Statement Regarding Human Source Management

Friday, 04 April 2014 09:38

Victoria Police will never publicly confirm if someone is, or has ever been, a police informer. The risk to human life is simply too high.

Confidential informers play a very important role in solving crime. If that confidentiality is compromised, it diminishes our capacity to solve crime, remove dangerous people off our streets, and, most importantly, it places people’s lives at severe risk. 

To be clear, this is not about burying the truth. Victoria Police always strives to be transparent where it can be.

And whilst we understand the media interest in these matters, our obligations are first and foremost to public safety and the protection of life.

This is why we have not commented on these matters to date.

More broadly, our ability to manage informers effectively will be severely damaged if we are unable to maintain the absolute confidentiality of the process.

We are extremely mindful however of the need to meet community expectations of integrity and accountability in all that we do.

That is why we regularly review our practises in this area, and we do so in close cooperation with our oversight bodies, to ensure independence of review.

This work cannot be done publicly because it would threaten the safety of our informers and witnesses.

But the community should be assured, this work is happening. Specifically, in the past two years, we have commissioned an independent review dealing with human source management which contained recommendations about our human source management processes and governance. This review was conducted by former Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Neil Comrie and we provided documentation from the report to OPI as per our normal practice. In addition, we met with IBAC on Tuesday and provided them with a progress report on the situation.

We will continue to work with relevant agencies to ensure the ongoing integrity and effectiveness of this vitally important area of policing.

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