Security Risk Management

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Purpose of this policy

To encourage schools to adopt situational crime prevention strategies to reduce the opportunity for people to commit criminal activity on school premises.

Policy

Schools may reduce criminal acts by making potential targets/assets inaccessible or unattractive and by making the activity too dangerous or unprofitable for the offender by:

  • spreading the risks through physical, electronic and procedural security measures that deny, defer, delay or detect criminal activity
  • reducing, removing, transferring or accepting some risks
  • installing a Department funded and monitored intruder detection system (where the school meets appropriate risk criteria)
  • using school funds to install a closed circuit television system (CCTV) with Departmental approval via the Manager, Security Services Unit. The installed system must comply with legislative and departmental requirements and must not be hidden or covert or used:
    • in private locations such as toilets
    • in change rooms or staff rooms.
    • to monitor student or staff performance.

Risk reduction strategies

Schools are encouraged to implement situational crime prevention strategies through:

Method Examples
Target hardening Installation of:
  • locks
  • window film
  • window and door grilles
  • computer-locking mechanisms.
Environmental design Use of natural surveillance measures ie:
  • trimmed foliage
  • lighting
  • fences
  • signage.
Electronic systems Installation of:
Policies Document requirements for:
  • asset marking
  • secure equipment storage and location.
Procedures Implement:
  • regular/daily checking procedures
  • window and door locking practices
  • regular equipment audits.

Intruder detection systems

The Department centrally funds the installation and maintenance of intruder detection systems at schools that meet appropriate risk criteria. It also monitors alarm systems and responds to alarm activations via its 24-hour coordination centre.

For information on the criteria required to access funding for the installation or maintenance of intruder detection systems contact the Security Services Unit by telephone on (03) 9589-6266.

Alarm systems rules

Schools that have an intruder detection system installed must:

  • pay for:
    • the ongoing transmission of data between the school and the alarm monitoring centre
    • any costs associated with extensions, modifications or systems which are not part of the centrally-funded program. The school must contact the Security Services Unit before any system changes begin.
  • ensure that:
    • staff are trained in its use and know the implications of unintentional alarm activation
    • alarm systems are turned off whenever staff enter an alarmed building.

Warning: Failure to turn the alarm system off immediately on entering the building causes an unwanted alarm at the coordination centre resulting in police and private security contractor response.

Alarm response services

Private security contractors attend school alarm activations and provide key access to buildings for attending police.

Note: The police have primary responsibility for searching for and apprehending offenders.

Cost recovery for false alarms

The Department recovers the costs from schools of responding to alarms in cases where:

  • school personnel have generated the alarm
  • heaters and air conditioners left on out of hours have triggered the alarm systems.

Schools will avoid having to pay for the cost of unwanted alarms by implementing sound management practices in the use of alarm systems.

CCTV information

Schools seeking to install CCTV must obtain prior approval from the Manager, Security Services Unit. The Unit has:

  • an information package containing the approval process and guidelines for the installation of a CCTV system
  • a list of preferred installers.

CCTV installations in schools must comply with legislative and Department requirements. Policies and procedures have been established to ensure that any school planning to install CCTV surveillance meets these requirements.

Cameras may not be used:

  • in private locations such as toilets
  • in change rooms or staff rooms
  • to monitor student or staff performance.

Hidden or covert cameras are also prohibited.

Reporting criminal damage

Criminal activities, including vandalism, threats of assault, arson and burglary, are to be reported without delay to the police and to the Security Services Unit.

This information is used to implement security initiatives, including the provision of targeted security patrols, installation of temporary surveillance and intruder detection systems, and other strategies to assist schools.

Related policies

Department resources

  • Securing Your School: An Information Guide for Principals and School Leaders is currently under review. For information in the interim, contact the Security Services Unit on (03) 9589 6266.