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Saturday, 11 August 2012

Serious Police misconduct must trigger automatic PIC inquiry

David outside Grafton Gaol

Media Release - 10 August 2012

Following findings by a north coast magistrate that that NSW Police Officers had engaged in serious misconduct, colluded to give false evidence, and debased the administration of justice, Greens NSW Justice spokesperson David Shoebridge has called for serious misconduct matters to be automatically investigated by a thoroughly resourced police watchdog.

See SMH:

"When a magistrate finds police officers have engaged in serious misconduct, the law should compel the police watchdog to undertake a thorough and complete investigation. This must not be discretionary," Mr Shoebridge said.

"Magistrate Heilpern found that the officers in question had lied under
oath, colluded in their evidence and brought false charges against a
member of the public.

"These are serious findings which the Police Integrity Commission must
investigate, not just by choice, but because police misconduct should be
core business of any police watchdog.

"In this case, PIC are determining whether or not to undertake a full
blown inquiry. This should not be optional.

"No one can criticise the PIC for the actions it has taken to date on
this issue, because they are complying with an overly complicated and
opaque complaints system.

"The Greens are calling on the O'Farrell Government to ensure that when
courts make findings of serious misconduct against Police Officers, this
triggers an automatic investigation by the PIC.

"This is not a revolutionary concept. These oversight structures apply
in the United Kingdom and other overseas jurisdictions and must become
law here," Mr Shoebridge said.

Media contact: Mark Riboldi for David Shoebridge – 9230 3030 | 0433 753

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