On this page:
The ACT is fortunate enough to have a large Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) community.
ACT Policing values the wellbeing of every member of the community and endeavours to ensure people of every nationality feel safe and secure. However, ACT Policing also understands in some countries, police are greatly feared and this means that some people, particularly those who arrive in Canberra under humanitarian or refugee programs, have a fear and mistrust of police.
This poses a significant problem for police when attempting to assist members of the CaLD community with their safety and security. To help alleviate this problem ACT Policing has put in place a number of support measures, such as a Multicultural Liaison Officer.
ACT Policing also recommends the following safety tactics to all members of the community.
- Don’t let the fear of crime hold you back - often the fear is much greater than the reality.
- Value your own safety.
- Be confident. If you don’t feel confident then fake it.
- Watch your body language and be mindful of the body language of others.
- Be alert and tuned into everything that is going on around you.
- Trust your instincts; they will usually be close to the mark.
- Be assertive with people and situations, don’t be passive and don’t be aggressive - go for something in between.
- Develop a network of people you trust.
- Have a plan. Consider what you may do if things go wrong.
The AFP has a Multicultural Liaison Officer (MLO) whose role is to assist police connect with Canberra’s CaLD community. The MLO represents ACT policing at a variety of events and venues and spends a major portion of his/her time engaging with and forming relationships with Canberra's multicultural community.
The multicultural function is an important way of breaking down any barriers that exist between ACT Policing and members of the community.
For more information see the Multicultural Liaison section of this website or call the MLO via the ACT Policing switchboard on (02) 6256 7777.
Part of the MLO's role is to meet with people, either in groups or individually, to try to help them overcome their fear so they feel comfortable calling for help if they need it.
ACT Policing prides itself on its positive relationship with the Canberra community and the multicultural liaison function is an important way of breaking down any barriers that exist between police and the public.
The MLO can give presentations to groups about the role of police in Canberra. If you would like to request the MLO presentation at your community gathering or you would like to receive emails about ACT Policing events relevant to Canberra's CaLD community please email the ACT Multicultural Liaison.
The MLO is also responsible for providing cultural awareness training to police recruits and operational police officers. This training focuses on providing police with insight into the experiences many people have had with police overseas.
When arranging training for police, the MLO invites community members of refugee background to attend and talk about their personal experiences. This is a valuable process as it allows police to gain first-hand knowledge of the sorts of experiences which have shaped people's view of police.
- To contact police, fire or ambulance in an emergency call triple zero (000).
- For police assistance (after a theft or burglary) call 131 444.
- To report a crime or suspicious incident anonymously call 1800 333 000.