Robert John SMITH
Victoria Police Force
Regd. # ?
Stations: ?, Boronia – death
Service: From ? ? ? to 29 June 2013 = ? years Service
Born: 28 September 1981
Died on: Saturday 29 June 2013
Cause: Suicide – Service Firearm to head at Boronia Police Station
after complaining about bullying & harassment at work
Funeral date: ?
Funeral location: ?
Buried at: ?
Memorial at: ?
Funeral location: ?
FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.
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Robert John Smith (1981 – 2013)
A sweet, decent and honourable man who achieved so much, had so much to be proud of and so much more to look forward to. Robert, you were a shining star, your life extinguished way too soon.
Our love and heartfelt sympathy to partner Sarah, mum Caroyn, dad Gary, sister Elisa, brother Perry, Granny Iris and Nana Dor.
Your death leaves a huge hole in our lives, you will be forever in our hearts – Linda, Niall and Damon.
- “Sleep forever peacefully”
– Melinda Riches
May you forever Rest In Peace.
Fiancee of bullied police officer who took his own life sues the state
EXCLUSIVE: THE fiancee of a bullied police officer who shot himself with his service firearm is suing the state.
Sarah Fleming, 32, says that prior to his suicide, her fiance, Robert John Smith, was in “emotional turmoil” and had made a complaint of workplace bullying, harassment and other stressors.
Ms Fleming says Mr Smith’s decision to take his life was due to the negligence of the force, which was responsible for the training and action of its employees.
Mr Smith died of a gunshot wound to the head while on duty at the Boronia Police station on June 29, 2013.
In a writ filed in the County Court Ms Fleming claims unspecified damages for the injuries she suffered as a result of Mr Smith’s death.
Since 2000, five Victoria Police officers have died in the line of duty, but 16 more have died by their own hand.
Last October, a policewoman and mother of three, who had previously been on mental health leave and had reported her struggles to Victoria Police, turned her police-issued gun on herself while she was on duty at the Seaford Multi-Disciplinary Centre.
That suicide prompted Police Association boss Ron Iddles — who had previously criticised the force’s efforts to tackle bullying — to call for more to be done to improve welfare of police.
Mr Iddles called for early identification programs in police training programs and at the workplace and for more police to talk about problems and show their colleagues help is available.
The association declined to comment yesterday on what progress was being made or whether there needed to be, or had been, a review of the provision of weapons to officers who have lodged mental health claims.
Ms Fleming’s legal action comes as police and ambulance unions campaign to change how mental health claims are treated, and in the case of post-traumatic stress disorder claims, reverse the onus on emergency workers to prove their condition was caused by work, which can sometimes delay much-needed treatment for years.
Between July 2010 and June last year, WorkCover accepted 482 mental injury claims from Victoria Police (and rejected 500), including 241 resulting from harassment and bullying, 252 for work pressure, 167 sparked by traumatic events and 54 due to occupational violence.
And police were hit harder by bullying than stress and trauma, according to members’ claims in 2014-15.
A National Coronial Information System report on Intentional self-harm among emergency service personnel last year revealed that of the 62 police suicides in Australia between July 1, 2000, and December 2012, 25 shot themselves — 23 with their service-issued firearm.
A Victorian Coroners Prevention Unit report into suicide rates among workers in key professions last year found the annual suicide rate among Victoria police was 10 per 100,000.
Police spokeswoman Sophie Jennings said in the past year the force had improved its complaints handling and completely reformed the way it responds to conflict, claims of bullying and harassment.
DO YOU NEED HELP? If this article causes you distress or if you require more information, police employees can call Welfare Services confidentially 24 hours 7 days a week on 9247 3344, and other members of the community can call Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyondblue 1300 224 636