Officer involved in multiple incidents
In December 2017 Police notified the Authority that they were investigating three separate complaints involving a Police officer, including that:
- The officer became intoxicated at a social event while off duty and got into a fight with a member of the public. There was also some concern that he may have been smoking cannabis.
- The officer displayed intimidating, bullying and upsetting behaviour while interviewing a young woman during a police investigation.
- The officer stopped for personal refreshments while transporting an arrested person to court in a nearby city. The officer left the detainee unaccompanied in the Police vehicle during this break. It was claimed that the delay caused the detainee to miss his court appearance, which resulted in an overnight stay in custody.
Police investigated all three incidents. They upheld two of the three complaints and made the following findings:
- The information about the officer's actions at the social event are hearsay and unproven. The officer agrees he was intoxicated but denies getting into a fight or smoking cannabis. Once he was made aware of the allegations the officer completed a drug screening test which returned a negative result.
- The officer's actions during the interview of the young woman were unprofessional. His lack of judgment amounted to misconduct and was a breach of the Police Code of Conduct.
- The timeframe of the journey to court was reasonable, and stopping to pick up coffee did not cause Mr W to miss court that day. However, this incident did show a lack of judgment on the part of the officer. The decision to leave the detainee unaccompanied in the Police vehicle was also breach of policy and the Police Code of Conduct.
Police sanctioned the officer. The Authority reviewed the Police investigation into all three incidents and agreed with the outcomes.