Northern Victoria residents now have access to safer and more secure court facilities as part of a state-wide rollout of court security officers (CSOs) at Victorian courts under the Andrews Labor Government.
State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes has announced that Wodonga (five CSOs), Wangaratta (five CSOs), Shepparton (five CSOs), Benalla (three CSOs), and Mansfield (three CSOs) courts now have court security officers.
The new court security officers will undertake entry screening and provide a roving security presence on court sitting days.
They will also provide escort services for vulnerable people when required, including women and children who have been victims of family violence.
The CSO deployment forms part of the state government’s $58.1 million investment in Victoria’s courts.
The new CSOs will also allow Victoria Police, where they consider it appropriate, to re-deploy officers currently providing court security to front-line duties.
The presence of CSOs will help to create a safer experience for those attending court and deliver on key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
‘‘The new court security officers will help to make our courts safer by providing escort services for vulnerable people, including those affected by family violence,’’ Ms Symes said.
‘‘The presence of court security officers provides a valuable service and delivers on key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.’’
Attorney-General Martin Pakula said the new officers would help make courts safer for the Victorian community.