Chain of Responsibility resources is the focus of police scrutiny in the state of Victoria.
Senior officer, Bernie Rankin says how the police tackle chain of responsibility is on his agenda and resources available are under scrutiny.
Rankin is the head of a 25 member transport investigations unit in the Victorian Police Department dealing with Chain of Responsibility. The senior police officer says he wants to be sure he has the right numbers for the job and is therefore putting COR investigative practices under scrutiny.
According to Detective Inspector Rankin, a review is currently underway, which he is hoping will result in better resources for police to investigate and prosecute COR cases.
Rankin said a proposal has been submitted for his unit to get more detectives with experience in investigations to help tackle chain of responsibility cases.
Detective Inspector Rankin stated:
“It’s something we are looking at very closely and we’re in a situation where we’re really reviewing the way we do COR investigations,” Rankin says.
“We’re looking at if there are ways we can improve and get people with an investigative history and an investigative background in to do that work.”
The main concern for Rankin is making sure his team has the skills necessary to carry out Chain of Responsibility work effectively. As he explained it’s more about skills and less about actual numbers,
“The numbers [of detectives] probably aren’t the issue, it’s the skill sets,” he says.
“So it’s not a situation where we’ve got to throw an enormous number of people into it. What we do need is…to make sure that they’ve got the skill sets that they need to be able to do the work right through to the end successfully.”
At a recent Transport Worker Union (TWU) organised road safety summit, Rankin revealed that his department had not been very successful with COR prosecutions in the past. However, the proposal put forward for more resources will hopefully change all that. Rankin explained,
“I think that may be a situation where if we can get the correct numbers and the people with the requisite skills in the position we might find that we have a little more success on chain of responsibility,” Rankin says.
With authorities getting their departments in order to prosecute COR offenders, members of the transport industry need to ensure they are complying with COR legislation, which now also includes vehicle maintenance. To find out more click here.