13th September 2017
Laurie Harkin AM, the Disability Services Commissioner, and Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton AM, have this week signed a protocol to help ensure effective, collaborative investigative practices between our two organisations, achieving the best possible outcomes for people with disability.
Mr Harkin says “People with disability have the right to access the justice system. Their safety and wellbeing is paramount.”
DSC has conducted an increasing number of investigations in recent years, as a result of more complaints being brought to our office that relate to allegations of abuse, assault or neglect. Any allegations of criminal conduct are referred to Victoria Police for investigation, with DSC investigations focusing on service delivery and practices.
Mr Harkin says “This protocol clarifies the roles of DSC and Victoria Police in conducting investigations into serious allegations of criminal conduct in disability services and will help to improve organisational responses to better support the needs of people with disability.”
The commitment to work collaboratively, cooperatively and transparently by both organisations will serve to protect the rights of people with disability, particularly the right to live free from abuse, assault and neglect.
“This is an important step that will help to ensure that people receiving disability services have the same access to justice as other members of the community,” said Acting Commander Tony Silva from the Victoria Police Priority Communities Division
“It’s about keeping vulnerable people safe and ensuring the appropriate support services are provided and working together. It’s also about identifying the perpetrators responsible for any abuse, neglect or violence.”
For more information about the protocol between Disability Services Commissioner and Victoria Police, click here to view the Victoria Police media release.