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Author Topic: WA Police officers keep jobs despite criminal convictions  (Read 172 times)

Prickle

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WA Police officers keep jobs despite criminal convictions
« on: January 07, 2018, 02:34:46 PM »

WA Police officers keep jobs despite criminal convictions

MORE than eight out of 10 WA cops convicted of crimes over the past several years have been allowed to keep their jobs.

An internal database obtained by The Sunday Times reveals 105 police officers were charged with 279 offences between 2013-14 and 2016-17.

Of those, 79 officers ended up with convictions for 213 crimes.

Nearly 85 per cent of those officers were allowed to continue in the force. Of those charged and convicted, 13 resigned and five were sacked by the Police Commissioner in “loss of confidence” proceedings.

Many others received internal discipline including warning notices and “managerial action” which can involve reprimands, fines and demotion. The bulk of the 79 convicted cops (87 per cent) were fined by the courts for their transgressions.

Three officers were sent to prison for their crimes, including former cop Dean Matthew Tapper, who was jailed for two years in September 2015 for having sex with a girl under the age of 16.

Two cops were handed suspended prison terms.

Over the four years, four officers were charged with sex crimes against children, including a sergeant accused of indecent treatment of a child in January last year.

About a third of the officers convicted committed traffic crimes, including dangerous and careless driving and drink-driving offences, while 20 per cent were found guilty of illegally using a computer and 16 per cent now have criminal records for assaults.

The highest offending rank was senior constable (34 officers) followed by first class constable (29) and sergeant (18). Three senior sergeants faced charges while one commissioned officer was fined for driving in excess of 0.05 in 2015.

The charges laid against police includes endangering life, stalking, refusing a breath test, disorderly behaviour, restraining order breaches, stealing, assaulting and obstructing public officers.

Other charges ranged from driving without a licence, refusing to leave licensed premises, discharging a firearm, possessing a firearm while affected and pointing a firearm at a person to importing prohibited items, disclosing official secrets and obtaining property by deceit.

Last financial year, 18 officers were charged with offences, a significant drop from the 31 cops charged in 2013-14 and 35 in 2014-15.

Assistant Commissioner for professional standards Nick Anticich said “pro-active” measures such as more officer eduction, mandatory drug testing and improved checks and balances had helped reduce unprofessional behaviour within the police force.

“It is obviously disappointing when an officer, whose primary role is to enforce the law, is charged criminally,” he said.

But he said “not all cases necessitate a penalty’’.

“Some criminal behaviours are such that the officer’s continued employment is simply untenable, such as possessing or using illegal drugs ... officers who maintain the confidence of the commissioner can continue to do their duty in the community.”

WA Police Union president George Tilbury said police officers were held to a higher standard than the rest of the community, and noted the offending rate of 1.22 per cent within the force was lower than the Statewide rate of 1.77 per cent.

“Officers found guilty of a minor offence deserve a second chance and their employment should not be jeopardised if they simply make a mistake that does not call into question their integrity or honesty,” he said.

https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/crime/wa-police-officers-keep-jobs-despite-criminal-convictions-ng-b88704596z
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