Thursday, April 05, 2007

Now there's a surprise

Publicly, the police have welcomed the findings of Dame Margaret Bazley's inquiry into police misconduct, with Police Commissioner Howard Broad immediately making an unreserved and unequivocal apology to victims and implement its findings. Behind the scenes, its a different story. The police hierarchy fought the inquiry every step of the way, taking "a particularly litigious approach" to the findings. And they were successful - an initial conclusion that the police's investigation of colleagues was sometimes inadequate was withdrawn (though it is still apparent if you read through all the sordid details).

All I can say is that this rather undercuts the police hierarchy’s claim that this was all the fault of a few bad apples and that there is no systemic problem of officers covering up for each other - because that's exactly what those at the top tried to do with this inquiry. And it calls into question their willingness to make the necessary changes to impose proper professional standards on the police and ensure that they can be held to account for any wrongdoing. No wonder they're being monitored by the State Services Commission and Auditor-General for ten years...


Now normally I totally heart most unions, but I have to say that I think the Police Association has not taken a professional attitude to any of this and has actively promoted a culture of covering up for other officers. I stand to be corrected of course, but it's going to take a fair bit to get me to budge from that opinion, and I haven't even read the report yet.

Posted by Span : 4/05/2007 10:30:00 AM

aggressively asserting one's rights through a legal process is not the same as attempting a cover up. the herald story was a beat up.

Posted by Anonymous : 4/05/2007 12:58:00 PM

The police force is not an independent body - it is an arm of the state charged with upholding the law. It have co-operated fully with the enquiry. If the accused individuals wanted to "aggressively asserting [their] rights" than that is up them, but the peoples servants should have no part of this.

Had I been the government I'd have fired the entire senior police hierarchy when they started interfering - legislating to remove their employment rights and hiring fresh senior cops from overseas if necessary.

Posted by Rich : 4/05/2007 02:31:00 PM

rich - fair enough. good point. we just need to be a bit careful we don't deny the police and their officers to outline any other side to the story they may have, or want to put, even if of doubtful merit.

Posted by Anonymous : 4/07/2007 09:05:00 AM