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Quotas in operational policing: Union wants them scrapped, Command wants them ‘reviewed’

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The Police Union has called for breath testing quotas to be scrapped in the wake of an investigation into the faking of about 500,000 breath tests by Victoria Police.

But Police Command has stopped short of calling for targets to be removed from operational policing.

The investigation by former chief commissioner Neil Comrie has found the state’s road safety policies had the perverse effect of encouraging police to catch fewer drink-drivers.

Mr Comrie has not laid blame on any individuals nor police command, instead, he found the breath-testing target was largely to blame.

Assistant Secretary of the Police Association Bruce McKenzie told Heidi Murphy the quotas “absolutely” have to go.

“There is no room for quotas in operational policing,” Mr McKenzie said.

“No form of policing ought to be the subject of quotas.

“When a quota is set that is totally unrealistic, there’s a temptation of course for short cuts to be taken in order to please the bosses.”

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But Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane’s position wasn’t as strong.

“I think reviewed is a better word (rather than dumped),” he said.

“We do definitely need to sit down and review targets.”

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