Boost To Counter Terrorism Force To Keep Victoria Safe

Victoria’s counter terrorism capability will almost double, with the Andrews Labor Government today announcing a major boost in resources for Victoria Police to investigate and help prevent terrorism.

Under a $49.4 million package, Victoria Police will hire 88 counter terrorism specialists, including 40 dedicated sworn officers, as well as intelligence experts and forensic analysts.

The package will also help purchase new specialist equipment to support the recently established Counter Terrorism Command, which coordinates police response across the state.

The funding boost will see Victoria Police increase their counter terrorism investigations and prevention work, as well as their analysis of information channels, including social media.

It also supports Victoria Police’s cooperation with federal authorities through the Joint Counter Terrorism Teams, which includes the Australian Federal Police and other partner agencies.

This latest announcement brings the number of new police personnel funded by the Labor Government in its first year to almost 700.

The Labor Government will continue to work closely with local communities to promote social cohesion and community resilience and to confront violent extremism wherever it exists.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Recent events in Paris and in other parts of the world show that we can never be complacent when it comes to the threat of violent extremists.”

“We will do everything we can to protect Victorians and this additional funding will help police deal with the immediate challenges that they face.”

“Police and national security agencies are working around the clock to monitor and respond to potential risks and we will always support them in keeping Victorians safe.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Wade Noonan

“Police have told us what they need to deal with the demands they are facing.”

“We have listened to them and will continue to do so.”

“Police will use the additional funding to recruit the best and brightest, including interpreters, surveillance teams, and forensic investigators.”