Legal Groundup

Legal Studies from the ground up

Application Excercise 4e

Victoria Police

The main role of police is to enforce criminal law and prevent crime in order to keep all citizens in the community safe.Police also have the role to investigate crimes that are committed, and charge offenders who have allegedly committed an offence.

Police are responsible for community safety and protection. Police uphold the law,provide assistance in personal emergencies, coordinate and manage emergencyincidents, enforce road and traffic rules, and deal with missing persons reports.

There are a number of powers police have in order to enforce criminal law. Theyinclude the power to:

• question suspects, which includes asking him/ her for their name and address
• apprehend suspects by arresting them
• search suspects via a body search and searching property with or without a warrant
• obtain forensic body samples such as a blood sample to establish DNA evidence
• take fingerprints
• ask a suspect to participate in an identification parade
• take photographs
• tap telephone calls, text messages, and emails.

Delegated body – local councils/ local government

Local councils (local government) enforce various federal, state and local laws for their communities. Local and state laws that councils enforce relate to matters such as litter control, dog laws, animal control, fre control, off-road vehicles, emergency management, and parking. Local councils have the power to issue
fines as punishment for breaking the law. In relation to enforcing criminal law they do so when a criminal law is breached in order to hold the offender accountable for what they have done, and to also
prevent future crime. Local government is well-placed to lead and participate in crime prevention activity, especially since most crime and immediate safety concerns for communities are local in nature. For example, property crime, theft, antisocial behaviour and vandalism. Therefore, the approach to preventing crime
starts with local government.

Delegated body –Worksafe Victoria enforces criminal law by:

  • investigating incidents and alleged offences under the Acts and Regulations it administers
    • prosecuting breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, the Accident Compensation Act 1985,
    the Dangerous Goods Act 1985, the Equipment (Public Safety Act) 1994, Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and
    Compensation Act 2013
    , and the regulations made under each Act
    • conducting prosecutions of offences under Victoria’s health and safety laws and compensation laws
    • conducting litigation and appeals arising from inspector and administrative decisions.

Bail – giving courts greater powers to deny bail to ensure the safety of the community or to ensure a person’s appearance at court, as opposed to releasing offenders out on bail.

Individuals have a right to bail because bail upholds the presumption of innocence, which means an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

The bail system needs to fairly balance the rights of the accused with the safety of the community.

When a person is being questioned the person asking the questions, whether it is the police or someone from another institution, has the power to ask questions in relation to the offence allegedly committed.

The rights a person being questioned is they have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions, especially if it will incriminate themselves. Also, a person has the right to wait for their legal representation to be present before answering any questions.