Saturday, December 20, 2008

Australian police duo stood down over hands-on pictures

No problems if they were doing this in their own time -- but they weren't

Two Northern Territory police officers caught in compromising positions with scantily-clad women while they were meant to be on duty patrolling the streets have been stood down from operational duties. These photographs obtained by the Northern Territory News show the officers posing with young ladies at the annual Hookers and Deviates Ball at Discovery nightclub in Darwin this month. One of the armed and uniformed officers is even shown with his hand placed on a woman's buttocks as she bent over in front of him. Another picture shows the same officer receiving a sultry kiss on the cheek from the same girl. And another cop is pictured with a big smile on his face as a woman dressed in black lingerie with bunny ears and a fluffy tail seductively rubs against his crotch.

Both cops were questioned over the racy images yesterday after the NT News brought the photos to NT Police attention and asked them to explain. Deputy Commissioner Bruce Wernham confirmed that the officers in the photos were on duty at the time and were meant to be doing a licensed premises patrol as part of City Safe - an NT Police operation that has been running since last December in Darwin city that targets crime and drunken antisocial behaviour. The operation includes patrols inside licensed premises as well as on on the streets.

Mr Wernham said in a statement last night that the behaviour was "extremely disappointing". "The Northern Territory Police force values its reputation and image above all else and any incident with the potential to detract from the good work of the organisation overall is extremely disappointing," he said. "On our receipt of the photographs an internal investigation was commenced immediately by the Ethical and Professional Standards Command and the two officers concerned were interviewed (yesterday) afternoon." "Further interviews need to be conducted and at the conclusion of the investigation all evidence will be assessed."

He said in the meantime the members concerned had been stood aside from "duties of this type".

Original report here

Crooked Australian cop walks free

A POLICEMAN who changed the statement of a sex assault victim to prevent her case going ahead has been handed a suspended sentence. Former Sen-Constable Bradley Michael Gleeson, 35, altered the statement, invented others and forged signatures on five cases he handled while working at Northcote and Moonee Ponds between 2005 and 2007. The County Court heard Gleeson was overworked and stressed when he selected the "problematic'' cases and put falsified statements of no complaint on the files.

This afternoon Judge Susan Pullen sentenced Gleeson to nine months jail, wholly suspended. She said it was clear Gleeson was more concerned about his own workload and reputation than he was about those who were making complaints. She said he had committed a gross breach of trust. "Your job was never to be that of judge and jury,'' Judge Pullen told him.

Prosecutor Daryl Brown told the court that the cases were for offences including indecent assault, criminal damage and theft. The court heard in the most serious case, a woman made accusations of sexual assault against a man in late 2003. Mr Brown said when Gleeson was handed the file he changed her statement to delete four allegations of improper behaviour and then forged the woman's signature. Gleeson then forged her signature again on a note claiming that she no longer wanted to pursue the case.

Mr Brown said nothing happened with the case for a year until another victim came forward and the file was reopened, uncovering Gleeson's crimes. Gleeson, of Abbotsford, pleaded guilty to five counts of misconduct in public office. Defence lawyer Peter Matthews said his client had been a respected and hard working officer who made a "horribly misguided effort'' to save time. Mr Matthews said following an assault in 2003 and a Christmas Day road fatality in 2004 Gleeson developed post traumatic stress disorder. "We are dealing with a man who appears to have two very different sides to him,'' he said. "Outwardly to his work colleagues at the time ... he appeared a capable officer. "The inward story is a very different one. This was a man who was emotionally and psychologically troubled.''

Gleeson was suspended from the force in August last year and resigned in October.

Original report here (Via Australian Politics)

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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