Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why was this allowed to go on for so long?

Yesterday former police officer Gordon Stanley Meyer plead guilty to charges of corruption, bribery, and indecent assault over allegations he had demanded sexual favours from a woman in exchange for ignoring a drink-driving incident. The article then noted that

This afternoon police revealed Meyer was investigated for alleged indecent behaviour in 2007 after a woman made a formal complaint but there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.

A police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity called the earlier investigation a "cock-up". That was the opportunity to get rid of Meyer, the officer said.

Today it turns out that the police station Meyer was based at was dysfunctional. But it also notes that he faced several other charges "related to allegations of flashing, touching women's breasts, receiving oral sex in a police car and making sexual comments", which were quashed or dropped. Which raises the question: why was this offending allowed to go on for so long? Surely Meyer's employment should have been seriously questioned in 2007 as a result of the complaint against him? And if it wasn't then, shouldn't it have been the next time (or the next time, or the next time) a complaint was made?

Yes, I want criminal cops prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But beyond that, I want them sacked. Public confidence in the police requires that its individual officers be beyond reproach. Meyer clearly wasn't. He used the power of his uniform to prey on women. And the police's refusal to take employment action against him directly enabled that offending.