Victoria Police released the Equality is not the same report (the Report) in December 2013 as a direct result of extensive community consultation, aimed at improving the way police engage with diverse communities.
The Report included a three year action plan that established a clear direction for Victoria Police to strengthen community trust and confidence in police.
The name of the report comes from the notion that treating people the same doesn't mean treating people equally.
In February 2013, upon settlement of litigation in the Federal Court of Australia alleging the existence of the practice of racial profiling within Victoria Police, in an agreed statement Victoria Police announced it would:
(1) Invite community comment about, and then undertake an examination of:
- The policy of Victoria Police on field contacts, including the collection of data concerning field contacts; and
- Cross Cultural training provided within Victoria Police
(2) Publish a public report on the results of this examination and announce what actions will be taken in response to these results, by 31 December 2013.
Equality is not the same – phase one (years one, two and three)
Victoria Police is committed to ensuring every member of the community who comes in contact with police is treated with dignity and respect.
We continue to embed policies, guidelines and processes into all elements of the organisation to reinforce cultural awareness and human rights in all decision making and practices.
A lot has been achieved during Phase One of Equality is not the same (2014-16). Specifically, we have:
- created the foundations and infrastructure (policy, curriculum, practice) that better enables us to work with the community
- revised and implemented Field Contact policies and processes
- scoped, developed and trialled 'receipting' in a way that was tailored to the Victorian community
- reviewed and reformed the Victoria Police education content, structure and delivery to support enhanced cross cultural and diversity training
- developed policy, practice and education on unconscious and implicit bias
- reviewed and enhanced the Victoria Police Complaints process with regard to improving community awareness and feedback on complaints
Equality is not the same – phase two (years four, five and six)
Victoria Police has committed to a further three years of action in Phase Two of Equality is not the same (2017-19). The focus of phase two will be the continued implementation and demonstration of change at the grass roots level.
The next three years bring an opportunity to:
- embed sustainable reform across Victoria Police
- work with employees and stakeholders to identify ways of measuring and demonstrating reform
- continue implementation of the Community Engagement Strategy and Community and Cultural DiversityEducation Strategy – with a focus on impacting service delivery and relationships at the local level
- progress a statewide rollout of a contact card and an associated community awareness campaign and training
Cultural, community and diversity education strategy
Reviewed 13 June 2019