Get cops out of court security: union

Police conducting security work at the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court should be shifted back to regular duties, the Police Association of Victoria says.

Officers maintain a visible presence in the foyer of the court complex and in recent months have begun conducting security checks at the court’s entrance.

“We have got police waving a wand over people as they enter the court, that’s a ridiculous waste of resources,” Police Association assistant secretary Inspector Bruce McKenzie said.

“Twenty shifts a week are taken up by police doing court security work and they really ought to be doing other work that’s police-related.”

Insp McKenzie said Court Services Victoria should arrange its own security or the job should be undertaken by Protective Services Officers.

Court Services Victoria directed The Express to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria which said it did not comment on security arrangements at court locations.

“The court continuously reviews its approaches to security,” a statement read.

Police Minister Wade Noonan said the State Government was redeploying 400 police officers back to the beat across the state by introducing custody officers to “babysit crooks in police cells”.

Insp McKenzie welcomed this, but said he understood the custody officers would not be doing court security.

Mr Noonan said the government would always work with Victoria Police to ensure it had the right resources to keep the community safe and this included discussions about the best use of custody officers.