Cops responsible for drunken bashings, ‘sustained abuse’ and sharing ‘official secrets’ were allowed to keep their jobs, a secret dossier reveals.
Internal documents from Western Australia Police show 32 officers were hit with assistant commissioner’s warning notices for behaviour deemed to have fallen ‘well below’ standards in the 12 months to June 2020.
The documents, obtained under a Freedom of Information request by The West Australian, reveal how one senior constable was pulled up for ‘abusing, antagonising, and intimidating’ a person ‘over a sustained period’.
That officer’s behaviour first came to management’s attention in 2018 and despite invention by his superiors his conduct ‘continued, if not escalated’.
Internal documents from Western Australia Police has revealed 32 officers were hit with Assistant Commissioner’s Warning Notices for exhibiting behaviour deemed to have fallen ‘well below’ standards (file image of Western Australia police officers)
But they were allowed to remain in their job after being issued with a cautionary notice that read ‘please consider this notice a final warning, one which I encourage you to accept, learn from, and move forward from’.
WA Police said the senior constable’s behaviour will ‘continue to be monitored and managed by supervisors to ensure it is aligned to the values of the WA Police Force’.
The 68-page police report, of which The West Australian was able to gain access to 19 of the 32 internal documents, all of which were heavily redacted,
Another report was about an off-duty sergeant who assaulted a person while drunk at a function. The officer then abused police who arrived on scene but no charges were ever laid.
One constable was found to have got behind the wheel of a police car after drinking and then lied about his actions.
And a senior constable, who was off-duty at the time, was at an incident attended by cops when he decided to punch a hole in a wall, while a new recruit shared ‘official secrets’ from a police computer.
A Western Australia police spokesperson said the organisation issues an Assistant Commissioner’s Warning Notice prior to making a decision about disciplinary charges or dismissal (file image of Western Australia police officers)
In another incident, a senior sergeant came under scrutiny for ‘accumulating (redacted) for your own personal use’ after being found to have knowingly allowed a person to make a false police-related tax invoice.
Some officers were slammed for ‘unnecessary use of force’, including in one case where a person in custody was injured.
Only 11 officers were sacked in the 12 months to June, 2020.
‘The Western Australia Police Force integrity framework provides a range of managerial interventions that are scalable based on the severity of the misconduct,’ police said.
‘The purpose of an assistant commissioner’s warning notice is a formal notice to the subject officer.
Western Australia’s police minister Paul Papalia (pictured) said the vast majority of the state’s 7,000 cops ‘do the right thing’
‘The process of physically serving the notice is intended to convey the seriousness of the misconduct and provides the assistant commissioner with an opportunity to adequately convey the likely consequences of repeated misconduct, including disciplinary proceedings or potential dismissal proceedings.
‘When an assistant commissioner’s warning notice has been delivered the matter is finalised, and a permanent record of the misconduct and outcome is created.
‘The officer’s senior management team will be advised of the outcome and monitor the officer’s future conduct and performance.’
The spokesperson added the warning notice ‘is the highest level of managerial intervention prior to either disciplinary charges or dismissal’.
The state’s police minister, Paul Papalia, said the ‘overwhelming majority’ of WA’s 7,000 officers ‘do the right thing’.
But Civil Liberties Australia chief Bill Rowlings said any officers whose proven abusive and intimidating behaviour gets worse when he or she is warned formally by superiors should be sacked.