Thursday, July 14, 2022

Straight-up police corruption

Another report from the Independent Police Conduct Authority today, on a senior police officer who improperly involved himself in a prosecution to protect a mate's son from an assault charge. The IPCA finds that this was improper and a conflict of interest (well, duh), but they fail to call it what it is: corruption. Because while it doesn't involve money, abusing your power to benefit your mates is corrupt, and not something we should tolerate in our society.

But it gets worse, because buried in the full report is this little titbit: it seems the officer in question is a serial offender:

Officer D said he could recall only one other occasion when Officer B spoke to him about an investigation file and that was also where Officer B knew both the parties involved.
The police's response? They claim to accept the findings, and apparently there was an "employment process". But they don't say that the officer was fired, which suggests that they are tacitly accepting this sort of serial corruption. Which fails any reasonable standard of public probity. So why should we trust the police as impartial arbiters of the law again?

Meanwhile, the police are refusing to name the serially abusive officer who was the subject of two IPCA reports on the same day last month, and who was prosecuted for assault, pleaded guilty, and was convicted. They're also refusing to release their complaint record (which would be... informative if it shows a pattern of abusive behaviour which was ignored by police). They also took no employment action against the officer whose lies to defend their mate were so egregious that even the poodle IPCA was forced to note that they "lacked credibility". Such information is routinely released overseas, and is an important tool for investigating police misconduct and holding police to account - but apparently not in Aotearoa. Which is I guess another example of our police's everyday corruption: they protect their own, even when they have admitted to crimes and been convicted.