State cops want better tech links
A $100 million push for new anti-terrorism facilities has been launched at a summit of police unions in Adelaide.
The unions' chiefs are calling for the investment in IT systems to help them crack down on terrorism.
Speakers at the national police conference said there was no clear or consistent approach to policing terrorism and radical ideology, despite the Federal Government seeking ever-tougher legislation.
Police Federation of Australia CEO Mark Burgess said a new case management system was on the shopping list, as well as a new criminal intelligence system that would let Australia’s eight police share information on terrorist threats and offenders more effectively.
“Every Australian police force holds a significant amount of data about various incidents and events that occur in that jurisdiction,” Mr Burgess said.
“However, the systems operate in isolation of one another, limiting the opportunity to take a national view of incidents or events.
“What we're talking about today is that a person that's on bail in Victoria or a person who has committed a serious offences in Victoria that information is readily and instantaneously available to police in other jurisdictions.”
The police unions even want their own slice of broadband internet spectrum set aside for officers to transfer intelligence around the country more rapidly.
They said the broad-range of IT upgrades would only cost about $110 million, and could be funded through the proceeds of crime.
The shooting of police accountant Curtis Cheng outside the Parramatta Police station two weeks ago was a big part of the reasoning behind the push for a technological upgrade.
South Australian Police Association president Mark Carroll said numerous parliamentary inquiries have concluded that more IT assets are needed, but he could not say whether such systems could have prevented what happened in Parramatta.
“What we do know is that if we have the tools, the technology to do our job, we can minimise risk, and that's what this is all about,” Mr Carroll said.
“Enough is enough,” he said.
“We need the Prime Minister to show leadership on this issue to bring home to state and territories the absolute need the funding to be made available to implement these outcomes.
“We cannot expect our members to face the scourge of terrorism with anything short of the best practices and highest quality support and that must come from federal funding.”