Trauma-informed policing conference gets underway in Melbourne

Media release

09 February 2024

Australia's first conference focused on trauma-informed policing is being held in Melbourne on 12 and 13 February 2024. It brings together international experts to share practices that have improved mental health, crime and community outcomes across the globe.

Professor Peter Miller, from Deakin's School of Psychology and convener of the "Trauma Informed Policing and Law Enforcement Conference" (TIPLEC), said it was significant step to be hosting the first national conference focused on trauma-informed policing and law enforcement.

'The conference will create a conversation about how trauma and shame influence criminal behaviour and how law enforcement can respond to that,' Professor Miller said.

'But, just as importantly, we need to discuss the way trauma, neurodiversity and shame impact our policing and law enforcement personnel and how we can minimise that harm to our first responders.

'Trauma-informed law enforcement has been shown to reduce the number of assaults on correctional officers as well as reduce the use of physical force by officers, improving staff retention by up to 80%.

'The conference will look at whether we have the right implementation and evaluation frameworks to ensure that Australia and communities around the world receive the best possible law enforcement practitioners possible.

'It is important that these practitioners are appropriately supported and cared for while they undertake challenging and stressful jobs,' Professor Miller said.

Former British police officer, college professor, and host of the Reducing Crime podcast Professor Jerry Ratcliffe will present at TIPLEC about the "Philadelphia transit police SAVE project" which pairs police and social workers together to better help vulnerable people.

Former Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating governments, Robert Tickner, recently retired Victorian Magistrate Tony Parsons and Parole Board member and Deakin University criminologist Associate Professor Clare Farmer will participate in a panel called "Thinking about trauma across the justice process".

TIPLEC is hosted by Deakin University's Centre for Drug Use, Addictive and Anti-social Behaviour Research (CEDAAR), led by Professor Miller, alongside Global Law Enforcement & Public Health Association Inc (GLEPHA), and the University of Tasmania Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies (School of Social Sciences).

Further comment can be provided by Justin Srivastava, a serving Police Superintendent on the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network (LVRN) which consists of 36 partner agencies working to reduce/prevent serious violence by addressing the cause of violence and crime through a public health approach. The LVRN has now presented their Trauma Informed Awareness workshop to over 6,000 professionals working across social care, education, police, health, and other public sector organisations. Justin leads several national police initiatives in the UK focussing on how policing and health/social care partners can collaborate to address vulnerability demand.

The Lancashire Violence Reduction Network has now trained over 10,000 professionals across the County to provide them with tools as part of a wider project to help reduce violence.

More information about the conference can be found here and the conference agenda can be accessed here.

Media passes are available upon request.

The line-up for the TIPLEC includes Superintendent Justin Srivastava (Lancashire, UK), Commissioner Donna Adams APM (Tasmania Police), Dr Lois Peeler AM (Yorta Yorta and Wiradjuri and current Senior Victorian of the year), Professor Jerry Ratcliffe (former British police officer, college professor, and host of the Reducing Crime podcast), Detective Superintendent Kirsten Engels (Northern Territory Police Force, Domestic Violence and Sex Crimes Divisions lead), Grant Edwards (former Australian Federal Police Commander, and Australia’s strongest man), Mary Ross (Devon and Cornwall Police, UK), Prof Stan Gilmore (Previous police office and the Director of the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit, and current lead for Risk Technology within the National Police Chiefs’ Council for the UK), Staff Sergeant Mike Lockington (Peel Regional Police Service, Canada) and recently retired Victorian Magistrate Tony Parsons.

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