Thursday, November 21, 2013

Perth cop's anger goes viral in video

WA Police have confirmed they are investigating a video showing a heated confrontation between a traffic officer and a member of the public which has gone viral on Facebook.

The 45-second video shows an officer responding aggressively to comments made by the member of the public filming the incident.

The man was stopped by the first-class constable for riding a bike without a helmet in Forrestfield about 2.30pm on Tuesday.

At a press conference in Perth on Wednesday morning police confirmed they were investigating a video posted on Facebook by 'John Gds Martin' and that the constable had been spoken to by his direct supervisor.

The video, shared through the Facebook page "50 shades of straya", has been liked more than 15,000 times, shared more than 500 times and has received more than 4000 comments in the 14 hours since it was posted.

Inspector Dom Wood said the officer could have dealt with the situation in a more appropriate manner.

"The officer has admitted he could have dealt with things more appropriately and he is going to be spoken to about that," he said.

"We have to make it quite clear that this is a small snippet we saw on Facebook, we haven't seen the entirety of the incident so we have to look into it further.  "This is extremely rare, we don't get these incidents too often.

"This officer has come across someone who has pushed his buttons and tried to get a reaction.  "The officer wouldn't have known he was being recorded in those circumstances."

Inspector Wood would not rule out WA Police taking disciplinary action against the officer.

WA Police Union president George Tilbury said the work of a police officer could sometimes be stressful and agreed that the full circumstances of this particular incident were not yet known.

"Our members interact with the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week and on some of these occasions the situation can be quite frustrating and stressful," he said.

"As the full video has not been uploaded and the entirety of the circumstances are unknown, it is very difficult to comment on the actions of the officer.

"However, police officers should always do their utmost to portray a professional image, which can be difficult given that they are under more scrutiny than any other profession.

"Our members need to be aware that in this modern age of technology their actions and interactions with the public will be filmed, often without their knowledge or permission.”

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