Press Releases

ASHBY TRIAL DEBACLE – BRUMBY’S ANTI-CORRUPTION FRAMEWORK DOESN’T WORK

Stephanie Ryan - Friday, February 05, 2010
  •  COALITION DEMANDS INDEPENDENT BROAD-BASED ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION
John Brumby’s refusal to establish an independent broad-based anti-corruption commission may prevent Victorians from ever knowing the detail of Labor’s involvement in the state’s highest profile police corruption case, Shadow Minister for Police Peter Ryan said today.

The Supreme Court today ruled evidence given by former deputy police commissioner Noel Ashby during OPI hearings was inadmissible in court.

The court found the hearings – which led to Mr Ashby being charged with 11 counts of perjury – were held without proper legal authority.

“This debacle strengthens the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition’s demands for an independent broad-based anti-corruption commission with broad powers to probe police corruption,” Mr Ryan said.

“Such a system, operating along similar guidelines to those of other states, would have avoided the problems we are now seeing in this case.”

Mr Ryan said there was now a very real prospect that Victorians would never get to the bottom of the allegations which had been made about direct links between senior Labor ministers and police force members caught up in the case.

“John Brumby and his ministers owe an explanation to Victorians about the government’s involvement in this case,” Mr Ryan said.

“We know the OPI conducted telephone taps and there were meetings between government ministers and persons who were to be involved in the hearings.

“Questions put to the Premier, the Attorney-General and the Minister for Roads and Ports in Parliament regarding the involvement of government ministers have gone unanswered on the grounds that this trial was in progress.

“It’s time that Mr Brumby told Victorians what involvement his ministers have had in this case,” Mr Ryan said.

ANOTHER DAMNING REPORT ON BRUMBY GOVT LAW AND ORDER BUNGLE

Stephanie Ryan - Thursday, February 04, 2010
A failure by the Brumby Government to implement strict protocols within Victoria Police has led to the leaking of confidential high-security information to criminals, an Office of Police Integrity report released today revealed.

Shadow Minister for Police and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said the report, commissioned in 2008 after high security information was disclosed to a suspected murderer, confirmed Police Minister Bob Cameron was presiding over the collapse of law and order in Victoria.

During Question Time in Parliament today Mr Ryan said the Commissioner for Law Enforcement Data Security (CLEDS) had in July 2007 published 43 law enforcement security compliance standards.

“The report found that despite being forewarned, Labor’s incompetence meant that these important security standards and police procedures were not implemented,” Mr Ryan said.

“OPI director Michael Strong stressed the danger of sensitive information causing significant harm if data fell into the wrong hands.

“It is shameful that the Brumby Government cannot now explain why most of the 43 standards introduced by CLEDS more than two and a half years ago have not been implemented.”

Mr Ryan said the damning OPI report showed John Brumby and Bob Cameron had failed to ensure appropriate management of law and order data information over many years.

“Today’s OPI report is the most recent in a series of damning reports,” Mr Ryan said.

“John Brumby’s catalogue of failures include systemic under-recording of crime statistics, a massive budget blowout in the police business information technology services unit, a series of blunders at the police forensic laboratory regarding DNA samples and now a complete lack of accountability and security of sensitive police information.

“Resourcing and management of law and order in this state is crumbling under John Brumby and Bob Cameron,” Mr Ryan said.                 

MINISTER CAMERON FUMBLES … AGAIN

Stephanie Ryan - Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Minister Bob Cameron today fumbled his way through Question Time in Parliament, failing to address serious issues on policing in Victoria, Shadow Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said today.

“The Police and Emergency Services Minister continues to remain silent when Victorians deserve a full explanation surrounding a number of failures in his department,” Mr Ryan said.

“Premier Brumby allows Bob Cameron to try and avoid any responsibility. Just yesterday, Minister Cameron washed his hands of the DNA debacle, where it was revealed an innocent man spent 16 months in jail after being charged with a crime which probably didn’t occur and being convicted of that crime on the basis of flawed DNA evidence.

“Then, today in Question Time, the Minister refused to answer five clear questions regarding fundamental issues involving policing in Victoria.

“The Minister could not guarantee that the testing process and test results of DNA samples used in the prosecution of criminal trials were accurate or reliable.

“Bob Cameron gave a contradictory and confusing response to a question regarding the application of privacy laws to the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Victoria Police, DSE and AquaSure, the international corporate consortium which is building the desalination plant. Initially he said the laws did not override the MoU agreement, but later he said they did.

“The Minister refused on four occasions to answer my questions as to whether there is another secret MoU between Victoria Police and those entities building the north-south pipeline.

“The Minister ducked and weaved and did everything but give straight answers.”

Mr Ryan said Victorians needed to have confidence in the justice system and in the right to privacy and Mr Cameron’s performance would only fuel the growing concerns about the capacity of the Minister to do his job.

“Victorians deserve better than this. Our police force is the best in the nation but it is vital that the Minister representing their interests in the Parliament is up to the task. That is not what we witnessed today,” Mr Ryan said.

POLICE MINISTER MUST BE ACCOUNTABLE

Stephanie Ryan - Friday, December 04, 2009
Police Minister Bob Cameron must give a complete explanation to the Parliament next week regarding several reported blunders in police administration, Shadow Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said today.

“The Minister must make a detailed ministerial statement explaining how it is that these events have been allowed to occur and what the Brumby Government plans to do to address them,” Mr Ryan said.

“The Minister cannot continue to hide from public scrutiny. These issues are fundamental to both policing and the judicial system in our state and Victorians are owed a full explanation.”

Mr Ryan said more proof emerged today of Bob Cameron’s failings in his job with the Victorian Ombudsman soon to release a scathing report highlighting illegal practices and incompetence in Victoria Police's forensic services.

“Bob Cameron has been warned about widespread problems in Victoria Police for years but he refuses to take direct responsibility or decisive action to fix things,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said Bob Cameron’s failings had reportedly allowed:

• millions of dollars worth of drugs to go missing from the state’s forensic science laboratory;

• the theft of seized guns designated to be destroyed; and

• repeated theft and incorrect storage of ammunition.

“All of this is in addition to the recent Ombudsman’s report into the Victoria Police information technology services unit which, amongst other things, had wasted $39 million of taxypayers’ money,” Mr Ryan said

“There is something seriously wrong in Victoria when you can have report after report highlighting critical problems that need addressing and still Minister Cameron does nothing,” Mr Ryan said.


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