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Victorian Police Radio Patrol (c.1931)


This is a short dramatised scenario made by Efftee Film Productions for the Victoria Police. It highlights the work of the Victorian Police Radio Patrol on the streets of Melbourne in the 1930s.

Curator’s notes

This four-minute scene may have been commissioned by the Victorian Police to promote their good work in the broader community as well as to show how wireless radio technologies were being used to assist in reducing petty crime. Police vehicles were equipped with radio sets capable of receiving morse code transmissions in New South Wales in the mid-1920s. By 1930, a main transmitter base station was operating at Pennant Hills in Sydney. It is probable that the Victorian Police adopted similar technology around the same time as New South Wales.

This film demonstrates the processes involved in communicating a message from a member of the general public to police on patrol on the streets. Wireless technology and morse radio clearly improve the ability of police to do their jobs. The film was possibly a police public relations exercise to build their standing in the Melbourne community at large.

Efftee Film Productions, the brainchild of talking picture enthusiast and entrepreneur Frank Thring Snr, had a prolific output of short films and documentaries in the early 1930s. Thring wholeheartedly embraced the invention of sound in moving pictures. In Victoria Police Radio Patrol, he makes full use of sound technologies by giving audiences an audiovisual experience of morse radio communications that they wouldn’t have seen previously in cinemas.