Police boss Mike Bush recently suggested that the Police Officers in charge of the Roast Buster case were un-professional in their conduct of the case. But Gregg O’Connor police Association boss feels that is simply not true, so just the other day he pushed the line that his police officers were heroic: Here is a bit of what he said:
“Police officers are frequently being punched in the face, bitten, head-butted, and kneed in the groin and gouged in the eyes in the line of duty, Police Association President Greg O'Connor says”.
Of course it’s obvious that poor Gregg O’Connor has been under great pressure because of the constant stuff-ups, either intentionally or accidentally by police of which the Roast Busters is simply the latest report [after years of waiting] to hit the headlines and show just how poorly organised and run are some aspects of New Zealand Police operational processes.
Now, staffs appear to be suggesting that their top brass simply blame the junior staff to divert any negative criticism from the bosses…and this could well be the case.
Roast Busters officer vents frustration anonymously
A police officer has vented frustration over the handling of the "Roast Busters" saga.
The officer said they were one of five criticised in a recent Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report into the Roast Busters scandal.
"I feel absolutely gutted with management's response to the report. Since being in police, I have always thought that if you did the best you could and didn't act outside the law, then you would be supported," an unnamed officer wrote in the latest edition of Police News, the New Zealand Police Association Newsletter.
"My main concern is that without senior management acknowledging the blatantly obvious issues; it is only a matter of time before this kind of situation will happen again and again."
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This from Stuff media:
The Roast Busters group first emerged in November 2013, with members boasting online about plying underage girls with alcohol and having sex with them.
Last October police said they would not charge group members because they did not have a reasonable chance of getting a conviction.
Last month the IPCA found Roast Busters' victims had been let down by police.
Waitemata police officers who handled the case at the time had failed to pursue positive lines of inquiry, it said.
Investigating staff also failed to properly consider all available offences in deciding whether to prosecute the young men.
Last month Police Commissioner Mike Bush said three of the five officers criticised in the report had been moved to other roles outside the child abuse and adult sexual assault teams, but would remain in the force.
"This is a performance issue and it will be dealt with as such," he said.
A Police News column written by a frontline police officer under the pseudonym I am Keen said the blame was "squarely aimed at lower-ranking police investigators."
"The five officers are stitched up tight and can't possibly afford a High Court review to have their defence claims examined; that's the design of this type of review – innocent or guilty, they're stuffed."
Police Association national president Greg O'Connor said it did not back its officers in every situation, "but in this case it's clear they've been hung out to dry." The complainants were dealt with professionally and with dignity by police, he said. In the end the complainants decided not go to court, so the chances of getting a conviction were slim. "A 12 month enquiry came up with exactly the same result. That's not the actions of slovenly detectives. These officers have been badly maligned; they have been offered nothing and very poorly treated by police."
In a written response to Stuff.co.nz, Waitemata Police's Superintendent Bill Searle said he wouldn't comment on whether the officers involved had been offered retraining as "like any other employer, (police) are obliged to keep matters relating to an individual's employment confidential," but said he took the welfare of officers seriously. "The case has resulted in a number of changes already being made within the Waitemata Police district."
Those included hiring a detective inspector to manage and oversee child protection and adult sexual abuse cases in Waitemata, establishing a weekly audit of all child protection cases and hiring two extra officers for the Child Protection and Adult Sexual Assault teams, with a focus on prevention. [Stuff report ends]
So with these internal eruptions taking place Gregg O’Connor had to divert attention from that of closely inspecting police behaviour to gaining back some respected by going public with the number of assaults against police officers. [Naturally there will be no discussion of police assaults against the public nor behaviour such as that of the ex-cop Mike Sabin types which seem to be hidden by politically minded police chiefs on a weekly basis]
This chart shows a declining number of assaults against police since 2008 until today this has most likely taken place because of the new weapons such as Tasers, pepper spray and access to firearms etc.
But poor lonely Gregg O’Connor claims these declining figures are incorrect he suggests that there are many more assaults that go unrecorded…well, well he suggests that for the police, but he doesn’t accept that for the number of police assaults on the public, especially sexual assaults. The more I read comments from Gregg O’Connor the more I’m convinced he is nothing more than a spin doctor for his association members.