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NEWS > 01 February 2006

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Australia: Rogue officers still blur thin blue line state OPI

AN OFFICE of Police Integrity report has found that Victoria Police has struggled to dismiss rogue police from the force.

The report, presented to Parliament yesterday, also said that police believed the line between what was acceptable and unacceptable conduct was blurred.

''The lack of an effective dismissal process undermines the effectiveness of a developmental approach to professional standards,'' the report said.

Advertisement: Story continues below The OPI said suspending an officer for a lengthy period on full pay was ''not economical for the organisatio... Read more

 Article sourced from

Wodonga Border Mail - Albury,
01 February 2006

Policeman scared to note theft

A POLICE sergeant failed to record the confession of an officer who admitted stealing $40,000 in cash from a bogged car because he feared the forces “vicious” disciplinary system, a court hearing has been told.

A police integrity hearing has been told two senior constables took the cash from the car, which was stranded on the Mornington Peninsula, while they were on duty in the early hours of June 14.

One of the officers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was allegedly so paranoid about getting caught that he flushed some of the money down a toilet, threw the coins off the end of a pier and confessed to his superiors just days after the alleged offence.

The officer later implicated his partner, Sen-Constable Christopher Sean Vincent.

Sgt John Aloysius Schroen, who heard the officers alleged confession, said he was shocked by it and feared the consequences.

“I know a little bit about the discipline system. Its pretty vicious,” Sgt Schroen said.

“A lot of these things come back on the lap of the supervisor.”

He also said he feared the officer would “clam up” if he read him his rights.

The Office of Police Integrity hearing is investigating the alleged misconduct and “the apparent failure by experienced people to capture evidence of that misconduct in admissible form”.

It is also examining alleged attempts to compromise an investigation.

In Melbournes County Court yesterday, counsel assisting the hearing, Garry Livermore, said the money belonged to a woman who ran a takeaway shop on the peninsula.

She had returned to her car later in the night with her partner, found the money was missing, and reported the theft later that morning, he said.

Sgt Schroen told the inquiry yesterday that part of reason he was so shocked about the unnamed officers confession was that he thought the womans report was false, believing no one would leave $40,000 in an unattended car.

Sgt Schroen gave evidence that he, the unnamed officer and other police at the station had joked about buying a boat or a new car with the allegedly stolen money

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