The AGE (October 28, 2019 ) reports Premier Daniel Andrews is resisting a push from his own minister, Victoria’s integrity chief and senior police to give the state’s anti-corruption watchdog more power to investigate police misconduct.
IBAC commissioner Robert Redlich, QC, has also been calling for reform, warning a bipartisan parliamentary committee in 2018 that his agency was badly hamstrung as it lacked the power to search or arrest potentially crooked cops.
Mr Redlich described the gaps in IBAC’s powers as an “extraordinary state of affairs” that enabled suspects to lie to investigators, destroy evidence, or not provide a record of interview.
The AGE (October 27, 2019 ) reports Police have been authorised to shoot and kill drivers who deliberately or recklessly risk the lives of the public as part of a new hostile vehicle policy – the first of its type in Australia.
One must wonder about increasing coercive powers for the police given the case of Nik Dimopoulos who was severely injured in the botched police raid at the queer bookshop the iconic Hares and Hyenas in Fitzroy.
It was a case of simply getting the address wrong. The police thought a member of a Lebanese gang was hiding in a gay bookshop!
Mr Dimopoulos is still searching for answers about his brutal experience – and wants Premier Daniel Andrews to strengthen the oversight system to ensure police are properly held to account.
The question remains Is it advisable to extend the powers of the police to shoot and kill while it may appear that the system of oversight of the police’s use of force may be defective.
There is also the question of the risk to public safety of having police shooting at runaway motorists and whether this is a price that the public is prepared to pay.