First Australian SHIELD partner

First Australian SHIELD partner

On 7th September 2021, the Global SHIELD network welcomed the first Australian SHIELD partner into the Global SHIELD Network, Victoria Police SHIELD. Victoria Police is a police force of approximately 22,000 members, made up from sworn members and supported by Victorian Public Servants.

Assistant Commissioner Mick Hermans said Victoria Police Counter Terrorism Command is proud to join the Global SHIELD Network and collaborate with our national and international partners in the fight against terrorism. “With Australia’s national terrorism threat level remaining at ‘probable’, and recent overseas developments, it is a timely reminder of the importance for Victoria Police to work closely with businesses and the public and private security sector to ensure we all understand our roles and responsibilities in making community locations and venues safer for Victorians to enjoy”.
Since launching (VPSHIELD – Phase 1), Victoria Police SHIELD has approved 240 memberships, published 59 articles and increased its Crowded Places Network by 106 members through new referrals and associations. Reporting indicates members are most interested in publications on the local and international security environment and possible implications for their businesses.

Over the coming months, Victoria Police SHIELD will be aiming to establish relationships in regional Victoria through a CT Protective Security Network (PSN) initiative. While terrorism incidents are commonly located in metropolitan areas, statistics show an increase of terrorism incidents and related activities in regional/country areas. Connecting our regions to SHIELD will provide Victoria Police members with a resource to use in community safety and proactive policing roles.
The PSN will utilise a new application to collect data when engaging with the community, which will assist in reporting on locations, business sectors and affiliations (political/religious). Reporting will contribute to growth of SHIELD memberships and help lead the direction of intelligence products.

While still in its infancy, the Victoria Police SHIELD network has already had multiple positive member collaborations. Our team has been busy delivering presentations to government departments including a strong interest from health, transport, and education sectors.
Recently, a member from our universities sector reached into our team to report concerning posters with racial tones put up across the campus. The posters referenced the recent vehicle attack through a Wisconsin Christmas parade. While we encourage the members to always report through the national reporting channels, the SHIELD network highlights how international incidents effect our local context, the importance of local engagements and partnerships, and increases awareness of issues across all sectors.
SHIELD has sparked the interest of other Australian law enforcement agencies, with New South Wales Police Force aiming to join the global collaboration.