2009, 51 Minutes
On one of the toughest beats in town, a cop lays down his gun and takes on a new style of policing. Community Cop follows Constable Andrew ‘AJ’ Allen working with the young African refugee community in the Flemington high-rise estate in inner city Melbourne.
The estate is home to 4000 people, many of them from war-torn Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia. It is a diverse, volatile and complex neighbourhood with a history of high crime, tough policing, and escalating clashes between the police and young people who often see police as the enemy.
With limited resources but assistance from key community members including youth worker Ahmed Ahmed and youth ‘troublemaker’ turned advocate Ahmed Dini, AJ sets out to earn the trust of this suspicious community. Can he make a difference? He must learn to talk to women who wear hijab and don’t make eye contact with men outside their own family, who are used to seeing their own sons searched and arrested by him and his colleagues. He has to earn the trust of hostile and suspicious Sudanese and Somalian teenagers, some of whom are former child soldiers. Success could mean a life-changing experience for him and the residents, but it is a tough job, when some even within his own ranks regard this community policing as a waste of time and money.
A Screen Australia National Interest Program in association with 360 Degree Films. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director/Writer: Helen Gaynor
Running Time: 51 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification
Curriculum Links: English, Media Studies, History, SOSE/HSIE, Drama Studies, Legal Studies, Civics, Politics.