Monday, September 24, 2012

The big grabber urged to 'stop rot' in NSW police

"Scipione" is Italian for "the big grabber" as far as I can tell:  Not reassuring in the head of a police force.  I like Italians but corruption is normal in Italy so I would never have an Italian heading a police force -- not even a half-Irish one

SENIOR NSW police have called on the Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, to "stop the rot" and respond to growing allegations of possible wrongdoing and corruption by high-ranking officers.

The contents of a secret NSW Police report, published in The Sun-Herald yesterday, alleges the Deputy Commissioner, Catherine Burn, "may have participated in police corruption" during an undercover operation.  The report, written in 2004, examined complaints against Ms Burn and other officers while they were working in the Special Crime and Internal Affairs Unit.

The allegations include that the unit induced a criminal to breach his bail in a bid to gather evidence on a police officer and then influenced him to "perjure" himself under oath.

The complaints were examined by Strike Force Emblems, which also found the unit may have engaged in "criminal conduct" when it bugged 100 serving and former police. Ms Burn was team leader within the unit at that time.

Senior police spoken to by the Herald said the allegations were affecting the public's perception of the force's senior ranks. The Herald makes no suggestion Ms Burn is corrupt.

The Greens MP David Shoebridge said the latest developments strengthened the need for a full judicial inquiry. With the Crime Commission, police internal affairs and the Police Integrity Commission all potentially compromised, he said there was no watchdog that could undertake a proper, independent investigation.

The Premier, Barry O'Farrell, yesterday said he was "concerned about the continuing fallout from [Strike Force] Emblems".

One Assistant Commissioner said Mr Scipione must sort out the mess. "Where is the Commissioner on this? He needs to come out and put a stop to all the rot that's going on."


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