6th February 2022

An anti-corruption probe has cast doubt over multiple convictions after a veteran police officer was charged with more than 80 offences, including lying to obtain a warrant. The Australian 2nd February 2022.               

Did anybody else experience ‘Deja-Vu when reading this article?

The similarities between this case and the Gobbo affair cannot be dismissed save the size and length of time the crimes were committed and the ranks of the principal offenders.

This was another manifestation of Noble cause Corruption, arguably the worst type and the hardest to manage because it is being done for misguided ‘right’ reasons, or so the rationale goes. On that basis, often, the perpetrators gain misguided support from peers. Nevertheless, this corruption lowers the proponents of this strategy to the level of any other criminal, and that is generally a monumental fall.

“So-called noble cause corruption” is actually corruption of processes recognised and accepted by law and usually an attempt to pervert the course of justice – regardless of any standing or status of those who do it.

The other significant difference compared to the Gobbo matter is the upper echelons of Victoria police orchestrated the Gobbo affair. Still, according to the press statements, no senior Offices were involved in this case, at an operational level.

The investigation by the Professional Standards Command was effective, even identifying criminal activity by one of their own, and it is encouraging that both perpetrators have been charged with a raft of very serious crimes.

The Courts will now deal with the matter to ensure justice is done.

But the reports in the media did not indicate that the task of the investigators had not been completed as Noble corruption is a terrible blight on the organisation and needs to be eliminated. This criminal activity reportedly ran for three years, highlighting placid complicity or inaction by those responsible for supervising and managing the principal offender.

Victoria Police has a chain of command, and until the members in that chain take responsibility and are held to account for their actions and of their subordinate’s Noble corruption will rear its head again and again.

In this case, at least four ranks, including an Assistant Commissioner, superior to the perpetrator, were either inept or complicit by inaction.

They all have culpability and must be brought to account for their failures.

How can we, the community, expect to have faith in an organisation that does not make every effort to ensure these crimes are not repeated? A good place to start is the supervising function stream that will reveal the fault lines. Somebody would have to be aware of abnormal behaviour (excessive success rates compared to others) or have to authorise aspects of this perpetrator’s functions; if not, why not.

As reported, it would appear that Victoria Police did not find it necessary to seek independent legal advice before proceeding to charge the two police concerned. We would hope that this was not because of the lower rank of the perpetrators.

The crimes remain the same as those committed by many others in some of the recent high-profile cases, but it appears that if you have a higher station in life, your case is treated differently; that is not Justice.

That Lady Justice wears a blindfold is not accidental.

It is gratifying that perhaps Victoria Police have turned a corner, and in the future, it will not matter your station in life; if you have committed a crime, you will be charged.

The Courts will then decide your guilt as charged or your innocence.

Justice administered without fear or favour.