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Sly: Police and PSOs will be authorised to use deadly force in face of terror attacks

Victoria’s 16,000 operational police and Protective Service Officers will be authorised to immediately use deadly force when faced with potential terror attacks.

As Sly revealed on the front page of The Age today, under the new method the first officers on a scene may be required to take immediate action, including shooting suspects, if there is no time to wait for support.

Sly told Ross and John attitudes to using deadly force have changed over time.

“What happened was, over a 10-year period, from the 80s to the 90s, Victoria Police shot dead 32 people, which was more than the rest of the country combined,” he said.

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After an inquest, practices changed to a “cordon and contain” policy.

“Then the Lindt Cafe changed all that,” Sly said.

Police acknowledge that in likely terror attacks the plan will be to reduce the number of casualties rather than engineer a peaceful resolution.

Officers will be retrained following a three-year review that analysed international terror ambushes and local events including the January’s Bourke Street Mall attack and the 2014 Lindt Cafe siege.

All police were told on Monday that from January 1 they will be trained under a new method to make clearer and quicker decisions when responding to threats.