25th November 2019

IBAC is apparently offended that Victoria Police did not investigate the actions of police who shot two people at a nightclub in Melbourne, two people who sued police and obtained substantial damages.  IBAC has no right to be offended – they have known for some years that this sort of cover up was happening.

Royal Commissioner McMurdo is understandably impatient at VicPol’s “tardiness” in producing documents required by Her Commission.  She does not understand that – partly because of IBAC’s tolerance – that sort of police cover-up is now quite routine here in Victoria.

A brief example of how this shambles came to be the new “normal” discloses that – within IBAC’s knowledge and without the slightest corrective steps being taken by it – in just one case known to CAA:-

Four Chief Commissioners flatly refused to obey the law requiring them to investigate complaints of corrupt police conduct, instead choosing denial and cover-up;

Three Assistant Commissioners heading police Ethical Standards avoided or prevented investigation of police corruption, and to cover up for crooked police;

The former Office of Police Integrity (from which IBAC drew many of its staff) deliberately covered up for at least two of those Commissioners and did nothing, in the face of direct complaints, with evidence and despite being obliged at law to investigate those complaints;

Several senior officials within VicPol corruptly abused their offices, and were shielded by those Commissioners, apparently with the intention, and certainly with the effect, of protecting corrupt detectives who dishonestly procured that abuse;

At least one Deputy Commissioner, one Assistant Commissioner and one Chief Commissioner were knowingly implicated in the plot to continue that abuse and further victimise the target of those corrupt detectives.

IBAC has known of this affair for years, including where the evidence lay, and by its own lethargy and disinterest has directly contributed to the “normal” situation it now finds unsatisfactory.

Edmund Burke famously said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that (even purportedly) good men do nothing”– as IBAC has done, as OPI did before it, and as so many within VicPol have done.

When so many of the purported upholders of our laws themselves flout the law with impunity, merely as a matter of course, it seems, then a new paradigm of “normality” emerges.  This is the new reality facing Royal Commissioner McMurdo.  Like her, we find it unacceptable.

Amid calls for the present Chief Commissioner to stand aside, we again call for a full judicial commission of inquiry into Victoria Police and its leadership.