The program began in the Moonee Valley and Greater Dandenong areas in March, and will expand to Boroondara and Mildura from 29 June 2015. The program will finish on 31 December 2015.
Receipting schemes help minimise discriminatory policing by forcing officers to consider and justify why they are initiating contact, reducing unnecessary police stops by creating a paperwork disincentive, and providing the person stopped with information about how to make a complaint.
Some of the potential benefits of receipting will be lost because ethnicity data will not be recorded. The UK’s receipting system, which has now been in place for a decade, mandates the recording of the self-reported ethnicity of the person stopped, allowing statistical analysis to identify potential racial profiling.
Nevertheless, the program is a significant step forward and demonstrates yet again the importance of law and policy reform advocacy by community legal centres.
ROBERT CORR is a Legal Studies teacher at the Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School.