L 1, 161 Victoria Parade Collingwood
B/Tel: 94161333 Mobile: 0418 395 208
10th October 2008
NEW THINKING REQUIRED TO COMBAT CITY VIOLENCE
David Hedgcock, a Security Consultant with many years experience in the nightclub industry has bluntly pointed out that violence on Melbourne’s streets will not be eradicated unless policing and security is boosted dramatically.
“Without enforcement there is no law. Whilst I support many of the measures to come out of the recent Council Summit, they will be to no avail if the public cannot be protected from violent offenders. Our leaders need to embrace new ideas and not simply recycle strategies that have been bounced around for the last 15 years or so” said Mr Hedgcock.
Mr Hedgcock has put his weight behind the call by prominent nightclub owner, Peter Iwaniuk, for up to 200 security officers to be immediately deployed on Melbourne’s Streets on Saturday nights at a cost of approximately $5 million per annum.
“With support from the Government and Crowd Controllers Association, I am in a position to mobilise this security presence within a matter of weeks” said Mr Hedgcock.
“I would label the new security teams as ‘Community Information Officers’ or ‘Community Rangers’ and their primary role would be to assist the public and promote calm by their visible presence, with the ability to immediately alert the police when offenders need to be apprehended” added Mr Hedgcock.
Mr Hedgcock has indicated coordination and cooperation would be vital to make the scheme work.
“A central control room would have to be set up with all ‘Community Rangers’ in constant radio contact with the control room and police. New skills would be required. For example, ‘Community Rangers’ would need to learn the location of streets and major attractions similar to taxi drivers so that they can assist new visitors to Melbourne” said Mr Hedgcock.
Mr Hedgcock stressed we must face reality in addressing this critical problem as has occurred overseas where private security works hand in hand with local police in many locations.
“Even if the Government provided Victoria Police with a massive injection of funds to put more police on the beat, they would not be able to be deployed for at least three years” stated Mr Hedgcock.
Mr Hedgcock also pointed to other problems with policing of the streets.
“There are situations that simply cannot be handled by diplomacy. There is a minority element of the population, including some who have grown up in violent cultures overseas, who will not think twice to use extreme physical violence and who have no respect for authority. Police and security that do not have the physical strength to respond to this threat, including female police officers, are placed at serious risk” stressed Mr Hedgcock.
Mr Hedgcock stated that this was one reason why morale in the police force is currently very low. “They have an extremely difficult job to do under very difficult circumstances. It is time we restored a spirit of teamwork and cooperation between police and security officers, with each backing up the other when required.
“As a starting point, the Government and media must stop demonising the security industry if we are to be to attract the calibre of individual necessary to perform the role. Entry standards need to be lifted and the industry promoted as a full time profession, with adequate remuneration and opportunities for progression.
‘Community Rangers’ would also need to be provided with some extra powers, such as the power of detainment, similar to those provided to private transit officers employed by Connex” added Mr Hedgcock.
In addition to the introduction of ‘Community Rangers’, Mr Hedgcock has also called for a radical new approach to transport and safety zones in Melbourne.
“I commend the Summit for coming up with the concept of monitored safety zones for the public. These should be integrated with major taxi ranks and equipped with first aid tents, free coffee and water, and portable or permanent public toilet facilities. In this way, people can wait in comfort for taxis, without getting frustrated and potentially aggressive.
“Clearly marked shuttle buses should run on a scheduled timetable at peak times to transport patrons from venues to the taxi ranks. This would reduce congestion on the street and help overcome the problem of taxis trawling for fares as I recently identified as a major problem - see YouTube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lDa7KGuYgQ
“It is time to throw out the ‘Old Guard’ and bring in a fresh team with the energy and vision to implement the strategies required for a modern night time economy like Melbourne’s which attracts over 350,000 visitors weekly and is vital to our economy.
“We will not solve problems so long as the only rhetoric is around blaming the late night entertainment industry and crowd controllers.
“The industry is well managed and venues are very safe places to be in. The problem is on the streets and this is where we must direct our creative energy in coming up with solutions that work, in a spirit of renewed cooperation” concluded Mr Hedgcock.
For more information, contact:
David Hedgcock Security Consultant
Tel: 94161333 Mobile: 0418 395 208 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
David Hedgcock – A Short Resume
David Hedgcock has been involved in the security industry from its infancy to now, a period of 40 years. David has owned several companies but probably the most recognizable name in the industry is Protect Security Group.
David’s group run the first Accredited Security Training Course for Crowd Control and Security Guards in Australia at his own cost and has been involved in the implementation of the many user friendly security and safety practices that apply today.
David initiated the issuance of ID numbers so that security staff could be recognizable to the public and the authorities. His training course was certificated and run by the William Angliss College. It was used by the State of Victoria as a guideline to the State Legislation introduced in the early 1990’s to regulate the Security Industry as we now know it today.
Some of the safety standards that are now every day practice were championed by David through his involvement on many different committees and associations, including:
- The West End Precinct Association
- The Night Club Owners Association
- The West End Forum
- The Security Forum
- Founder of the CCEA (Crowd Controllers Employers Association)
- Consultant to the Community Council on Violence Report
David was also instrumental in many of the initial Melbourne Licensee Accord initiatives such as:
- Improved Street lighting
- Improved Public Toilet Facilities
- Safe City Taxi ranks
- Supplying private security guards on the streets to assist the Police Foot Patrols
A lot of these standards were introduced into other Cities by David including
Cavill Avenue in the Gold Coast, Kings Cross in Sydney, Hanikan Street Adelaide and Observation City in Perth.
David has had many consultations with some of the largest Security Groups, Associations and Government Departments and has also been called to give expert evidence in a variety of Court Cases and Liquor Licensing hearings as a Specialist Consultant.
In 2006 David was awarded with the First Life Time Achievement Award ever to be presented in the Security Industry by the CCEA (Crowd Controllers Employers Association) which represents most of the larger security firms in Victoria.