The new Fixated Threat Assessment Centre will be created by the Marshall Government in a further boost to the state’s defences against extremist activity.
The 2019-20 State Budget provides more than $3 million over the next four years to build the elite Fixated Threat Assessment team which is expected to include SA Health specialists, including mental health workers, a psychiatrist, a psychologist and a data analyst.
They will work with SAPOL and relevant agencies to combat threats of fixated individual’s undertaking terrorism acts or mass casualty events at schools and assassination attempts.
Minister for Police Corey Wingard said the creation of the Centre formed part of the Marshall Government’s commitment to build a safer state for all South Australians.
“Tragically, horrific incidents, such as what we saw in Christchurch earlier this year, have become a threat and South Australia is not immune to that,” Minister Wingard said.
“That is why the State Liberal Government is building a formidable defence against such behaviour.
“This new Centre will proactively act to stop such a threat from fixated people from arising, and if needed, provide an important tool to our security teams if an incident occurs.”
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the medical experts involved would be uniquely placed to assist SAPOL in such circumstances.
“Outposting SA Health employees to SAPOL will enable a more immediate response to a risk, as SA Health workers have access to mental health information systems. It will also allow the health and law and order issues to be dealt with simultaneously,” Minister Wade said.
Similar centres operate in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and in the UK.
The team would be located collectively within the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (FTAC) to work directly with sworn officers from the State Protective Security Branch (SPSB) within SAPOL.
The clinicians will accompany sworn SAPOL members when assessing and interacting with fixated persons and provide qualified advice to the Fixated Threat Assessment Panel.
The Marshall Government will provide $602,000 in 2019-20, $819,000 in 2020-21,
$831,000 in 2021-22, and $846,000 in 2022-23 to the security initiative.