The Melbourne Magistrates Court, together with other Magistrate Courts in Victoria, are amongst the busiest courts in Australia. Most crimes which go to court are first heard in a Magistrates Court. The crimes can range from petty theft such as ticket evasion (for example), to much more serious crimes such as rape and murder. If, as a result of this first hearing, the case goes to trial, then this is heard at a later date in the County Court or the Supreme Court.
Security Officers are required to provide a secure working environment for the occupants and users of court facilities by operating security screening equipment to prevent any prohibited items entering the court precinct. There are numerous such items ranging from knifes and scissors to guns and bombs.
At the public entrance to the building is the area where the Security Officer commences the days’ work duties. Prior to the doors opening security technology and systems are inspected to ensure all are working correctly.
As a Security Officer at the Magistrates Court, we greet visitors and request that all items such as all bags, cases and computers, be placed on the conveyer belt for x-raying. We also request each person place in a bin all metallic items they have on them such as phone, wallet, coins, cigarettes, and steel capped boots. when prohibited items are detected, we have numerous options; Let the person proceed if the item is not considered to be dangerous; Receipt the item, to be picked up on exiting the building, if it is deemed to have a low threat to Court security; Refer it to the Public Safety Officer’s if it is considered to be a banned item. This could possibly lead to the person being arrested.
Security Officer positions require a lot of concentration and attention to detail. We therefore rotate to a different position every half hour to maintain concentration levels. All officers are mindful of the fact that we are part of a team who rely on each other to get the job done in the most efficient and friendly manner.
Working in the Magistrates Court is challenging with each day different. Being part of a well-trained and efficient team is very satisfying and rewarding. I can’t think of a better job than as a Security Officer.
Melbourne Magistrates Court Security Officer