Safer for All: stop policing poverty in Victoria
The street community is subject to disproportionate ticketing for minor offenses and frequent police harassment. The social and economic costs of this policing of poverty are unacceptable. Its time for us to set things straight and make this a safer community for everyone.
VIPIRG’s research on interactions between poverty and police in Victoria indicates consistent use of social profiling to discriminate against street involved people in our city:
- 78% of survey participants have witnessed the police search, detain or arrest people without sufficient cause.
- 86% have witnessed police using unnecessary force.
- 83% have witnessed police acting rude, uncivil or using profane, abusive or insulting language.
- 52% report having personal belongings seized (including family photos, ID, sleeping bags)
- 32% report having safer drug use supplies seized by police
The Safer for All campaign is currently working towards three goals in collaboration with local community organizations and city hall:
- the repeal of city bylaws that encourage targeting by police and bylaw enforcement officers
- anti-discrimination principles addressing the rights of street-involved people to equal treatment by police and other social services
- clear tracking and accountability mechanisms to better understand policing practices and to monitor improvements