We must hold them accountable

A damning new report into the police handling of the Cronulla riots has found the response was no where near good enough. After much delay, an executive summary and recommendations have been handed out but as yet no full copy of the document.

‘Much delay’, the Cronulla riots happened almost a year ago, some would ask, why it took so long for a report into the whole fiasco. Anyway according to the news sources, the report was given to the police commissioner 3 weeks ago and he went on leave to the states. Since then nothing happened, the police minister Carl Scully kept denying there was a report, even though he knew the commissioner had it.

I heard him yesterday on talkback radio, finally admitting that he knew about it and what he meant was, it was just a draft copy and hence technically not the final version. That useless excuse would wash with the tooth fairies but not the public, talk about splitting hairs. The commissioner, this morning, also admitted that the minister was briefed in a 30 minute meeting on the report before he went on leave.

The report found deficiencies in the command structure handling the riot, and it noted planning for dealing with the riot was inadequate. The report's author former commissioner Norm Hazzard says the riots carried a clear message that Australia's multicultural society had entered a new phase.

Yeah, when Middle Eastern thugs threatening revenge gather in numbers, bent on violence and destruction, we don’t stop them, we just escort them on the way so we don’t antagonize them!

He also raised concerns over police equipment, and criticised internal communications. It contains 33 recommendations, and also hits out at media coverage on the day particularly talkback radio, calling it colourful and exaggerated.

This morning the police commissioner, echoed the sentiments of the police minister, apparently they were waiting for the police hierarchy, who were criticized in the report, to submit their defense or to review it. Something along the lines of, they are entitled to natural justice. Alan Jones then raised the equally valid point that, if that was the case, how come the ‘draft’ report wasn’t released to him and others in the talkback industry so they could defend themselves since they were accused of stirring things up a bit?

So if you are in the police hierarchy, you get natural justice, anyone else, can suck it up.

Among the recommendations, the report has urged police to better coordinate their responses, establish better lines of communication and make better use of existing facilities. It also said:
  • Police should continue to use racial descriptors like Mediterranean/Middle Eastern, but that Middle Eastern should be its own entity.
  • A review on the policy of wearing riot equipment should be conducted.
  • The State Co-ordination Centre, used for counter terrorism, should be activated in times of public disorder.
  • Consider reviving the State Planning Unit to manage all major public events and security operations.
The report however does not contain any of the names of officers whose behaviour may be criticised in the full report.

There goes that excuse, blown sky high out of the water. Ultimately, the Labor/leftist government bungled the whole thing, and are now in full ‘deny and deflect’ mode.

Mr Iemma's statement did not respond to calls for Mr Scully's sacking over the bungled release of the report. Opposition leader Peter Debnam says Mr Scully misled parliament by trying to cover up the report's findings and delaying it being made public.

It is up to us, the NSW electorate, to remind them of this in next years election, there is no point in us whinging and whining about them if we plan to keep them in government.

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