Policing, Police Culture and Corruption

Policing our streets - always a fraught issue as we attempt to maintain the delicate balance between policing by consent, community protection and overpolicing. Below is a constantly updated collection of reports and articles on policing - good and bad

Our police die at their own hand in far greater numbers than in the line of duty: William Verity in The Drum (3.3.2014) and on Radio National's Background Briefing on the apparently buried issue of police suicide and PTSD.

Police Corruption: "We should focus on the ranks, not the rats" Mike Pottenger, The Conversation (10th May, 2013)

David Shoebridge in New Matilda (8.3.2013) calls for a truly independent police complaints investigation service.

Up to 80 murders and growing - Sydney's gay hate violence epidemic of the 1980s and 90s was an epidemic that was ignored by homophobic police, media and the public. Many deaths recorded as suicides are now being reexamined and killers are still walking free writes Rick Fenely (The Age, 27th July 2013)

'Punch Drunk': Being a police officer certainly brings its share of hard nights on the job as this Four Corners story explored on Monday 25.2.2013. Police, emergency services, doctors, nurses and the judiciary all discuss alcohol fuelled violence, while the AHA representative appears to be discussing something else!

NSW coroner finds the death of a teenager in a police shooting in Sydney's south-west was avoidable (29.04.2013) ABC Online

Police brutality:

Fare evader wins payout after leg broken in scuffle with NSW police, once again - cctv footage exposes police lies in court  (ABC 15.8.2014)

An ABC radio Law Report looks at the importance of video evidence (14.3.2014)

Taser death: NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour released a scathing indictment of the internal police investigation into Roberto Laudisio Curti taser death (The Australian, 28.2.2013)

  • Update: The police involved have pleaded not guilty to assault charges, the case has been adjourned (SMH 28.1.2014)

Mardi Gras violence: Jamie Jackson was charged with resisting arrest and assualting police at Sydney's Mardi Gras parade. He has countered the charges with accusations of police brutality and disputes the police version of events. SMH's Paul Bibby has been following the case (6th Sept 2013)

  • Update: All charges against Jamie Jackson have been dropped (Samesame.com.au 29/1/2014),
  • Magistrate states that Jamie Jackson was 'brutalised' by police (ABC 6.2.2014)
  • Also evident in the Mardi Gras footage of Jackson's arrest is a police officer telling a bystander that it is illegal to film. In a subsequent  press conference Deputy Commissioner of the New South Wales Police Service Mark Murdoch stated that police who asked citizens to stop filming demonstrated naivety in their comments: “We support the right of the community to film anyone in a public space and we do so ourselves. Our police need to be mature enough to know that everyone has a mobile phone with a camera facility and they will use that. We thought at the senior level it had been communicated loud and clear but we have more work to be done there”

Ballina NSW : Cory Barker case: A sordid story of police brutality, lies, fabricated statements and destruction of evidence is unfolding in the Police Integrity Commission in NSW.

  • Following the release of this harrowing CCTV video recovered after being destroyed by police officers at Ballina Police Station, the investigation and subsequent enquiry has been followed by the media, most notably by the SMH's Paul Bibby.
  • Police admit to lying under oath and while being questioned about the events:  Secret tapes reveal lies in Ballina police brutality enquiry (SMH 27.02.13)

Adam Salter Killing

  • "Closing Ranks": A distressing 4 Corners story on the shooting of Adam Salter by a NSW police officer and the subsequent cover up examines issues of police culture, police accountability and the ability of police to deal effectively and with citizens with mental illness. A "must-watch" for students.
  • A damning Coroner's report was followed by a Police Integrity Commission enquiry, due to release its findings early in 2013
  • Investigate.org.au covers the story well here
  • The Adam Salter case is shaping up to be a battleground between the Police Union, the PIC and the NSW Government as issues over funding and autonomy arise from the PIC recommendations that the officers concerned face criminal charges (Sydney Morning Herald, 27.6.2013).