Sticky beaks tapping into the police scanner will be barred from doing so by mid-2017, as the government moves to encrypt country police radios.
Old analogue systems, that can be tuned into via radios or listened to through simple mobile phone apps, will be replaced with new secure, encrypted digital equipment.
Police minister Lisa Neville and emergency services minister James Merlino announced a seven year-contract with Telstra to upgrade police and emergency services radio equipment.
The equipment will also provide better voice clarity, coverage and the capability to track the location of devices, improving member safety and response times.
The new radios will stop communications being intercepted by the public through a smartphone app or scanner.
More than $11.5 million has been set aside in the 2015-16 Victorian state budget for police to upgrade to the new digital system.
“We’re providing our emergency services personnel with the resources they need to effectively respond to emergencies and keep Victorians safe,” Mr Merlino said.
“This sophisticated technology is more secure, has better voice clarity, will reduce the risk of communication failures and improve safety for our emergency services personnel and the community.”
More than 8000 radios for Victoria Police, Victoria State Emergency Services, Life Saving Victoria and Corrections Victoria will be rolled out.