11th May 2020
So now junior members of Vicpol have been suspended for their apparent involvement in publishing an inappropriate photo of an AFL figure. Not nice at all, and they deserve to be censured.
However, compare their conduct to the case where the High Court found police conduct regarding Informer 3838 was “reprehensible”. Nobody was stood aside – nobody. To the contrary, the only person who had the integrity to blow the whistle on this police misconduct, Sir Ken Jones, was himself forced out of VicPol.
By any standard the sheer waste of taxpayers’ money in pursuing the foredoomed effort to conceal that reprehensible conduct was disgraceful – but that’s OK, it seems, because it was the bosses who did that, not the worker bees.
Compare the Assistant Commissioner who flagrantly lied to protect corrupt detectives who framed a citizen because the (previous) Chief likewise covered up his own blunders. That Assistant Commissioner (a friend of a Chief) gets off scot-free, and the Superintendent and Chief Superintendent who refused to follow the Police Act – a sworn duty – in order to protect HIM, go on to bigger and better things.
By all means, discipline members who breach proper standards of conduct, for example by publishing embarrassing photos of people in custody, and by all means let the process be swift, but also, by all means, let our police leaders ensure swiftness in investigating fairly simple claims of theft and false accounting involving members of the government; let there be Equality of treatment for all classes of suspects in such an imbroglio.
Why are different standards of conduct applied depending on where one sits in the hierarchy?
The Victoria Police stands condemned of failing to follow its claim to Uphold the Right. It does not respect the principles of Equality Before the Law, and it continues to thrive on concealing from the public its manifold failures of management and leadership – including failures to simply obey the law.
STOP PRESS. Just as this paper was about to be released it was revealed that IBAC, the watchdog that achieves so little in improving police behaviour, is to take over this “investigation” – to see if there are “cultural issues” that underlie the disgraceful publishing of the objectionable photo.
IBAC has not investigated the cultural issues underlying the persistent refusal of Chief Commissioners to investigate complaints of police corruption – refusals that were and remain contrary to law. IBAC has refused to investigate the toxic and dysfunctional culture at the top, described before the McMurdo Commission by Sir Ken Jones. As did its predecessor, the Office of Police Integrity, IBAC chooses to ignore faults at the top, no matter how serious, how entrenched, or how destructive.
Unlike the OPI, IBAC does not break the law; it just breaches our trust.
So we also ask IBAC, why are different standards of conduct applied depending on where one sits in the hierarchy? Why are cultural issues important in influencing only the conduct of constables, but not the conduct of commissioners?
Exactly what the entire general public I speak to all ask time and time again, all we get from this Government in Victoria is “nothing to see here” “ do as we say not what we do”, pity this cannot be printed in The Sun where the majority of people see it. Well done as usual.
I wish to congratulate you on the article appearing on your website entitled “Holding up a Picture of the Police” and dated 11 May.
I am consistently abhorrently appalled by the behavior of middle and upper ranks of Victoria Police, the destruction that they cause, and the fact that they are never held accountable. It must be called for what it is, ‘corrupt’.
Vic.Pol also continually uses their sociopathic, equally corrupt colleagues at PSC as “puppets” to destroy the lives of honest, good, hard working police whose only intention is to serve their community with integrity and to the best of their ability.
Of course junior police will make mistakes along the way, just like everyone else, but the role of a competent leader is to guide, advise and lead by honest example, not “chop off their heads” in order to redirect attention from the inadequacies of themselves.
The corrupt behavior of these senior officers, not only destroys the officers involved, but also causes utter destruction to good police families. And why do they do this? They do this because officers dare to question unreasonable, and often unlawful directions, and also expect accountability of those who are supposed to lead by example and take responsibility. Lawfulness, reasonableness, accountability and responsibility are, after all, what society expects of its law makers.
I agree that the cultural issues that IBAC should be investigating, as a priority, are the “toxic and dysfunctional (issues) at the top”. The corruption at these levels can only be described as narcissistic and a cover up of their own incompetence.
I come from a policing family – police across 3 states and 4 generations. I am absolutely disgusted with the behavior of middle and upper ranks of Vic Pol and PSC. I am appalled at the deception, and inability of IBAC and the Victorian Government to investigate and make accountable the upper ranks and management of Vic Pol – even after a royal commission and a high profile inquest, both of which has exposed corrupt behavior and the continual with holding of important information.
As a very long time member of a “good police family”, all my 64+ years in fact, I have come to despise the upper ranks of Vic Pol (and policing in general) for what it has done to its junior ranks, their families and the wider community.
While I will always advocate that policing is an honorable job, I will never any longer regard it as an honorable profession. I will, and have, actively discouraged any other family member or friend from pursuing it as a career. I, of all people, know what the impacts are of the corrupt culture of police hierarchies regardless of the state they supposedly “serve”. I have personally felt deeply the hurt and destruction that they create.
It is past time that IBAC got a backbone and investigated the “toxic and dysfunctional culture at the top”, and in PSC. If IBAC can’t perform this function competently, then get out of the way and appoint someone who can. The current “puppet masters” must go.
Finally, think about this. I recently had a conversation with a member of the public from Melbourne. Her children are very close to a police officer who was very actively involved in the Bourke St (1) incident. To those children that officer is a “hero”. Subsequently he has become the victim of the dishonest and corrupt behavior of PSC and the Vic Pol hierarchy. He has done absolutely nothing wrong and everyone knows it, including the people who are persecuting him. My friend asked me “How do I explain this to my kids?”
It is my understanding that the PVIS program that was recently introduced to schools has a strong focus on “rules”. Yet it is clear to the public that IBAC and Police commissioners have a flagrant disregard for “the rules”, i.e. corruption. As stated in the article on 11 May “The Victoria Police stands condemned of failing to follow its claim to Uphold the Right”. How do police Veterans propose that they will explain this to the children in schools, the 9 and 10 year olds?
How do you say “Do what we say, not what they do”, and still expect respect? How can we expect children to understand the inconsistencies of different rules for different people, depending on their place in the pecking order? Will these children also eventually despise police hierarchies? I’m a very well educated person, from “a good police family”. I’m 64 years old. I don’t get it, and I definitely do not condone nor accept it.
What message are we sending to our kids?
Thank you for your honesty and openness Julie. It is time for the “silent majority” to speak out. We should not have to put up with this any more. Please encourage your friends and neighbours to also speak out honestly and fearlessly – that is the only way out of our current mess. I use a nom de plume here for self-protection here, but rest assured I share your family history. Best wishes,”Marnoo”