Vic police union wants cops to decide bail


Senior police officers should be given powers to decide on whether an offender is granted or refused bail outside court hours, Victoria's police association says.

The measure would see bail justices abolished, and sergeants or more senior officers decide if suspects were bailed or remanded for a limit of 72 hours, the Herald Sun reported.

The measure is one of the association's proposals to Victoria's bail system review, which was set up after the Bourke Street rampage in January.

The accused was granted bail against police advice by a bail justice five days before the incident.

The union's submission says police have the expertise to remand a suspect.

"Although bail justices perform an important role in the current system, their use is time consuming and cumbersome for our members,'' the submissions said, according to the newspaper.

"The association considers that police have both the appropriate expertise and capacity to remand an accused until the next court date."

The sergeants deciding to either grant or refuse bail won't have been involved in the case, the proposal says, and a separate officer will review the decision at the accused request.

The measure won't be applied to youth cases, the Herald Sun reports.

Police Association of Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt says the measure is to ensure community safety.

"In Victoria, there's no doubt that the pendulum has swung far too much in favour of the accused and away from community safety and the protection of victims who should always be put first,'' Mr Gatt told the Herald Sun.