Where police officers or other investigators act improperly, it weakens the legitimacy of the entire criminal justice system. There is a public interest in ensuring the police do not adopt tactics that are designed simply to avoid the pressures on their investigative functions. Where high quality vision of number-plates was not followed up by police in their investigations of the Claremont killings, it suggests avoidance of due diligence. Why? It is never too late to get to the bottom of this. Fire Services attract a few pyromaniacs. What kind of characters might Police Services attract?
A great body of research has indicated that people who perceive law enforcement officers to be performing their duties in an unfair or unjust manner are less likely to abide by the law, as they do not view the law or law enforcement bodies as being legitimate. Conversely, people are more likely to comply with the law when they view the police as acting in a fair and just manner. In any murder investigation there is no room for hunches or discarding of evidence. The public expect the same diligence that is applied to tracking down a terrorist. As things stand WA has more than its share of killers on the loose. Why can we live with this?
A truly independent police complaints commission, modelled on the 2016 British ‘Office for Police Conduct’, with its own Director General powers, is long overdue in WA. Let’s work towards achieving this to regain 100% trust in our indispensable police brother/sisterhood.
– Margaret Howkins, CLA member, Maylands WA