18th January 2019′
We at CAA have condemned the absence of integrity within government activities here in Victoria, and called for integrity to be made a central component in every public action undertaken on our behalf.
It has now been officially reported that Victoria Police acted unethically (without integrity) in respect of driver breath testing, over many years.
We already knew the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) had paid Vicpol for a contracted number of breath tests to be carried out, and Vicpol had admitted the contract had not been met. Vicpol then contracted to carry out even more breath tests.
We have been told the police unethical conduct was not criminal – but that judgement and assurance seem to themselves be completely lacking in honesty and integrity. In short, we are being snowed; to mix the metaphor, this was a whitewash!
If there has been deliberate falsification of figures to obtain a result closer to a contracted, and paid for result, it seems to a fraud – the obtaining of property (money) by deceit. Consider all the disclosed facts, and also consider that it does not matter that those carrying out the falsifications do not benefit personally.
On the disclosed material it appears there has been a systematic course of conduct, which senior officials knew about, or ought to have known about, to falsify official figures to benefit Vicpol and gain kudos for senior personnel within it.
A bit like dodgy crime statistics but actually more serious.
Vicpol appears to have scrutinised and accepted the official report on falsification of the breath test figures. We suggest that any half-competent police officer would have put two and two together and deduced there was a need for a full-blown criminal investigation into the whole sorry saga.
But only if there is, in the scrutinising, reporting, and consideration processes, genuine and honest concern for integrity – as opposed to the desire to put the saga out of sight and out of mind.
Vicpol stands condemned by the High Court of Australia as having engaged in “reprehensible conduct”. This latest saga falls even more squarely within that description.
We are reminded of the ongoing apparent attempts to sweep aside the “Red Shirts Rort” affair, first by doing nothing (until forced to act by public pressure), then by treating those involved by different standards, then by apparently “dragging the chain” – unduly delaying the process of the law.
Somebody at Police Headquarters – or perhaps Spring Street – has to take responsibility for the culture which has brought about a widespread collapse of ethics and integrity, and disregard for the oath of office taken by every police officer.
CAA believes Vicpol has succumbed to a culture of management by fear, where internal expressions of concern regarding deficient policies are ruthlessly suppressed and/or punished. We had originally advocated for a review of VicPol. We came to that conclusion before the plethora of systemic failures started to emerge. It would not surprise us that there are more to come.
A Royal Commission to expose the organisation’s deficiencies and reprehensible culture – and how this culture has been allowed to flourish – may be the only way to put Vicpol on the right path once again.
We have previously noted the unwillingness of IBAC (in effect a standing royal commission) to do its job properly, and that the body inquiring into the police informer 3838 scandal is sadly too constrained to do the job properly.
Enough of the whitewash and coverup.