Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Officers

Acknowledgment of Country

ACT Policing acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Australians and recognise their culture, history, diversity and their deep connection to the land. We acknowledge that ACT Policing is on the land of the traditional owners and pay respects to Elders past and present.

ACT Policing promotes and maintains relationships with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community through open communication, mutual understanding, respect, tolerance and trust.

ACT Policing aims to initiate, facilitate and contribute to community consultation, education and awareness programs with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

ACT Policing ensures its workforce remains culturally aware and understands what potential cultural barriers or issues may affect policing interactions. ACT Policing acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are over-represented in the justice system, and is committed to reducing recidivism, increasing participation in diversion programs and taking a proactive and preventative approach to policing.

Aboriginal Liaison Officers

ACT Policing has dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison Officers (ALOs) who are part of our Community Safety – Community Engagement Team.

ALOs provide a vital link between police and local Indigenous communities which leads to increased cooperation and open lines of communication.

The team assists to develop crime prevention strategies like supporting and encouraging positive role models to enhance police and Indigenous youth relationships. ALOs, with the assistance of a range various internal and external agencies, work with both victims and perpetrators of crime with the aim of reducing or avoiding future interactions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members with the justice system.

Through ALOs ACT Policing play an active part in the ACT’s specialist courts for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They attend Galambany Circle Sentencing Court for Pre-Sentencing Hearings which provide eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults with a culturally relevant sentencing option. ALOS also participate in the Children’s Warrumbul Circle Sentencing Court and help identify culturally appropriate programs for young persons.

As well as being active in the community, ALOs play a crucial role in educating our ACT Policing community. They conduct Cultural Connection Training days with our officers and increase their knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community services.

If you would like to speak to an ALO, you can contact the team via email at [email protected].

ACT Policing’s commitment to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community

ACT Policing is committed to achieving the outcomes of the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement 2019–2028 and works with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to implement policies and best practice that support these outcomes.

Our focus is on reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the justice system, ongoing engagement with the local communities to further develop solid, trusting relationships through open dialogue and evolving our understanding of the challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We are also reflecting on our own organisation and are committed to increasing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce to achieve greater workforce diversity that is reflective of the community we serve.

Chief Police Officer’s Advisory Board

The Chief Police Officer’s Advisory Board was established in late 2018 and aims to strengthen the connection between law enforcement and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and to foster a relationship based on mutual respect and trust.

The Board considers strategic issues regarding ACT Policing’s engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the ACT and provides an avenue for direct community feedback. 

Consisting of ACT Policing Executive members, ALOs and local Elders, the board meets every two months and assists with practical information regarding matters such as the use of language and the importance of culture to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

ACT Policing Cultural Training

ACT Policing recognises the importance of training members to understand and identify the effects that cultural differences can have on relations with our community.

ACT Policing officers all receive cultural training to ensure police remain culturally aware and cognisant of potential cultural barriers when engaging with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

In consultation with Elders, ACT Policing has developed a specific training course to better understand local cultural barriers and services available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Officers learn about the history and nature of the local communities, how to communicate with the community, appropriate terminology and police and cultural protocols when attending local sites of significance.

Partnerships

A number of external agencies work closely with ACT Policing and offer services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body

ACT Aboriginal Justice Centre

Aboriginal Legal Service

ACT Community Services for the Indigenous community

Indigenous Portal

 

 

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