Victoria Police puts chain of responsibility under review

By: Brad Gardner, Photography by: Brad Gardner

Senior detective wants review to result in more resources to catch chain of responsibility offenders.

Victoria Police puts chain of responsibility under review
Under review: Bernie Rankin says Victoria Police is examining its approach to chain of responsibility investigations.


Victoria Police is putting its chain of responsibility investigation practices under the microscope.

Detective inspector Bernie Rankin has told Owner//Driver a review is underway and that he hopes it leads to greater resources to investigate and prosecute COR cases.

Rankin leads a 25-member transport investigations unit within Victoria Police that deals with COR.

A proposal has been put forward for Rankin’s unit to receive more detectives with investigative experience.

"It’s something we are looking at very closely and we’re in a situation where we’re really reviewing the way we do COR investigations," Rankin says.

"We’re looking at if there are ways we can improve and get people with an investigative history and an investigative background in to do that work."

Rankin says he is chiefly concerned with making sure his unit has the right skills to carry out COR work.

"The numbers [of detectives] probably aren’t the issue, it’s the skill sets," he says.

"So it’s not a situation where we’ve got to throw an enormous number of people into it. What we do need is…to make sure that they’ve got the skill sets that they need to be able to do the work right through to the end successfully."

During an appearance at a recent road safety summit organised by the Transport Workers Union (TWU), Rankin admitted Victoria Police have not had a lot of successful COR prosecutions.

However, he believes the proposal to strengthen his unit can help turn that around.

"I think that may be a situation where if we can get the correct numbers and the people with the requisite skills in the position we might find that we have a little more success on chain of responsibility," Rankin says.

During his interview with Owner//Driver, Rankin also argued the case for extending COR to drug use.


You can read the full interview with Bernie Rankin in the July edition of Owner//Driver magazine.


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