Thursday, April 14, 2022

More police corruption

The Independent Police Conduct authority has a report out today on an incident of corruption in the Police. The Stuff version of the story focuses on the inciting incident: a constable stole $50 which was handed in as lost property. But it glosses over the real story: that the police's own internal watchdog covered for them:

Public counter staff were not comfortable with the actions of the constable and took the matter to the local office of Police Professional Conduct. The manager of this office, Officer C, took ownership of the case.

It transpired that Officer C did not record or deal with the complaint. There was no formal or informal investigation, and no notification through to management.

As the IPCA says, "We cannot establish a rationale as to why Officer C failed to undertake those actions." Meanwhile, everyone outside of the IPCA can see the obvious one: to cover for their fellow officer. In this case, it was over a minor theft. But we saw exactly this attitude on display in the police rape scandal, and it seems that it is endemic. Which is why the police can't be trusted to police their own, and why the IPCA needs not only the resourcing, but also the powers, to not only investigate crime by police, but also to ensure it is properly punished.

The good news is that neither officer is with the police any longer. And good riddance to both of them. Hopefully they won't be getting a reference.