Sunday, August 14, 2005

Australia: Cop Watch

The roundup this week - dodgy riot gear, shooting French photographers, senior coppers being 4 times over the legal limit, dodgy promotions in NSW, more terrorism powers in WA and drug-dealing coppers in Melbourne (it is alleged).

The August 7 Sunday Telegraph reports that NSW police is facing an $800,000 fine for not providing proper riot gear for police during the riot last year in Redfern. The riot took place after the death of a local Koori boy, TJ Hickey, while being followed by police.

Workcover has recommended NSW Police be charged with negligence on the basis that helmets, shields and other riot equipment held at Redfern police station were old, broken or worn and that nothing was done to replace them.

The helmets were too big, the visors were so badly scratched that officers could not see through them, and the shields were too small to stop leg injuries.

The man responsible for ensuring that police had the right gear was assistant commissioner Dick Adams. Dick Adams has meanwhile left the force on what are called medical grounds.

The August 7 Sun-Herald continues the grand tradition of the media peddling human interest stories to put police in a good light. The paper did a sympathetic piece on a former copper, Anthony Dilorenzo, who shot a man dead at Bondi Beach.

The victim was a French photographer called Roni Levi. Levi waded fully clothed into the Bondi surf carrying a kitchen knife - no one knows why. When he returned to land, however, the police surrounded him and shot him dead using four bullets.

Differing versions of the events occurred, but at least some witnesses on the promenande say that the man posed no threat to the officers, let alone enough of a threat to shoot him four times.

All fairly straight-forward it seems - officers doing a difficult job under difficult circumstances and so on, till it was alleged that both officers were coked off their little heads. Both coppers had spent the previous night at a party with alcohol and cocaine till just before their 6.00am shift.

What a shame, then, that neither copper was tested for alcohol or drugs, to show whether or not they were under the influence of alcohol or coked off their little piggy faces. However, Mr Dilorenzo did confess to being a regular cocaine user and was discharged from the force.

Mr Podesta, the other copper who pumped bullets into the French photographer at point blank range, was later convicted on drugs charges and also left the police service.

The August 4 Herald Sun reports that famous Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil has had his license removed for 12 months after an alcohol-related driving offence.

The star of Walkabout and The Tracker was caught with a blood-alcohol reading of .093 on July 17. This will no doubt come of some comfort to a police inspector who was caught driving with .236, according to the July 25 Sydney Morning Herald.

The drink-driving copper, Inspector Lee Philip Renshaw, had his day in Hobart Magistrates Court where he will return in the future. Till the small matter of being four times over the legal limit is sorted out, the Tasmanin Police Comimssioner has told Renshaw that he is not able to exercise any of his powers as a police officer pending the outcome of this matter.

That will teach him a lesson.

NSW police meanwhile want to promote more grunting gorillas by emphasising the importance of practical experience.

An August 9 report says that NSW police officers who want to be promoted to the dizzying heights of sergeant will go through an application process that will take more consideration of their operational experience.

Although a backward step for those people still silly enough to hope for any sort of reform in the police force, it is at least better than the system at the time of the Wood Royal Commission into the NSW Police Service in 1997. This system was described as being one where, in order to be promoted, an officer had to be quote warm but vertical unquote.

The warm but vertical comment (above) was made by none other than the Police Commissioner in NSW, Mr Moroney, who also said that until the early 1990s you could almost pinpoint to a day on which those before you were retiring ... and determine when your next promotion was going to be.

The NSW Minister for Police, Mr Anderson, said the changes to the policing system were quote tailored towards the police officer who has an understanding of what's happening out there... rather than one who simply wants to sit down and study a book. unquote

You couldn't make it up.

But there are police complaints systems such as the Police Integrity Commission in NSW. The August 9 Sydney Morning Herald reports that the outgoing inspector of the Police Integrity Commission has called for an extension of power to be made to his successor so that he can investigate a broader number of officers.

Morris Ireland, QC, whose term in office expires at the end of August, has called on the state government to allow his successor to be able to investigate more officers than he can at present. Mr Ireland, in his annual inspector's report, called for the powers to be widened to include agencies such as the NSW Crime Commission.

An example of where this would have been more useful, says Mr Ireland, would have been Operation Florida, where it seems that most police north of Manly were involved in cocaine trafficking. The Operation was a three-year undercover investigation into links between police and known criminals in the distribution of cocaine across Sydney and targeted 300 members of the NSW Police Service.

The new Police Integrity Commission's head will be Justice James Wood. Justice Wood has been a NSW Supreme Court judge since 1984 and will retire at the end of this month. He is the same Justice Wood that headed the royal commission into police corruption in NSW from 1994 to 1997. Although the report makes sensational reading, very few coppers have actually served any time as a result of the report's revelations.

By now, you may be thinking that coppers are the last people you want to give more powers to, but this is not to be the case. The Western Australian Government will introduce new counter-terrorism laws to satisfy police demands. The new powers will grant police special powers to search, apprehend and detain people suspected of terrorist activities. The legislation has not yet been introduced into Parliament, but Dr Dr Gallop says the powers will need to be used 'responsibly'.

WA Police Commissioner, Karl O'Callaghan, has welcomed the proposed package which the WA Police put forward to the state government in the first place.

From terrorism to drugs... The Australian reports on August 10 that one of the crack cops in Victoria made thousands of dollars from supplying drugs to the Bandidos motorcycle gang and members of the Moran crime family - allegedly.

The jury in the trial of (Detective Senior Sergeant) Wayne Geoffrey Strawhorn was told that the copper made a mint from his connections, ending in a threat to kill against an internal affairs detective who was investigating the state's now disbanded drugs squad.

On March 15, 2003, Mr Strawhorn was taped making threats to kill Inspector Peter De Santo - allegedly. He said quote the bottom line is my life at Vicpol is over ... I will not rest until De Santo is dead ... I have to (kill him). It is the only way to get satisfaction. unquote

The former copper known as Strawhorn has pleaded not guilty to five counts of trafficking in pseudoephedrine. He also denies a sixth charge of making a threat to kill the ethical standards department detective.

The trial, as they say, continues.

By Julie Smith posted 14 August 05


Assaulted, intimidated or harassed in custody?
"Then make an Apprehended Violence Order application against the police, says assault victim Ms Teresa Kiernan.

NSW Police Force: 2 dead, $1 million dollars to catch a thief?
NSW police have expressed concern about their response to the Macquarie Fields riots in south-western Sydney after a police pursuit that killed two young youths Dylan Rayward 17, and Mathew Robertson, 19 that went horribly wrong.

On Sunday 13th February, a Community gathering will be held to enable all people to remember the death of one of our young Community members, 'TJ' Hickey.

Vic police chief moves to sack officers
The Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Christine Nixon, has moved to dismiss two police officers as part of a crackdown on corruption and says up to 20 more dismissals could follow.

Vic flop cop warns there's more corruption
Victorian Police Chief Commissioner, Christine Nixon, says Victorians should brace themselves for more evidence of police corruption.

Vic police corruption report tabled in Parliament
The Victorian Ombudsman's report on the Ceja Taskforce and drug related corruption in Victoria police has been tabled in State Parliament.

Bent police compromise Bulldogs gang-rape case
Deputy Commissioner Dave Madden could have compromised gang-rape investigation? Steve Mortimer resigned!

More NSW Police Corruption?
Line of fire? [Bullshit! Line of Lick Arse Noble Cause NSW Corrupt Cops] (clockwise from top left) Deputy Commissioner Dave Madden, Assistant Commissioner Peter Parsons, Superintendent Dave Swilkes, Assistant Commissioner Bob Waites and Superintendent Dave Owens.

NSW Cop suspect in murder?
A sacked Sydney police officer has finished giving testimony at a hearing into his corrupt activities over the past eight years. Christopher John Laycock was yesterday recalled to the witness stand at the Police Integrity Commission (PIC).

Corrupt NSW police officer sacked
New South Wales Police Commissioner Ken Moroney has sacked an officer who confessed to being involved in corrupt activities over the past eight years.

Policeman draws blank on fake raids
A suspended Sydney policeman has told an inquiry that he has "little recollection" of the details of fake police raids he set up.

Officer planned to kidnap criminals
A senior Sydney police officer who has admitted taking money for tipping off a child porn suspect had also been planning to kidnap criminals and extort money from them, the Police Integrity Commission heard yesterday.

Police offer protection to family following gang rape allegations
The parents of a 14-year-old girl claim their daughter was gang-raped in Sydney earlier this year, and have raised concerns about corrupt policeman Detective Sergeant Christopher Laycock's review of the case.

NSW police prosecutor charged with child porn possession
A New South Wales police prosecutor has been charged with the possession of child pornography.

Police, teachers charged in child porn bust
One-hundred-and-fifty people, including police officers and teachers, have been arrested in what the Federal Police (AFP) describe as Australia's biggest Internet child pornography bust.

A corrupt way to treat the community?
I seen the police bleeding on Nine's Sunday program arguing that promotion should depend on how many crimes police have solved and not how many brains they have and that was coming from police commissioner Ken Moroney and Police Minister John Watkins?

Judges Blood Sample: After the fact of the fact of a hangover?
Lawyers say New South Wales Supreme Court judge Jeff Shaw should not give police his own sample of blood taken after he crashed his car near his Sydney home last month.

NSW police drug amnesty under review
A drug amnesty for the New South Wales police force is under review, Police Commissioner Ken Moroney has said.

Police to uphold law not decide mental health
A diagnosis of mental illness could be made over the phone instead of in person, and involuntary psychiatric patients could lose the right to have their case reviewed by a magistrate, under proposed changes to NSW mental health laws.

Redfern police need education not weapons
According to the description of one senior police officer, the ACLO called out on the afternoon before the Redfern violence escalated was "hopeless, intoxicated and had no driver's licence."

Bulldogs simply not the best!

Clive Small, NSW Inspector Gadget
NSW Police has revived controversial plans for a specialist discriminative squad to tackle the wave of violent crime that has plagued Sydney's south-west for more than a decade.

2,500, crooked detectives? Or a corrupt Government?
The Wood Royal Commission into police corruption. Where did the police learn their trade skills? Led by example perhaps?

Australia's Political Underworld...And their enforcers
The promotion of law and order means money to big business. Profits from insurance, security fixtures, patrol services and the like can only continue to grow if the perceived threat of uncontrollable crime wave escalates. In the past few months there have been many examples of the true nature of our blood thirsty politicians and their sinister attempts to spoon-feed a not so gullible public with their repetitious rhetoric.

Lord Denning
Interesting how a member of the Police Board Mr. Tim Priest would hold grave fears for his safety from dangerouse senior police but fails to name them or have them sacked. Rather Priest resigns as if he had no powers. Could that mean what he was saying is that the Governments are also corrupt?

Black Nexus
The Separation of Powers Doctrine is nowcontaminated witharangeofcolours, now leaving us with a black shirt on a once blue bridge that crossed that thin blue line. The 'Amery and Woodham show'.

Partners in crime - history!
Roger Rogerson, the old hero, who never faced a result in the Lanfranchy, or Huckstepp murders, was let off in my opinion when the New South Wales Government rolled the legal system (deciding what evidence to give the police prosecutor) to have the jury believe the illusion they (the Government wanted to create).Similarly, Peter Ryan facing the Police Integrity Commission for questions about his involvement in the demise of the dysfunctional reform unit. Chess in the court (rolling the legal system).

Police Chronology 1994-2001
View events in the NSW Police Force since the Wood Royal Commission began in 1994. 1994 May Justice James Wood is appointed Commissioner of the Royal Commission into the NSW Police Service ('WRC').

Federal Police

AFP: The unlikely CRIMINAL
It was born of a bombing and it made its name after a far more devastating act of terrorism. But for most of the 25 years in between, little was known about the Australian Federal Police force or the work it did.