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Graham Ashton’s final interview as Victoria’s police chief

Outgoing Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton joined Neil Mitchell one final time in his role as Victoria’s police chief.

He finishes up at the end of the week.

Neil Mitchell covered a range of issues with Mr Ashton, revealing the crime he’d most like to see solved and addressing the police response to the 2017 Bourke Street tragedy.

Mr Ashton, who will be replaced by Shane Patton, also spoke about how police can best handle gang-related crime in Melbourne and community attitude towards police.

He said the recent deaths of four members on the Eastern Freeway was the lowest point in his time in the job.

GRAHAM ASHTON ON…

Community attitudes towards police…

“There’s always going to be issues. But I think the majority of community out there do get it that policing is a tough gig and our officers do tough work, day in, day out, and it’s often at their own risk and peril and I think they appreciate that.”

Melbourne’s issue with gang-related crime…

“You’ve got to be tough, but also work behind the scenes. We’re making more arrests than we’ve ever made but at the same time you’ve got to be pro-active in addressing the issues behind it.”

How police responded to the 2017 Bourke Street tragedy

“I still haven’t seen anything that wasn’t anything other than members trying to do the right thing with the information they had. It was one of those cases that was absolutely magnified with the prism of hindsight.”

The crime he’d most like to see solved…

“The one that first comes to mind is young Bung Siriboon. That would be a great case for us to be able to solve for her loved ones.”

What worries him about future…

“What we’re seeing in the (United) States at the moment is worrying. You hope that doesn’t manufacturer itself here.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

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