The Victorian police and the Jewish community

October 15, 2015 by David Marlow
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In his first public address to the Victorian Jewish community as Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Graham Ashton outlined the challenges facing the force.

Graham Ashton and Jennifer Huppert

Graham Ashton and Jennifer Huppert

The Chief Commissioner spoke at the October Plenum of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) with a larger than usual audience coming to meet the new head of Victoria Police.

JCCV President Jennifer Huppert welcomed the Chief Commissioner and highlighted the close and supportive working relationship between Victoria Police and the Jewish community, especially through JCCV and the Community Security Group.

Chief Commissioner Ashton stated that the Blue Paper which provided the strategic direction for Victoria Police, and was developed under his predecessor Ken Lay, was continuing to be their platform for the future.

He discussed several key areas of priorities for the Police which had implications for the Jewish community, including:

–          Countering violent extremism and security

–          Family violence and the Royal Commission into Family Violence

–          The increase in public order events, such as Reclaim Australia and anti-racism rallies

–          The importance of effective multiculturalism and social cohesion

–          Youth engagement across cultures
The Chief Commissioner highlighted that a strong cohesive society required effort to make it work.  It didn’t just happen.  He stated that effective social cohesion required acceptance and celebration of differences and diversity.
In an active question-and-answer session, the Chief Commissioner also discussed a range of other issues of importance to the community, including youth alcohol and drugs, possible cross-learnings with Israel in the areas of road safety and security, and the role of Protective Service Officers (PSOs) in ensuring community confidence and public safety.

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