Victorian police will be equipped with new specialist longarm rifles to protect the community from major incidents and the risk of terrorism.
As outlined in the 2018 Community Safety Statement, the Andrews Labor Government is providing $25 million to deploy as many as 600 longarm rifles to the Operations Response Unit and four regional police stations – Ballarat, Geelong, Morwell and Shepparton.
Police this week released a request for tender for the new weapons and ancillary equipment, which includes optical sighting system, tactical light, sling, carry case and spare parts.
This investment will enable approximately 800 police from the Operations Response Unit and the four regional police stations to be specifically trained to use the equipment as part of their day-to-day duties.
The weapons will be securely stored until required and will give officers a tactical advantage in high-risk situations to protect police and the community.
The Operations Response Unit is a highly visible and trained team that tackles high-priority public safety, road policing and crime, as well as providing rapid response to major security incidents and disasters across the state.
Police expect to choose a supplier for the new firearms later this year, with the weapons to be ready for delivery by early 2020.
This enhanced firearm capability is in addition to similar equipment already used by the Special Operations Group and Critical Incident Response Team and ensures a policing capability for Melbourne equivalent to its status as an international city as well as providing extra coverage in our major regional cities and across regional Victoria.
The roll out is backed by the Labor Government’s $2 billion Community Safety commitment, which is delivering 3135 new police, new technology and equipment to give Victoria Police the resources they need to keep the community safe.
The Labor Government continues to deliver new technology for Victoria Police, with smart devices and body-worn cameras being deployed to our frontline police and Protective Services Officers, and a state-of-the art intelligence system that is helping police catch serious and recidivist criminals.
Thousands of new specialist and frontline police have already hit the beat, with more on the way.
As stated by Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville
“These new longarm rifles will ensure police can respond quickly and effectively to critical incidents, particularly in regional Victoria.”
“We’re giving police the powers, tools and resources they need to tackle emerging risks, including lone wolf attacks and major incidents.”
“We have already delivered thousands of new police to communities across the state, and we’ll continue to give police the tools they need to keep the community safe.”