Property and exhibit management is integral to policing and critical to successful prosecutions. While managing property and exhibits is primarily a clerical function, mismanagement can pose risks to the administration of justice and can impact the community’s perception of police integrity.
Police collect a vast range of property in the course of their duties, encompassing all lost and found, created, surrendered and seized property that comes into their possession. An exhibit is any property in police possession that may be tendered in court as evidence. Victoria Police records show approximately 470 000 items in police possession, stored at more than 200 locations.
In this audit, we examined whether Victoria Police has a control framework for property management that supports high performance and whether it prioritises and sustains improvement projects. We also examined whether Victoria Police stores and secures property in a way that supports frontline staff, reduces associated risks such as OHS risks, and maintains evidentiary value.
We made eight recommendations to Victoria Police.