Victoria Police has not met its 1% Aboriginal employment target.
In response to a question taken on notice at a recent Estimates hearing, the force confirmed that as of March 31, only 0.55% of employees identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
The target was 1% in June of last year.
But Victoria Police stressed that identifying backgrounds was voluntary and that the data related to employees who chose to do so.
Additionally, at least 9.2% of Victoria police workers reported having a diverse cultural and linguistic background.
The initial target was 1.6% by June 2021.
In a statement to the AAP, Victoria Police said the COVID-19 pandemic had limited its recruitment procedures and, in retrospect, its one per cent target was “ambitious”.
“Victoria Police is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace that promotes equality and respect for Indigenous people within our workforce and in the community,” a Victoria Police spokesperson said. .
“We have set an ambitious target of one percent of our Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander workforce by June 2021.
“As of March 31, 2022, 0.55% of all Victoria Police employees and 0.69% of Victoria Police Civil Service employees identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
“We continually review our strategies and performance against our goals and engage independent Indigenous vendors to help us identify ways to improve. »
It comes weeks after the broad-based Independent Anti-Corruption Commission, Victoria’s police watchdog, found the force had failed in its handling of Indigenous complaints.
The IBAC reviewed its handling of 41 Aboriginal complaints and its monitoring of 13 serious incidents involving an Aboriginal person.
Of the complaints verified, 41% involved people aged 17 or younger and almost half (46%) related to the use of force or assault by police, often during an arrest.
Other common allegations involved human rights violations (21%), dereliction of duty (11%) and abusive language or harassment (10%).
Some 27 of the 41 complaints audited were closed so that a determination of “founded” could be found, the IBAC said.
But Victoria Police instead decided only three were substantiated – two relating to inappropriate language and the third to dereliction of duty.
Story by Mibenge Nsenduluka, AAP