Friday, March 01, 2019

Protecting their mates

Back in December, the SSC's inquiry into the state sector's use of outside security consultants exposed potentially serious criminal behaviour on the part of Thompson and Clark Investigations. SSC properly referred these matters to the police. Who promptly "forgot" about them:

A police investigation into spying on earthquake victims has been delayed after a top cop "forgot" to progress it.

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes laid a complaint with police in December after private investigators Thompson & Clark were found to have covertly recorded Southern Response clients.

An SSC inquiry found an unlicensed investigator had posed as a victim and attended meetings.

On Friday, Police Deputy Commissioner National Operations Mike Clement admitted to Stuff the inquiry hadn't progressed, following an Official Information Act request.

"I didn't action it," he admitted. "I've gone back through my correspondence and found that I didn't task it on the 18th December when it came through.

"It is completely my fault. I can't undo history.

Stuff reporter Andrea Vance is "inclined to give the benefit of the doubt" over this. But its just so convenient. The most serious allegations against Thompson and Clark is that they unlawfully recorded a meeting of Southern Response claimants on 13 March 2014. The relevant offence there is unlawful use of an interception device, which carries a penalty of two years in prison. That penalty means that charges must be brought within five years of the offence. So, Clement's "forgetfulness" means that in all likelihood that will now be impossible, and Thompson and Clark's crime will go unpunished. And when you consider that Thompson and Clark works for the police, helps them spy on protest groups and undermine freedom of speech and assembly, and is run by ex-cops, it smacks of the police helping out their mates. Again.

Update: Oh look! Northland police also "forgot" to contact the victim of one of their own, until the IPCA kicked them. Its almost as if this is a habit...