Friday, June 22, 2012

Emails expose cop crime spree bungle in Victoria

No wonder Overland wanted Sir Ken out. It seems he had a lot to hide

An email exchange between former Deputy Commissioner Sir Ken Jones and former Chief Commissioner Simon Overland - disclosed for the first time yesterday in an Ombudsman's report - exposes a conflict over admitting the force's fault to families of murder victims killed by parolees.

Sir Ken told Mr Overland that the force's failure to manage parolees "led to many other offences being committed, some very serious, against Victorians".

Andy Corp, father of one of three murder victims whose deaths Sir Ken said should have been prevented, said yesterday his family had been victims of police politics.

The former British policeman said it would have been "basic common courtesy" for police to have briefed the three families.

"The police who worked on our case were absolutely wonderful and put in so much effort, compassion and kindness and were thorough and professional," Mr Corp said.

"But I think some of the people upstairs (were) more interested in politics and getting promoted than getting the job done".

The Herald Sun revealed the parole scandal on April 19 last year, quoting a secret report blaming system failures for parole violators being left on the streets.

Sir Ken said in an email to Mr Overland a fortnight later that Victoria Police should "consider sensitively advising them (the bereaved families) of our preliminary findings".

But Mr Overland told his deputy to wait, saying it was "a big call to go to the families with this news" and it would exacerbate the situation if notification was handled badly.

He told the Ombudsman he believed he had been "set up" by Sir Ken. "I considered it possible that Jones's motive in sending me that email was to add to the growing list of 'controversies' then enveloping Victoria Police as part of the orchestrated media campaign against the office of (the) chief commissioner," he said.

Mr Corp, whose daughter Elsa was strangled and battered to death by a parole violator, said a lot of people "have been just covering their a--- on this situation". "There's too much politics, political correctness and crap involved, instead of taking care of the victims," Mr Corp said.

His wife, Gilly, said the family still had not been formally told by police or anyone else how the system had failed their daughter.

"We should have been told, of course we should," Mrs Corp said. "We should not have had to read what went wrong on the front page of the newspaper."


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