A SECURITY audit was conducted at Pakenham police station after it was subjected to an explosives attack in March, but recommended safety upgrades have not yet been put in place.
Pakenham police Inspector Shane Smith confirmed the station is due to undergo specific security upgrades which aren’t planned for other Victorian police stations.
The comments come in the wake of the station again firebombed in the early hours of Monday 29 August – two weeks after police discovered attempts had been made to infiltrate a restricted security zone.
A source with close links to local police said they “aren’t too happy” about it, particularly given both police-targeted firebombers have not been caught.
Inspector Smith was unable to go into detail about areas of security concern highlighted in the audit as per Victoria Police policy.
However, he did admit that the proposed security works are yet to take place.
“Things are being reviewed, assessed and looked at,” he said.
“Some works take a long time to get specifications done.”
A Victoria Police spokesperson did not explain why the audit recommendations have not yet been funded, but said some security works have been undertaken.
“Several more upgrades are scheduled to begin shortly, for security reasons it would be inappropriate to go into further detail,” the spokesperson said.
It’s unclear whether the security upgrades already completed relate to recommendations handed down in the March audit or as part of upgrades being made to stations statewide.
Inspector Smith said improvements pitched for Pakenham police station were specific to security matters identified at the site, unlike uniform state-wide rollouts including the fixture of a security screen at station front counters.
Pakenham police station was fitted with a security screen less than a week after the first firebombing attack at the station in line with Victoria Police’s anti-terror policy.
A lit Molotov cocktail was lobbed at Pakenham station’s front door about 12.50am on Saturday 12 March by a balaclava-wearing offender who police have not yet been able to identify.
In mid-August, attempts were made to infiltrate a security zone at the station.
Security fencing around the perimeter of the station was compromised sometime before 2am on Sunday 14 August when it was discovered by officers.
And most recently, a second firebomb was lobbed at the station from over a back fence.
Police are still searching for the unknown offender who threw the firebomb at the station headquarters at 12.55am on Monday 29 August.
It’s unclear if the non-actioned security upgrades were technological or physical, within the building or protecting the exterior.
Inspector Smith said members operating out of the station did not feel they were in harm’s way.
“They are feeling pretty good. They are being kept informed and are under no immediate security risk. We take all the precautions we can,” he said.
No officer has been injured in the station attacks.
Inspector Smith said it was likely funding for the upgraded security works were being assessed in line with other funding priorities statewide.
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