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District Policing - strengthening frontline services to deliver public safety

On 5 July 2018, South Australia Police (SAPOL) is transitioning from six Local Service Areas to four Districts as part of its staged implementation of District Policing in the metropolitan area. This will enable larger, more flexible working groups who will be assisted by new and enhanced central crime assessment, investigation and intelligence support. These changes will strengthen our frontline services and deliver public safety.

Behind-the-scenes enhancements include the introduction of the Investigation Support Desk and State Crime Assessment Centre, which will provide frontline police officers with more information and management support.

We have equipped our frontline staff with a range of technologies including: body worn video cameras, mobile rugged tablets, mobile finger print scanners, facial recognition technology, and smart phones to put officers where they are needed most – out in the community,

The current six Local Service Areas (Holden Hill, Elizabeth, South Coast, Sturt, Eastern Adelaide and Western Adelaide) will combine to create four Districts. The boundary changes are essentially for internal administration purposes only and won’t have any material impact on the public - police will continue to work as one team and South Australians will continue to receive the high quality, visible and responsive service they have come to expect from SAPOL.

There are no changes to police station locations or opening hours and our phone services - Police Emergency Triple Zero (000) and the Police Assistance Line 131444 for non-urgent matters - will continue to provide access to the most appropriate police service and response.

More people are now accessing police services via a smart phone and using online reporting. The SA Police mobile app remains a portal for important SAPOL services and information including: Crime Stoppers, SA Police News and social media, police station locations and traffic camera sites, youth safety information, and the Track My Crime feature. Our website (www.police.sa.gov.au) provides a range of online services, local police news, safety information, online reporting facilities, and other useful information.

Key improvements to strengthen frontline services

  • Police will be more mobile, more visible, and better informed due to improved technologies and capabilities that maximise the number of frontline officers in the community.
  • New dispatch technology enables us to automatically identify and deploy the closest patrol to respond to an incident, regardless of District boundaries and police station locations. This will help to reduce response times and ensure consistent service across the metropolitan area.
  • More resources at the Communications Centre will facilitate the coordination of frontline resources and provide officers with access to real-time tactical support.
  • Through the new State Crime Assessment Centre, we will ensure a consistent and rigorous approach to the review, prioritisation and allocation of reported crime. This additional capability will also help to ensure victims are advised of the outcome of their reported crime in a timely manner.
  • Our frontline services will have round-the-clock access to enhanced investigation and intelligence support, helping them to resolve incidents rapidly through the new Investigation Support Desk.
  • Improved technology will streamline processes for both police and the public by allowing frontline police to capture, retrieve and submit documentation in the field without having to return to a police station.
  • Our new capabilities will better equip us to identify crime series and trends as they are occurring, to better position patrols where they are needed.
  • Additional resources for missing person investigations and child and family violence investigations will provide a specialist, dedicated response to these sensitive matters.
  • The relocation of some Criminal Investigation Branches to the new District Headquarter police stations will give detectives the ability to deliver an increased response capacity due to larger, more flexible workgroups.

Frontline services

The move to four Districts creates larger and more flexible working groups. Police will be more mobile, more visible, and better informed due to improved technologies and capabilities that maximise the number of frontline officers out in the community. Importantly, police patrols will operate as a unified team across District boundaries, meaning that response levels will be more consistent, and with new dispatch technology enabling us to identify the nearest resources to an incident, regardless of the location of police stations, the closest patrol will be able to be deployed to an incident helping to reduce response times.

The District boundaries have been established to ensure each District responds to a similar level of demand for police services. This provides SAPOL with a sustainable approach that takes into consideration both current and future demand for policing.

Improved technology will streamline processes for both police and the public. Our officers and cars are equipped with in-car mobile technology to  capture, retrieve and submit information in the field without having to return to a police station. Our frontline staff have been equipped with a range of other technologies including: body worn video cameras, mobile finger print scanners, facial recognition technology, and smart phones to put officers where they are needed most – out in the community.

Also helping to improve service delivery to the public will be the additional resources for missing persons investigations and child and family violence that will a provide specialist, dedicated response from 5 July.

The relocation of some Criminal Investigation Branches to the new District Headquarter police stations will not reduce service delivery. Detectives will instead have the ability to deliver an increased response capacity due to larger, more flexible workgroups. Frontline services will also gain real-time access to Detectives through the 24/7 Investigation Support Desk. Additional resources for missing person investigations and child and family violence investigations will provide a specialist, dedicated response to these sensitive matters.

What is the Investigation Support Desk?

The Investigation Support Desk provides a 24/7 investigation and intelligence capability to support frontline services by monitoring active incidents and feeding tactical information directly to police on the ground as an incident or inquiry is unfolding, helping them to resolve incidents rapidly.

The Investigation Support Desk also assists with the identification of crime series and trends as they are occurring to better position patrols where they are needed ahead of time.

The Investigation Support Desk is an expansion of existing capability, has been fully operational since March 2018, and has contributed to the successful outcome of many investigations and incidents.

What is the State Crime Assessment Centre?

The State Crime Assessment Centre is a 24/7 state-wide service that reviews, prioritises and allocates all reported crime. The State Crime Assessment Centre receives and assesses all Police Incident Reports along with Crime Stoppers and Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) actions.

The State Crime Assessment Centre enhances the way we manage crime by ensuring consistent reporting in order to identify patterns and crime trends and enhances SAPOL’s ability to inform victims of the outcome of their reported crime in a timely manner.

It also makes available all Police Incident Reports, statements and other documentation to police in real-time, and provides a central point of access to intervention orders and warrants.

The SCAC has been fully operational since early May 2018 and has already contributed to many successful outcomes.