18 June 2020


Tim Quilty says Victorian Government can change policing to reduce deaths in custody

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has urged the Victorian Government to take steps to reduce the number of deaths in custody.

Mr Quilty said the sheer number of laws – many for victimless crimes - which people can be prosecuted for increase the risk of people being harmed, with deaths in custody being the most prominent.

“Unfortunately, deaths in custody are the tip of the iceberg. They are the visible part of a much larger problem,” Mr Quilty said.

“For each death, there are many more incidents that result in needless suffering and that don’t result in a death - so they never make it into the statistics.”

Mr Quilty argued that death and injury are a predictable outcome of public interactions with the police, and that the Victorian Government should reduce the number of possibilities of such interactions.

“Whenever we create a new law or expand the enforcement of laws we have to consider whether the additional policing is worth the additional collateral damage,” Mr Quilty said.

“In many cases, minor crimes simply are not worth policing. It doesn’t make sense to find people who aren’t hurting anyone else, to arrest them, and to call it justice.”

Mr Quilty apportioned some of the blame to Members of Parliament, who are a part of the law creation process.

“I urge everyone in this place to think three times before passing new criminal laws with gaol time as the penalty,” Mr Quilty said.

“Considering the turnout of recent protests, I urge the Minister to investigate changes to police procedure that minimise unnecessary interactions between police and other members of the public.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819