Thursday, December 25, 2008

Misbehaving Australian police get slaps on the wrist

Senior police are feeling the heat from the Crime and Misconduct Commission over their allegedly light-handed treatment of rogue officers. On eight occasions in the past year, the CMC has taken action in the Misconduct Tribunal against commissioned officers over their findings in disciplinary matters.

In one case, the CMC appealed against a finding by Assistant Commissioner Peter Swindells that excess force allegations brought against a junior officer could not be proved. Constable Patrick Gardiner was accused of slapping, kicking and punching offenders at the Brisbane City Beat Office and the City Botanical Gardens on 14 occasions in 2004. One charge alleged the constable removed the handcuffs from a man in custody and enticed him into a fight. But Mr Swindells found all but one of the allegations were unsubstantiated and did not impose any sanctions on the officer.

The CMC claimed Mr Swindells was wrong to require proof of the charges "to the criminal standard". It also said his decision not to sanction Constable Gardiner was inadequate and failed to "properly reflect the need for deterrence". The case is ongoing.

In another matter, the Misconduct Tribunal upheld part of an appeal by the CMC against Assistant Commissioner George Nolan, in relation to an officer who allegedly failed to abandon a car chase as directed. The CMC took action when Mr Nolan found the charges against Sen-Constable Dennis Martyn should be downgraded from misconduct to breaches of discipline and found claims he lied in interviews with senior police were unsubstantiated.

Three other matters brought by the CMC were abandoned and two more appeals are continuing.

Original report here. (Via Australian Politics)

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

No comments: