Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review into accuracy of Queensland crime reports


<i>Shades of Tony Blair's Britain</i>

Auditors are reviewing Queensland's official crime statistics amid allegations figures have been fudged.

Police Minister Mark Ryan says Police Commissioner Ian Stewart has advised him of an audit office review into whether crime reports were manipulated to give false perceptions about the state's crime rates.

"The commissioner has given me assurances that the Queensland Police Service will work with the Queensland Audit Office to get to the bottom of this matter," Mr Ryan has told the ABC.

The ABC says it's been told two police crime managers on the Gold Coast have raised concerns that legitimate crime reports have been labelled "unfounded" in an effort to keep offences off the books.

The broadcaster said the managers took their concerns to the audit office only after telling a superior, who did nothing about it.

The minister said Queenslanders must be able to have faith in crime statistics.

"I expect the highest standards to be met and maintained by the Queensland Police Service from the top of the organisation down," Mr Ryan said.

<a href="">SOURCE</a>

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Lazy Victoria police again

<i>Black guy tries to blow up service station in probable terrorist attack. Victorian Police again just don't want to know about black crime.  With a delusional premier as their boss, you can't entirely blame them</i>

Hero tradie to the rescue to stop service station disaster. The hero sprung into action when he saw a potential disaster unfolding at a St Albans a service station at 5pm last Wednesday.

CCTV footage shows a man walking up to service station bowser.

He picks up the fuel pump, and holding a cigarette lighter in his right hand, tries to set the bowser alight.

When it fails to ignite, he angrily throws the pump onto the ground and moves to another.

A tradesman spots him on his second attempt, and launches into action. The good Samaritan pulls a fire extinguisher from the front of the bowser, walks up to the man and douses him with fire retardent foam.

He then chases the offender away from the service station in a haze of foam.

The 30-year-old hero, who doesn't want to be named, said he believed the man's intent was to kill or injure bystanders. "It looked like he was trying to burn the place down," he told 7 News. "If he had have lit the petrol, I imagine most of us probably would have died or been pretty severely injured."

While the would-be arsonist was forced out of the service station, he remained nearby. That is, before the tradie launched a second counter attack.

"He was still standing over the fence outside the 7-Eleven, so I ran over and gave him another couple of sprays," the man said.

He said he tried to report the incident to two different police stations, but was told they were too short-staffed at the time to take a statement.

He later reported it to a third, in Melbourne's north west, but the tradie said the response he received was inadequate.  "I think [the potential arsonist] is a risk to the public and I do think it needs to be followed up on. "And I just don't think the response I got from that particular officer - not against the station or the force in general - that particular officer, wasn't adequate."

Police told 7 News they would not be investigating the incident as nobody was injured and no damage was reported.

<a href="">SOURCE</a>

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Crazy Queensland cop who pulled his gun on a speeding driver and hurled abuse at him is found guilty of assault

<i>He has been stood down since being charged</i>

A police officer who was filmed pulling his gun on a speeding driver before threatening to 'put a f***ing hole in you' has been found guilty of criminal charges.

Senior constable Stephen Flanagan, 46, was convicted of assault and deprivation of liberty at Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Flanagan tried to argue that he believed motorist Lee Povey was armed and driving a stolen vehicle during the traffic stop in May last year, but his claims were dismissed.

Magistrate Paul Kluck said Flanagan's version of events was 'implausible', adding 'I don’t accept his evidence as being credible.'

Flanagan's defense team produced a psychological report that showed he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder at the time, the Courier Mail reports.

The officer is scheduled to reappear in court in the new year for sentencing once a full mental health report has been prepared.

Earlier in the trial the court was shown footage of the incident taken from Flanagan's own dashcam and filmed by Anna Cruse, Mr Povey's partner, on her phone.

In the video, Flanagan can be seen pulling up alongside Mr Povey's silver ute, blaring his horn but without using his sirens or lights.

As Mr Povey keeps driving, Flanagan is heard saying: 'F***ing pull over now c***.'

The footage then shows the police car pulled over as Flanagan gets out and walks in front of the vehicle with his sidearm drawn and pointed at Povey. 'Get out of your f***ing car, right now' he can be heard shouting.

Speaking to the court, Mr Povey said: 'I took my seatbelt off, looked over and there he was. 'He said "do you know I could put a f***ing hole in you?"'

Mr Povey said he felt the firearm pressed in between his shoulder blades as he was handcuffed.

The driver told the court he was compliant the whole time and didn't try to argue with the officer.

Mr Povey said he seen a police car driving behind him with no flashing lights or sirens and thought the officer was trying to overtake him.

Miss Cruse added: 'I've been pulled over by the police a couple of times before for speeding ... never been pulled over with a gun before - I thought it was some sick prank that someone had set up.'

<a href="">SOURCE</a>

Monday, December 12, 2016

Politically correct and risk averse Victoria Police ensure crime thrives

It took an attempted carjacking of a former assistant police commissioner for Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews finally to take his state’s soaring crime rate seriously.

Two weeks ago former detective Noel Ashby was ambushed by four "aggressive African males" who tried to force his Mercedes off the road. Just another day in the socialist state of Victoria, where carjackings and violent home invasions are a constant fear.

So Andrews and police commissioner Graham Ashton last week announced a $2 billion recruitment of 3000 new police officers.

But it won’t matter how many cops they hire, the politically correct, risk-averse culture of Victoria Police will ensure crime thrives.

Crooks and thugs are free to run riot, while police obsess about gender, racism and LGBTI. Rapists prowl, gangs brawl, losers brazenly smoke bongs in CBD parks, drunk drivers speed away from booze buses, while police are busy cracking down on racial abuse on Facebook, or denouncing "language" crimes by Eddie McGuire that "demean women".

Victorians accept a level of lawlessness unheard of in Sydney. It’s a lesson to the rest of the country how quickly life turns sour when you neuter your police force with politically appointed commissioners, and when your justice system is at the mercy of a judiciary stacked with human rights lawyers and former union functionaries.

After Melbourne’s iconic Moomba Festival fireworks in March, Sudanese members of the fabled Apex gang brawled with Pacific Islanders in Federation Square, forcing people to cower behind locked restaurant doors. Only four people were arrested.

When pot-smoking protesters fired up their bongs at a picnic in Flagstaff Gardens this year, police didn’t just turn a blind eye; a spokeswoman condoned the event as "freedom of expression".

When two officers tested positive to drugs on duty a few years ago, not only were they not sacked or charged, but a spokeswoman described their drug use as "no surprise".

No surprise former commissioner Ken Lay is the poster boy for drug decriminalisation. "We can’t arrest our way out of this", he says, which is true if you don’t even try.

Victoria Police don’t enforce the law on union picket-lines, either, but stand sentry in implied solidarity.

And, after a law suit for "racial profiling" young African men, street police now are required to issue "receipts" to anyone they talk to, in a humiliating, time-wasting farce.

Then there is the joke of police chases, restricted last year so 145 a month dropped to five. Crooks just have to step on the gas.

There’s no point wailing about African refugees as if they pose some sort of novel crime challenge. Wrongdoers have been empowered by a police force which has neglected its responsibilities for a decade.

As a result, Victoria’s crime rate keeps rising — up 12.4 per cent in the past year. It’s now the nation’s murder capital.

But the problem is not, as Andrews pretends, a shortage of police. Victoria has more police per capita than NSW, which boasts the lowest crime rate in 25 years. NSW has 218 police per 100,000 people, versus Victoria’s 258.

Victoria has half the imprisonment rate of NSW, a higher victimisation rate and a lower reporting rate for most crimes, a good indication people have lost faith in police.

Even more telling, in the western suburbs of Melbourne, residents are banding together to protect their neighbourhoods with DYI security. Locals in Caroline Springs call it "Criminal Springs" because of the brazen carjackings and home invasions. Fed up with the lack of police protection, they patrol their streets themselves.

But instead of being mortified by this vote of no confidence, Ashton told radio 3AW the patrols should stop "because it becomes vigilantism".

When Jill Meagher was raped and murdered in Melbourne four years ago, no one knew how complicit police and legal authorities were in the crime that shook the nation. Adrian Bayley had been convicted of raping eight women, yet was free on parole. He is suspected of raping at least 16 prostitutes in 2000, but the rape squad wasn’t interested. His DNA, taken in 2001, was lost by the hopeless police forensics lab.

Instead of locking up crooks, Victoria Police have become do-gooder agents of social change. Last year they embraced the gender scolds of the Victoria Human Rights Commission who made the usual "shocking" claims of entrenched sexual harassment and discrimination.

When he’s not pondering gender quotas, Ashton reserves his zeal for a self-serving vendetta against Catholic Cardinal George Pell, which wins plaudits from the ABC.

Rather than playing sectarian games and pandering to identity politics, Ashton might try doing his job. Better yet he could resign.

<a href="">SOURCE</a>

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Doctor and his wife win $1m after being tasered by W.A. cops

<i>Sheer thuggery. Catherine Atoms and Robert Cunningham were walking past the Esplanade Hotel at night in November 2008 when they stopped to help a man lying in bushes nearby. Police arrived shortly afterwards and tasered the couple, before handcuffing them and charging them with obstructing a public officer. The charges were later dismissed. The biggest disgrace is that all the watchdogs failed to bark.  It should never have got to court. There clearly is an official culture of protecting the police, right or wrong.  </i>

A law professor and his wife who were yesterday awarded more than $1 million in damages after an unlawful arrest have told how they risked going bankrupt to expose how they were treated by police officers.

Robert Cunningham and Catherine Atoms wept in the District Court yesterday as their eight-year battle resulted in a judge announcing the massive payout.

Judge Felicity Davis found they were assaulted, tasered, unlawfully detained and maliciously prosecuted by police after stopping to help a stranger on a night out in Fremantle in 2008.

But it was a hollow victory, with Ms Atoms’ career as a community engagement consultant in tatters.

She was put into "performance management" in her relatively new job after being charged by police and by the time a magistrate threw the case out 18 months later, she was on her way "out the door".

The bulk of damages — $1.024 million — were awarded to Ms Atoms for loss of earnings and the distress and back injury she suffered, with $110,000 awarded to Dr Cunningham.

Judge Davis told the court that she calculated percentages of liability for individual officers and the State and made an order for "aggravated damages" against one officer, Simon Traynor.

The police were represented by government lawyers and supported by the Police Union, which is considering an appeal.

WA Police Union President George Tilbury said:"The WA Police Union will assess Judge Davis’ reasons when they are published on Thursday, December 15. WAPU will consider the merits of an appeal and continue to support the officers involved".

Outside court, the couple told The Weekend West that they would have been financially devastated by legal costs of the other parties if they had lost the case.

"We would have had to file for bankruptcy, that’s what was on the line for us," Dr Cunningham said.

"We had to sue both the State and the individual who had separate legal counsel, so we would have been subject to two sets of legal costs of an 18-day trial."

Dr Cunningham and Ms Atoms took the action after all of their efforts to hold the officers to account failed — a police internal investigation cleared them of wrongdoing and the Corruption and Crime Commission agreed with the outcome, refusing to instigate its own inquiry despite criticism by its then parliamentary inspector.

"I have a great sadness that the legal system pushes you into dollars and cents when that’s not always what it’s about," Dr Cunningham said.

"We were concerned about the systemic issues and how less privileged people in society may be subject to this type of behaviour by the police on a regular basis and all of the consequences that flow from that.

"People lose faith in the justice system. They lose faith in the good police officers serving our State."

Ms Atoms said she would take no satisfaction from the decision unless it sparked change. "I think it’s important to recognise that a lot of people experience far worse," she said.

"If justice is so out of reach for us, how far out of reach is justice for the broader public?"

Dr Cunningham called for the CCC to finally hold its own investigation of the case.

"From our personal experience, we’ve learnt that unfortunately the CCC does not appear to be fulfilling its mandate of successfully overseeing the activities of the WA Police service," he said.

"Until we have some confidence that this kind of thing is less likely to happen as a result of this, through some sort of systemic review, then we haven’t been fully successful in this action."