one station where every shift we were tasked with getting either two briefs or tickets (briefs being when you intend to take someone to court) however it was not frowned upon if it didn't happen. That's the closest to a quota I've ever seen

grrlinterrupted20 karma

I have so many questions! Answer whatever you like :)

What is the bikie tension like nowadays?

Are the big white Mercs I see in North Melbourne mob cars?

What's the worst problem drug in Melbourne?

Which nationality causes the most trouble for you, barring Aussies?

Where's the roughest place in Melbourne?

vicpolthrowaway44 karma

Bikie tension: there's always going to be struggles for control of the black market stuff (drugs mainly), but I'll hand it to them, they keep it mainly in house.

Mercs: I dont believe so! Very well could be though.

The worst problem drug is without doubt ice. Don't believe what the media reports to you (conversation for another day) but most crooks are on ice and will be committing offences in order to fund their habit and/or will be on ice (and other substances) while offending, that includes people involved in family violence incidents.

Now that's an interesting and divisive question- I believe every group of people have their problem children. In my experience the youths/adolescents of Maori/Pacific Islander backgrounds and those of African backgrounds tend to come under our radar more frequently....I honestly can't tell you why. Possibly once they learn that the justice system is very forgiving for child offenders.

And finally anywhere out west...sunshine, werribee, Wyndham...take your pick!!

Hope that answers your questions!

verdete9 karma

As a Canadian, I'm having difficulty understanding the words "bikie", "mercs", and "sunshine". Explain please.

TheHammer7D5x4S717 karma

Bikie: the main gangs we have. They ride around on motor bikes, wear Leather and look tough Merc: Mercedes (car) Sunshine: a suburb in the west. Despite its name, it is a poorer area and has a lot of crime relative to the rest of the city

vicpolthrowaway9 karma

Well said. The term bikie often implies an "outlaw motorcycle group", however I'm well aware not all bikies have omcg affiliations, in fact the majority of bikies do it for the love of riding

hubbabubbahobo10 karma

No non-gang-affiliated motorcyclist would call themself a bikie.

vicpolthrowaway7 karma

Yeah I didn't think so either but I've met a few (outside of work) who all themselves bikies and are just part of a club that do nothing but ride for the love of riding.

officememo7 karma

Being a westie myself, it's such a shame to see the west the way it is.

What, in your opinion, can be done to improve the situation?

vicpolthrowaway13 karma

Despite the negative connotations I know that not everyone out west is bad. However I'm speaking from annocdotal evidence, I've got squad mates (people I went through the academy with) all over the state and by far the worst/busiest areas are those out west and you would be shocked to hear the day to day jobs they go to.

I've often asked myself what can be done about the issues plaguing the higher crime areas and I turn up nothing. Dealing with substance addiction and abuse (booze and ice mainly), generations that have become conditioned to the dole and generations worth of family violence perpetrators is not going to have some quick fix. It will take time and I unfortunately do not have the solutions

grrlinterrupted3 karma

Thank you, it does! As a Brit, the ice problem was really quite new to me (for whatever reason, it's not really made it to the UK much) and it's horrifying.

I live and work in Melbourne now, so have seen people around occasionally with skin problems from the obsessive picking, and who are obviously not doing well on the drug. I also work for the union which represents paramedics, and they're often telling me about how badly ice affects their workload and what they have to deal with.

Anyway, best of luck with your work. You seem like a lovely guy/gal.

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

I'm sure it won't be long.

We work closely with the ambos and I can tell you I'd rather have my job than theirs. They're just an incredible breed. Thanks mate I appreciate it

Pottski2 karma

The media is reporting ice is a massive scourge. Don't think it's been underreported at all. My local newspaper has an ongoing series about the effects of ice on the community every week.

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

Excellent. As I've said in another reply I've seen conflicting reports

Fartingloudly2 karma

Don't believe what the media reports to you

Ummm the media are always talking about the "ice epidemic"

vicpolthrowaway4 karma

Ive seen conflicting stories, some say it's out of control, some say it's not that big an issue.

lukeptba4 karma

Yes and a lot of what they tell you is rubbish.

Don't get me wrong, it's evil shit and you can smoke your whole life away through a glass pipe, but ice really isn't as bad as Tracy Grimshaw and her Gestapo say it is. As with any drug, moderation is key.

I personally notice alcoholism fucking people up harder than shard ever could, and that's coming from a westy.

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

Alcohol is and probably always will be the biggest drain on society as its legal and so easily accessible, as well as widely accepted in our community.
However ice is such an evil creation, so highly addictive. As I said most criminals are now ice addicts. They're offending in order to support their habits. Speak with any other police member or health professional and they'll tell you just how much of their workload is due to ice

jarmac-17 karma

Ever fired your weapon with your intent to kill?

vicpolthrowaway76 karma

I have...but it was to put down a severely injured kangaroo

BrutallyHonestDude7 karma

I didn't know there were kangaroos in the Melbourne metropolitan area.

vicpolthrowaway41 karma

I was outer suburban at the time. Having said that I had a mate at fitzroy who not long ago had a job for a roo bounding down victoria parade at 5am

BrutallyHonestDude4 karma

Were you in uniform and did you plug your ears before you shot it?

Speaking of ears, how do cops deal with the hearing damaged caused by gunshots?

vicpolthrowaway18 karma

I was in uniform and no I didn't because I didn't have any handy (hence I now carry a few pairs in my kit bag). I can tell you our firearms are loud AF.

In firearm training we have noise canceling ear muffs which are brilliant, but outside that I don't know. Ive never spoken to another member that's had to use their firearm

pasonia3 karma

When I first saw this I immediately had cartoon images of a Roo just, you know, casually bouncing down the road for fun. Sheesh, me.

vicpolthrowaway2 karma

Mate I had the same visual. I then pictured it as an episode of "skippy the bush kangaroo" where they go to the city

Super___Doge3 karma

How the fuck did a kangaroo get to Vic Parade?

Correctrix11 karma

It hopped.

vicpolthrowaway3 karma


vicpolthrowaway2 karma

Who knows. Too much chard probably

bne12313 karma

How has your perception of the general public changed since you joined the police force? Do you notice amongst your colleagues that civilians are generally viewed as a different group of people to police officers? If so, how?

vicpolthrowaway45 karma

I often jokingly say to my friends that I now understand....people suck.

The reality is that 95% of people sre good people. Unfortunately we come in to contact with the 5% more than we do with the 95% so that definitely skews my view of the "general public". And yes absolutely we are viewed differently. We are supposed to be the be all and know all of all aspects of the law (including aspects we would never usually come across), expected to solve everyone's issues no matter how trivial, we are stared at everywhere we go. We are under scrutiny from everyone, our peers, our superiors, the general public, the media, the legal world.

To quote an article from a NSWPOL member "we exist to preserve the bubble between what you think the world is like and what the world is actually like".

I hope I've answered your questions. Feel free to ask for further detail or clarification

bne1239 karma

Thanks for replying. I think you misunderstood the second part of my question though- I was more asking about the "herd mentality" of police officers towards the general public, as I believe a lot of issues arise as a result of police and civilians not viewing each other as equals with the same social goals.

I get what you're saying about having contact with the 5% a lot more than the 95%- no doubt that must grate on your perception of the public, like you say.

My contact with the police suggests that "skewed view" is somewhat of a systemic issue with metropolitan police. I don't notice it so much in rural areas or european countries for example. The downside is it reinforces itself by alienating some of the 95%, which then leads to 6 or 7% of otherwise good people being shitty towards the police.

Would be interested to hear your feelings on that issue, if you have noticed it or think it's an important aspect of being an officer (keeping the general public on your side, that is). Sorry if this is all too vague..

vicpolthrowaway16 karma

I think you're absolutely right. There is that sort of mentality through some of the force (as you say especially in metro areas) and I honestly can't explain why.

Whether it's the frustration of more frequently having to deal with things that are considered too mundane or not really a "police issue" I couldn't say.

I know myself that if it's my first interaction with someone I'll generally make it as positive as possible, mainly because I'm a friendly guy but also building that trust and get rid of that barrier between the general public and police is important.

BoomRockDopSop10 karma

Hey, fellow Melbournian here! For what it's worth I think the police force here is generally really good and does a great job overall.

A few questions if you may.

What was the morale like at the police force after that big protest with Reclaim Australia versus the various Anti-Racist groups like? I heard it got really out of hand and pepper spray had to be used.

I've caught the bus home once when I was completely shitfaced after a long night of indulging in Australian culture, I smiled and waved to a group of police officers on the way to my stop around 10:30PM. What goes through your head if you see a friendly drunk?

Just out of curiosity, since I go to RMIT University I've always wondered. How much trouble does various student bodies e.g. Socialist Alternatives generally cause the police department in terms of positioning officers, making sure they don't get too rowdy etc.?

Last question, what's your most amusing police story if any?

vicpolthrowaway22 karma

Honestly ive been on leave this week so I cant answer! It looked wild though! Generally stuff like that doesn't affect morale.

I can't count the number of drunks I've seen but really, if you're out having a good time, not causing trouble, not acting like a dickhead or trying to impress your mates by acting like said dickhead, I'm happy for you. Frankly I'm a little jealous most of the time because it's what I'd rather be doing.

Look by all means join a student union, but groups like the alternative (the bastard offspring of the socialist alliance) tend to prey on the impressionable to gain numbers. Im sure they do have good values and goals but from what I've seen just go about it the wrong way. I tend to see a lot of their hierarchy being agitators at demonstrations (one particular female who I won't name).

As for the stories, there's so many I forget half of them. There was a guy who was that drunk he got down to his jocks in the hallway of a well known hotel and fell asleep, then got mad when staff woke him and wouldn't take him to his room...he was in the wrong hotel

llBoonell7 karma

I've got nothing but praise for Victoria Police in how they handle drunks, both friendly and aggressive. Having been somewhat drunk and waiting for a lift at a train station, the two police who kept me company and made conversation were some of the nicest blokes I've ever met.

Also, I hope you don't mind my asking: is there any particular slang for police that you or any other officers find offensive? I've heard so many different words for you all and I can't keep track of which ones got the speakers in trouble...

vicpolthrowaway10 karma

I'll be honest I'd rather deal with someone who's drunk over someone who is high on ice.

They always give us good stories too and if I have time I'll always have a yarn.

Honestly I've heard that many that it just does not phase me anymore. However if someone happens to just want to yell abuse because they're dickheads and they just happen to drop a swear word in hearing of a member of the public I'll gladly give them a fine for offensive language.

Descyrah5 karma

I think I know of the chick you are talking about. She was the main girl at my uni for SAlt.

vicpolthrowaway5 karma

Very possibly

Descyrah6 karma

If it's any consolation for time wasted on those idiots, they got kicked out of Monash for being tools.

Edit: Also, thanks for the AMA!

vicpolthrowaway8 karma

The socialist alternative guys? It is a little but a shame too as they've jeopardized their future by doing so

Jimmy-The-Juice10 karma


vicpolthrowaway23 karma

I think that stems from their gun culture. It's uncommon here to intercept a car and find a weapon of any sort, whereas there its highly likely the car you're intercepting has a gun in it.

No we haven't, however police forces all over the world tend to get together and see what they can learn from each other.

Having said that our "active shooter" (think Julian Knight, monash uni shootings etc) training is modeled from US training, for obvious reasons.

Jimmy-The-Juice2 karma


vicpolthrowaway13 karma

Honestly I couldn't put a number figure to it. Im sure somewhere in our vaults of endless data collection there would be figures.

I can tell you last week that our station seized two pistolsthat turned out to be fake but we're looked the goods. They racked, they cocked, they had magazines that released.

There are certain indicators of a car and of the driver that indicate they're up to no good, but at the end of the day we need either a warrant or reasonable suspicion to search a person or vehicle.

Sunkendrailor10 karma

Do you guys still use revolvers? Or have you moved to a weapon designed this century?

vicpolthrowaway17 karma

VicPol has upgraded!!! It took a while. But the service pistol is now the Smith and Wesson M&P 40. Quite an upgrade

Sunkendrailor11 karma

Haha about time, I used to supervise a firing range on the navy base. The cops always came down with revolvers and it was quite comical that our service pistol were designed in 1912 and yours were older!..

vicpolthrowaway9 karma

Yeah it was embarrassing. The specialist units do have different firearms too

FUPA692 karma

Oooh! I have one of those, chambered in 9mm. Fantastic.

vicpolthrowaway6 karma

They're quite a good pistol, very comfortable to hold too

unvincible7 karma

What would you say your colleagues think of marijuana use in Melbourne? What are your personal views?

vicpolthrowaway21 karma

Depends who you ask I guess. At the end of the day its still illegal to possess a drug of dependance.

I personally believe it should be legal and taxed (seriously there are just so many benefits from doing that), but we won't get there until we have a) a political leader with balls and b) an accurate way to detect people driving under the influence of it, the same way they've developed alcohol detection

Ausfin44 karma

Would you accept a behavioural test if it's not possible to determine impairment via blood levels?

vicpolthrowaway4 karma

Absolutely. There are 3 main types of offences when it comes to impaired driving: -alcohol (so breath or blood test) -drug (saliva or blood test) -driving under the influence (DUI).

The third one isn't as common as it's harder to prove. Basically we don't need an empirically measured test (like a breath test that measures grams of alcohol per 210L of air.

All that needs to be proven is that the persons ability to drive was severly effected by being under the influence of a substance. This would be done by our observations, witnesses, cctv

Cra157 karma

What are your thoughts on officers without a trade certificate in the automotive industry, or in most cases no training beyond that which is provided to them by the police force; having the power/discretion to declare aspects of vehicles defective or unsafe?

It only takes one bloke who doesent know his stuff as much as he thinks he does, to end up costing the driver in order to prove otherwise

Personally I am of the opinion the state transport departments should be in control of road enforcement for this reason, and to free up the police force for other duties also.

vicpolthrowaway8 karma

Great question and I know its a hot button topic especially amongst car enthusiasts.

I'll start by saying that we do undergo training in order to identify aspects of a vehicle that would make it unsafe (exposed wiring on the inside of a tyre, faulty signals etc). The members of highway patrol (those who are specifically there to enforce road safety) undergo further training in this and other road investigation courses. These are the guys who will normally be handing out defects (canary's)

With that in mind I don't believe it would be necessary for any trade qualifications in any automotive field as we generally look for things that make the car unsafe, as opposed to things that affect the overall running of the vehicle (as a mechanic would). Now having said that, knowledge is power and any extra qualifications would always be of benefit.

skeletorsjism5 karma

Appreciate your reply, we used to have officers frequent our car forums but that seems to have changed since a policy update a few years back which is unfortunate.

I think alot of the frustration comes from someone who has invested an untold amount of time and money into their chosen hobby, only to be told you can't do this by a layperson in the field who is often incorrect in their judgement, costing further money and time to the enthusiast trivially clearing defects/epas/refreshing engineering certs.

My problems rarely stemmed from TMU but from your regular day to day officers, further training for these guys would be great. (and would never happen cause I know vicgov well)

vicpolthrowaway4 karma

Completely understandable and I don't know why it's done. I think there is a need for roadside vehicle inspections (for example balding tyres with exposed wires etc), but it gets taken to far when members are focusing on modifications

astrobob7 karma

Whats your opinion on the Sgt that blew the whistle in QLD, Then the Inspector? snubbing him when he went to say hello?

Do you believe that your duty is to the people you serve first?

Or do you believe you should look after your own first?

vicpolthrowaway9 karma

I can't say I know it. Link? I'll back my people in 100% if they're in the right. I do not believe that our duty is to the public first...however we often do things the general public dont agree with.

TheBringerOfDarkness8 karma

Bit baffled here

I do not believe that our duty is to the public first

Then why are you a public servant? Sorry mate completely respect everything else you have said in this thread but wtf?

vicpolthrowaway17 karma

Apologies, meant to say I do believe our duty IS to the public first.

astrobob4 karma


Im ex-mil, i understand wanting to look after your mates. But if they fuck up, you cant cover, or you are just as big a piece of shit as they are.

vicpolthrowaway19 karma

That was an interesting read. But I absolutely applaud the good sgt for doing the right thing there. That sort of stuff is inexcusable.

I think the term police brutality is thrown around all too often these days but that definitely seems like a clear example...even if he was the biggest shitbag in surfers, that's up to the courts to decide and deal with, not us.

Randomdoorknob6 karma

What is the general feeling in Vic Police towards 'metro officers' that believe they need to use unnecesary violence to detain people for offences (i.e. Not touching on)?

vicpolthrowaway29 karma

The general feel is that they're a necessary evil. For the most part they're usually quite calm and patient when dealing with commuters and will only detain people until they can confirm name and address (then the arrest power ceases to exists).

I have personally never dealt with metro staff being heavy handed or using excessive force however I have seen several current affairs programs showing videos of them using what appears on face value as excessive force and I like most wasn't impressed. At the end of the day the outcome they're trying to achieve doesn't always justify the means

Jimmy-The-Juice6 karma


vicpolthrowaway17 karma

Honestly not at this stage. I am looking at doing detective temporary duties soon. I've often thought being a sergeant is a good rank. You've got more responsibility but you still get to go out on the road and you're always dealing with "the troops". Anything higher than that and it becomes more office and administrative, which really doesn't interest me at this stage

johny20145 karma

Thoughts on Tony abbot? personal & of police force?

vicpolthrowaway42 karma

Personal: I don't think he should be the PM. His views are just too far behind societies'. He's also a rubbish public speaker and is just to rigid and awkward, like every media standup he does just reminds me of the awkward teenager on a first date.

Police: he's the head of state so I guess I've gotta start practicing my "NOOOOOO!" in case I have to dive in front of a bullet for him

UnholyDemigod9 karma

He's the head of government. The Queen is the head of state.

vicpolthrowaway10 karma

Apologies. My brain no function well after 20 hours being awake!

pregnant_dog2 karma

I bet you feel very relieved not having to take a bullet for him now!

vicpolthrowaway20 karma

I would probably still have to. As long as he whispers to me afterwards "you'll always be my bodyguard"

UnholyDemigod2 karma

You ever think about joining the Feds?

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

Not really. However we often have secondment opportunities with the AFP for 12 months or so.

There are also a lot of joint taskforce opportunities with other agencies including AFP which I probably would be interested in doing, but I don't think I'd make the switch over

SirKosys2 karma

How come the lack of interest in AFP? Is it because you'd have to head up to Canberra?

vicpolthrowaway5 karma

Not so much that, but I'm still very junior in the scheme of things and there are just so many opportunities within VicPol that there really isn't a need to loom elsewhere at this stage

johny20141 karma

Haha! Thank you for your honest answer & doing this AMA. I can't stop picturing someone jumping in front of him in slowmo but I hope that never happens.

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

I'm just glad you got the reference

Shadedluck5 karma

How do you feel about all the recent shootings in the US? What do you think US police should do differently?

vicpolthrowaway25 karma

I believe all their shootings are a direct result of their ridiculous gun culture. I've just mentioned in another response that here its unlikely to find a weapon during a vehicle intercept but over there it's likely that there is a gun on board.

I think that they're whole society needs to rethink guns and do away with their "right to bear arms", because surely the realize the red coats aren't about to sail across the Atlantic and they do not need to form militias.

Joking aside if they were to get serious on gun control I think you'd find that the police shootings would rapidly decline too. Really most PD's over there have the same equipment as we do hear but they're straight to the firearm at the first sign of confrontation because of that very real possibility the person has a gun

johny20143 karma

Which movie, according to you has most accurately depicted police life? Have you seen Hot fuzz?

vicpolthrowaway13 karma

Have you ever fired your gun in the air and scream argh?

Hot fuzz is actually probably the closest. Although we don't have set partners here...if we're out on the div van it's whoever we're rostered on with that day.

Animal Kingdom is a brilliant movie though that focused more on the seedy underbelly of the force at the time. From all accounts it was pretty accurate with what it portrayed.

Shes_the_Cheese2 karma

Further to this, if it's whoever is rostered that day do you normally have some familiarity with the person your working with? I imagine developing a quick rapport with people is part of the job.

vicpolthrowaway6 karma

We do as we all work in the same station. You get to know everyone in your station and as with any work environment, you develop stronger relationships with some and not others.

I've got a couple of good mates at my station that I go out for drinks with and I can count on one hand then number of times I've worked with them, whereas others who I dont get along with as well I work with more often! Just luck of the draw!

Shes_the_Cheese2 karma

Thanks for your reply and your time.

vicpolthrowaway5 karma

No worries. I can tell you from experience it can be a very long 8 hours (especially night shift) if you don't develop some sort of rapport or connection with the person you're in the car with!

Jimmy-The-Juice3 karma


vicpolthrowaway3 karma

In Northcote? This is the first I've heard

TheHammer7D5x4S73 karma

When stopped by the police (either walking or in a car), what information do you need to provide if asked? Name and showing id only? Can you refuse to talk to the police? Can you only answer selective questions? How likely would you arrest somebody for remaining silent? I think most people wouldn't want to say something which could incriminate them, without a lawyer present.

Also thanks a lot for doing this. The whole thread was good read.

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

Well it depends what for: On the street: police have no reason to stop you and ask for ID unless you're believed to have committed a crime, or you're witness to an indictable offence (something like an assault with injuries) or if you're suspected of carrying a weapon, drugs or a firearm and they intend to search you. If you're a suspect then we can detain you until we can assure you're appearance before a magistrate (normally negated by producing a drivers licence).

If you on the street are asked for your name and address (or ID), I would suggest be polite, ask for their name, rank and work location (which they're required to give if they have asked you first), then make contact with the station and ask why if the officers gave you no reason.

If you're the driver of a vehicle then you're required to state name and address and produce your drivers licence upon request.

As far as questions go, as long as you've provided your name and address and your identity is confirmed, you are under no obligation to answer any other questions. If they're asking questions about an offence (say for a traffic matter) you'll be given a "usual caution" which is states you do not have to say or do anything (essentially the right to remain silent).

urban_kid1 karma

could I please also ask, if your ID gets run inside a police car:

1) is the transaction recorded?

2) to what extend of information can they view about an individual?

really appreciate it!!

vicpolthrowaway2 karma

Yes it is. All searches on our database are recorded. The information only relates to involvement with the police (such as criminal history, if they've been a witness/victim etc). Things like your first crush and mothers maiden name don't come up!

lolog1232 karma

What has been the hardest case for you?

vicpolthrowaway10 karma

I mentioned in a previous response: having to go to the death of a 4 hour old baby, the fact that 3 and a half of those hours were the doctors and nurses trying to save it. Dealing with grieving parents that had tried for years for a child only to have a beautiful girl for half an hour. That was a tough day. There has been a flow on, for example I frequently got sad seeing my new nephew because I would think of that family.

There was another where I negotiated with a suicidal female who was about 7 storeys up wanting to jump. I talked to her just long enough for my partner to get up there and wreslte her over to the right side just in time(no literally, she had let go and started falling forwards). The gravity of that only set in the next day as I was directly below her.

Skeeball_Fanatic7 karma

Very subtle application of the word gravity. 10 out of 10.

Thanks for the ama. I'm an MFB firey, got a lot of respect for you guys. I can't speak for every area of the public, but I feel like you've always got our back.

Tough job you do. Keep up the good work.

vicpolthrowaway6 karma

There was definitely no pun intended there!

I think there's the unspoken respect between all the emergency services and you're right, we'll always get your back. I take particular offence to people who try to hurt the ambos and will always drop whatever I'm doing if they've hit their duress alarm

BrutallyHonestDude2 karma

How's that cop who got shot doing? You guys are happy they caught the bastards? And that the dog bit one of them?

vicpolthrowaway10 karma

From all accounts he's doing well. I was on night shift that night too and flicked over radio channels to where it happened and I can tell you when I heard his partner on the air repeating what had happened I felt a combination of physical sickness and rage. We started getting sitings for tbe next hour of vehicles matching the description and everyone was on a knifes edge.

I wad absolutely stoked when I heard that news. A good result. Yes I had to chuckle at that...the only way that happens is if you're not complying with directions, so you've gotta wonder who's not going to listen to armed police wielding a vicious snarling Germany Shephard?!

johny20142 karma

Could anyone share news link of the incident please?

hellions1232 karma

How often do you have to deal with kids doing petty crimes? Would get irritating I'd say

vicpolthrowaway8 karma

All the time and it's frustrating. If they've stolen something (no matter the value) then we have to take them back to the station, contact parents, wait for parents, interview etc. Its just more time consuming. However I try to take the opportunity to really show them that its a slippery slope, that having a criminal conviction will have severe effects when trying to gain employment etc. The parents are normally pretty grateful if I've taken the time to sit with them and give them a lecture about their future etc

Beckawk3 karma

What are your thoughts on parents that bring their kids in after they catch them stealing? Have you ever encountered this? My mum took my sister to the police station after she caught my sister stealing lollies so that the police could sit her down and have a serious chat with her about it. She never did it again.

vicpolthrowaway7 karma

Brilliant idea. As long as it's tee'd up with the local station. However we still want people to be able to turn to us (parents tend to instill in their kids that we are only here to lock bad people up) we've got to find a good balance so they're not scared to call us in an emergency.

HBOXNW2 karma

On the police radio, what does involvements only mean?

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

That means the person has had no criminal convictions and has only had involvements with police as either a victim/witness/suspect.

aflactheduck992 karma

Whats the most interesting case you've been on?

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

It's still ongoing, I've got a couple of offenders that are currently before the courts so I can't comment too much, but it involved a lot of deceptions (fraudulent use of credit cards). Got to stake out a hotel, execute a couple of search warrants, sieze a nice car. Turns out these particular people had been at it for a while too

dvnear2 karma

Thanks for doing this.

  • How do you think working in the metropolitan area compares to the suburban areas? (Of course crime is everywhere, but I'm speaking in terms of different trends/activity)
  • Anything particularly interesting you've witnessed out on the field while riding in the car/van?
  • Any notable incidents that genuinely had you terrified?
  • Roughly how long did it take from the time you submitted your preliminary application to making the academy? (I understand that it differs from candidate to candidate- just curious about the process for you)
  • During your time in the academy, how many did you see disqualified due to fitness or examinations?

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

Metro areas tend to have more thefts (including shop lifters and handbags), drunks, assaults/brawls, theft from motor vehicle and drug possession (usually small amounts). Suburban is dominated by family violence and usually followed by burglaries and theft of motor vehicles.

What I usually find most interesting is how blind/ignorant some people can be of the law/our presence/their surroundings. However working this job little surprises me anymore!

I've never been scared/terrified while working. 95% of the time if you're good with communication you can avoid physical confrontation.

It took exactly 10 months which is apparently slightly quicker than most (most in my squad were about a year).

I never saw anyone get booted for those reasons. If you're struggling with the academic side they'll "backsquad" you, so you go back 2 weeks to the squad below you

iambiglia2 karma

I'm not sure if you're still going but I have a question. I was fined for being drunk and disorderly at the end of last year. I paid the fine and apologised to the cop but how much further does that go? Do I have a criminal record now? If I was applying for a visa or having a police background check would that now show up? Is there any way to prevent it from doing so?

vicpolthrowaway2 karma

That's unfortunate. First important thing to understand is that fines were created as a way to free up the court systems from "trivial" matters. By paying the fine you essentially admit guilt (hence there is also the option to contest the matter at court).

So with that in mind, the short answer is no. The only way things show up on a criminal record check is if you've been found guilty at court.

It will show up on our system, however it won't show up on a police check or affect your ability applying for a visa

spacelama2 karma

After the last NYE, I was walking back from Canterbury train station at 2am, and I heard a scraping noise getting louder and louder for 2 minutes. I could then finally see the car coming up a block behind me, with a shredded front tyre. Everytime they went over the cobblestone style speedbumps, more sparks were emitted. I kept my eye on them because I wasn't sure when the tyre was going to come flying off, and indeed it did fly off when the car got to about 10m away and roll and land beside me. The car didn't stop - huge shower of sparks on the next and final set of cobblestones, and then drove off over the horizon.

Just what drugs was that driver on, and how sorry was their head going to be in the morning? Canterbury! Seriously!

vicpolthrowaway2 karma

Does Canterbury have crime? Yeah I've seen people that drunk and driving. Honestly though that is terrifying. These are the people that share our roads with us.

Mordaunt_1 karma

How far back does a background check look to join the academy in Vic? My brother tried to join at 18 and was rejected for an offense he was apparently accessory to when he was 11.

Edit: He was with a mate who was stealing toys from a Target.

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

I believe it covers all criminal/traffic history no matter what the time lapse. I am of the understanding that if you were to apply for police checks, they only cover disclosable court outcomes in the last 10 years (I.e. criminal convictions at court)

eatmyaustralia1 karma

What is best way to get off with only a warning?

vicpolthrowaway5 karma

What for?

eatmyaustralia1 karma

Some sort of minor traffic infringement, like rolling through a stop sign

vicpolthrowaway8 karma

Being polite always helps! But seriously if you are unfortunate enough to get something for a minor traffic issue, contest it. Especially if you have a good driving record. Although you'd have to weigh up whether its worth your time and money going to court for the day

mng8ng1 karma

Thanks for the AMA and what you guys do.

Just wondering, what's the most satisfying arrest, if any, that you've made so far?

vicpolthrowaway11 karma

My day isn't complete without an arrest! Once myself and 2 other members arrested 7 people after a stabbing, that was pretty good. Especially when the CIRT (our backup) arrived to find them all seperated and detained. Their faces were priceless.

There was another (a while ago) where I arrested a guy after he and his gf had a fight and she had minor injuries, so we took them both back. After building up a rapport with her she disclosed he had sexually assaulted her numerous times on the weekend just gone and the detectives that came and took over were absolutely stoked with that result.

Leadback1 karma

How hard is it to pass Victoria Police's selection process?

vicpolthrowaway2 karma

Not very. Its in stages. Entrance exam- having a medical checkup (inc eye and hearing test) then interview with the senior sergeant at the local station- fitness test and psych test- panel interview. You need to excel at the entrance exam and panel in order to be placed higher on the "order of merit". When they select people for the next squad they select people from the top of the order of merit. Your placement on the order can be 8 months after you sit the entrance exam so you could have 40 people or more on top of you by the time you get there.

viddles1 karma

Whats your opinion on the no trucks in the right hand lane specifically on the princes fwy between corio and laverton? Would you fine a truck for being in that lane for under a minute? Im a truck driver who drives up and down that stretch four times a night and its very frustrating to be trying to dodge cars doing 70-90kmh by going between the left and middle lane when there is a perfectly good third lane i could use.

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

I absolutely would not, you guys have enough shit to deal with.

I know there's reasons for having lanes like that (attempting to ease traffic congestion etc) but really, its a bandaid solution.

Also a question for you: do you think the division between road users (cars/trucks, cars/cyclists, cars/motorcyclists) is a uniquely Australian thing?

viddles3 karma

My father was a truck driver all his working life and always hated cyclists. It was just a fact to him. Always making jokes about how many points you get for hitting one(all jokes he never would). That didnt help and all other male role models i had also hate cyclists. I don't hate them. They never hold me up more then a few minutes at most. Its the arrogant people i hate. Where there might be a lane for a cyclist to use even just to let other past. I cant say it's the same for other countries. But yeah as far as my rural australian up bringing goes yeah the hatred is alive. I always thought that truckers and cyclists should get along because They're both the minority on the road agaist cars and very easily portrayed as the person in the wrong.

vicpolthrowaway4 karma

It always makes me laugh. We're all trying to get somewhere but people get so caught up in their own lives and what they need to do. I just think "take a chill pill, the extra few minutes won't kill you"

viddles3 karma

Well said mate. One last question. Are you trained in what to do if you attend a road side crash involving dangerous goods?

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

Yeah incident management is a big one. Depending on the incident the most senior member of the appropriate agency is called the "incident commander" so in that instance the most senior mfb/cfa member would be the incident commander with police usually assisting with traffic management then once it is deemed safe, taking over as investigators

daeupsrseisesed1 karma

How do you know if a red p plater is overloading or if they are just carrying their family?

Am I expected to carry id to verify my age or relationship with the driver when I'm a passenger of a red p plater?

vicpolthrowaway2 karma

Pull them over and ask! It wouldn't hurt to do that.

Really after some questions you can tell who's lying and who isn't. If the driver ended up coping a fine and wanted to contest it on the grounds that the passengers were family, the driver would have to get those people in to court and if it was bullshit they'd risk perjuring themselves

32deuce321 karma

If I am a P plater from NSW, and can drive 100 on greens and 90 on reds in NSW, when I cross the border into VIC do I drive to the same restrictions as a VIC P plater ie: drive 110 on the freeway. Also with overloading, A red P plater from NSW can have 4 passengers until 11pm or do You go by VICs rules where you can only have one passenger? Also what is your view on vegemite chocolate? Thank you for your service.

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

Thanks for the questions! As far as the speed restrictions go I am not quite sure, however I would say that if it's a licence condition ut would be the same as other conditions such as wearing corrective lenses, auto transmission etc. However if it's law there then I would say in Victoria you could go up to 110. I'll find out the correct info for you. As far as passengers go, red p platers can have only 1 unrelated peer passenger, so you coild have your 17 year old brother and a mater who's on his p's too. Green p's its the same as full licence. And as for vegemite...only the original.

nutbeat1 karma

Thanks for doing the AMA it's great reading.

Do you have much experience with dealing with the HVU? (Heavy Vehicle Unit), or "the task force" as we know them

I have met many highway patrol officers and general duty coppers over the years and not one of them has a good word to say about the task force guys, is this a common thing, and do "oddball" officers who don't fit in well with others generally apply for these sort of divisions where they can generally be a bit nasty?

vicpolthrowaway2 karma

I have 0 experience with them unfortunately so I can't answer!

Jimmy-The-Juice1 karma


vicpolthrowaway4 karma

I was sworn in under Ken Lay so I can only go on what I've heard, read etc. I don't believe Nixon should ever have been chief, having never served as a member of VicPol prior to her appointment. Her handling of her role on black Saturday was pretty piss poor too. As for Simon, I've got no strong views either way. I know there's the allegations of releasing certain crime stats to favour a party for election but I dont know what the outcome of that was.

dberis1 karma

I'm in Israel, not in Australia, but pertinent. Over the past year, 9 very senior police officers, including the deputy commisioner, were releived from their posts due to sexual harrasment issues. What is the situation in Australia?

vicpolthrowaway2 karma

I can't say I know of any in VicPol in recent times. Unfortunately that stuff tends to get dealt with very quietly

The-C-Word1 karma

Have you ever given a ticket for tailgating? Vic Police are obsessed with speeding but this is a much bigger issue IMO.

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

I have. But it was as a result of a collision. You have to proved that the person following too close would not be able to stop in an emergency. In car cameras help but our department has not decided on them unfortunately. Some highway patrol members use them and they help a lot

FriendorSkiFinn1 karma

How different are the police forces and crime rate in Melbourne than in somewhere like the Nordic countries?

vicpolthrowaway2 karma

Can't tell if joking or not! I've never been but I imagine those places are happy and crime free like Canada

0x00071 karma

On average, in your police force, how often do you suspect someone in your own force might be up to no good? (ie: corruption), and if you find one person who you believe, do you take the steps to investigate and/or report it to higher ups?

vicpolthrowaway3 karma

I've never come across it and I've thought about what I would do if I was faced with that situation.

It would be inappropriate for me to investigate that sort of thing. I believe I would refer it onto Professional Standards Command anonymously. If I didn't have enough evidence to prove the allegations I would have to gather more before referring it on.

rydalmere-2 karma

So, do you sell drugs, protect drug dealers or do armed robberies?

vicpolthrowaway8 karma

All the time brother, the pay isn't quite enough to support my lifestyle habit of cocaine and hookers.

Do you have a cereal question?