Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Vic Police info leaked to alleged criminals?

Drug trafficking investigations across the country have been [allegedly] compromised by an [allegedly] significant leak of confidential information from inside Victoria Police.

[Allegedly] significant amounts of confidential police information has been given to alleged [criminals] and alleged killers, including some thought to be behind the biggest ever importation of ecstasy into Australia.

The [alleged] leak is thought to have come from inside the Victoria Police Covert Support Unit, responsible for electronic and physical surveillance.

When several suspects were arrested over recent months, they were [allegedly] found with information from files prepared by the surveillance unit.

The suspects were arrested over a record ecstasy bust and a murder in Melbourne in 2004.

The [alleged] files contained information about investigations run by the Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police, Customs, and the Australian Crime Commission.

Now the [alleged] leak is being investigated by Victoria's Office for Police Integrity (OPI).

OPI director Mark Strong says a comprehensive independent review of information security is underway and information security within Victoria Police has long been of concern to the OPI.


In 1996, there was a break-in at the St Kilda Road police headquarters.

Someone stole a mass of police files about one of the then-drug squad's biggest investigations. One of the files taken had information on an informer who had earned the trust of a major drug syndicate.

Corrupt police

In 2004 drug dealer turned police informant Terrence Hodson and his wife Christine were killed in their home in suburban Melbourne.

Information about Hodson's work as a police informer was [allegedly] given to criminals.

Police suspect the leak of the confidential police file, helped trigger the double murder, which was also part of Melbourne's vicious gangland war.

Now it [is claimed that a person], who has been charged with trafficking, has again been given vital police information.

Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe heads the Victorian force's Organisation Security Committee, which supervises the security of files.

Asked recently about previous corruption, he said there is no longer evidence of a culture of corruption.

"We are confident that there is nothing there existing at this time," he said.

For years Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon has insisted Victoria is as resistant to corruption as it is possible to be.

"I think within Victoria Police we are also very committed to making sure that we are accountable, that those who do not live up to the standards we require of them are, in fact, appropriately dealt with and moved out of Victoria Police, if that's the appropriate way," she said.

"So I think what happens is we have an organisation in the Victoria Police which is making sure we're corruption-free - or at least as best you can to be corruption resistant."

Ms Nixon threatened to resign if the Government consented to critics' calls for a Royal Commission.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Simon Overland has also long said the situation is under control.

"I think there is a history of unhealthy relationship between a small number of police - and I make that point, I think it is a small number of police," he said.

"I don't think this is systemic and I don't believe it's an issue where Victoria Police per se has been protecting criminals in Victoria.

"But I think there is a history of unhealthy relationships between a small number of police and organised crime figures here in Victoria."

Over the years the state's most senior police have been reluctant to publicly accept links between corrupt police and crimes like drug trafficking and murder.

But this latest [alleged] leak may bring new pressure to bear on the police and Government, because this can be seen by some as an ongoing problem, and because the corrupt behaviour, if proven, has the potential to affect crime fighting agencies across the country.


Ex-police media director guilty of perjury
Prosecutors have dropped a number of charges against former Victoria Police media director Stephen Linnell on an undertaking that he will plead guilty to perjury.

Nixon quits as police chief
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon has announced she is resigning from the top job.

Sacked Victorian police squad lawless
THE police corruption watchdog claims some members of the former armed offenders squad took the law into their own hands.

Lives put at risk by corrupt police

LIVES are being put at risk by "festering" cells of corrupt police leaking information on confidential investigations to criminals, a police corruption watchdog has warned.

Charge gangland police suspect: OPI
VICTORIA'S police watchdog has recommended criminal charges against Paul Dale, a former policeman linked to a double underworld murder, along with several other police.

One OPI officer sacked, another suspended
Some people may form the view that it is tit for tat between the OPI and some opposition (political or other like Police Association or affiliates?) down in Victoria (See Links). Perhaps the expense claims are a way to weaken previous statements made by the OPI in relation to allegation against police?

Police-crime links linger
A SMALL number of Victorian police are maintaining improper links with organised crime figures, the state's police corruption watchdog says.

Police watchdog 'leaks like a sieve'
The Victoria Police watchdog leaks like a sieve, according to former assistant commissioner Noel Ashby, who could face criminal charges following an Office of Police Integrity (OPI) inquiry.

Police criticised as OPI hearing wraps up
The head of an Office of Police Integrity (OPI) inquiry is expected to call for stronger ethical guidelines within Victoria Police when he tables his report in Parliament.

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