Friday, April 20, 2012

Protecting their own again

In September 2008, Police Superintendent Bill Harrison got a parking ticket in Wellington for not displaying a current registration label. He didn't like that, so he used police letterhead to ask for the ticket to be waived (and apparently lied about the vehicle's registration status).

That's a clear case of misconduct, and to be fair, when the police eventually got round to investigating it two years later, that is exactly what they found. But they didn't want the public to know:

The Dominion Post is able to reveal the outcome of the investigation after it fought to make the details public. Police initially refused to release information, saying Mr Harrison's "strong" privacy interests outweighed the public interest, among other reasons.

However, following a complaint by the paper to Ombudsman David McGee, police were this week forced to release the outcome.

Slow action, then a desperate fight to prevent public oversight. Its a classic case of the police protecting their own. And then they wonder why the public doesn't trust them...