Friday, October 02, 2020

No accountability means no confidence

Today's outrage from the Independent Police Conduct Authority: a police officer explicitly disregarded instructions from HQ to break off a pursuit, and chased a speeding vehicle the wrong way down a one-way street. The car they were pursuing eventually crashed, injuring two people. The officer's driving was found by the IPCA to be dangerous, which makes it arguably criminal (it certainly would be if you or I had done it). But despite an egregious violation of orders and policy and arguably criminal behaviour which contributed to two injuries, this officer might still have their badge:

In response to RNZ police reiterated the officer should have stopped, but refused to say what action was taken against him.

"The concerns raised in relation to police actions have been dealt with through an employment process," a police spokesperson said.

As with the other recent case of an officer who unlawfully repeatedly trespassed, then assaulted someone with pepper-spray before unlawfully arresting them, this is unsatisfactory. When the police misbehave, we have a right to know what was done about it. Public confidence in the police depends on it. Instead, by cloaking everything under a veil of secrecy, the police invite the suspicion that they are lax on policing their own, even in egregious cases such as this. And as a result, we can have no confidence in them whatsoever.