"The more things change, the more they stay the same" – report of the FKCLC Peer Advocacy Outreach Project on racial profiling across Melbourne

14 Jul 2015

Argues that racial discrimination by Victoria Police continues throughout Metropolitan Melbourne despite recent efforts to curb racial profiling.


Racialised policing has again made international headlines after recent multiple murders of young black men in the United States. This has led to the galvanising of black communities and human rights groups to once again protest against the unjust system that allows white police officers to get away with murder. Across all western countries issues of race - especially in the policing context, are generally reported as tensions between ethnic minorities and individual police officers. However, racialised policing reflects the attitudes of the State towards minority communities more broadly.

This report focuses on the policing experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities broadly, and specifically on young black men in Melbourne. This group is acutely aware of the impacts of racialised policing on the lives and liberty of marginalised communities. At the outset of this project, we hoped to capture the experiences of young people (in Melbourne) as well as community development workers who support those young people.

We wanted to find out how knowledgeable and equipped Melbourne’s youth workers, social workers, community development workers were to support young people who might have experienced racialised policing. Ten young people and ten service providers were interviewed using a set of open-ended questions that focused on:

- What was the level of police contact

- What were the perceived reasons for that police contact

- What actions were taken by young person/worker

- Impacts/feelings arising from police contact

- What safety strategies are young people using

- What supports available/in place

- Sense of hope for change

- The likelihood of making a formal complaint

- Young people’s knowledge of the complaints processes

- Other help sought by young people

- What are the service gaps & barriers

- Training needs for youth workers & capacity building ideas for the sector

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