Victoria Police Faces Scrutiny Over Misconduct and Oversight

Victoria Police under scrutiny for misconduct, including a fatal shooting, prompting calls for robust oversight and accountability to maintain public trust.

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Mahnoor Jehangir
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Victoria Police Faces Scrutiny Over Misconduct and Oversight

Victoria Police Faces Scrutiny Over Misconduct and Oversight

The Victoria Police Department in Australia is under increased scrutiny following several incidents of alleged misconduct and a strategic assessment conducted by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC). The assessment, which covered the period of 2022-23, identified various risks and areas of concern within the police force.

One notable case involves the death of Lisa Rauch, a 43-year-old woman who was shot and killed by Const. Ron Kirkwood on Christmas Day in 2019. A public hearing is currently underway to determine if Kirkwood used unnecessary force when he shot Rauch with ARWEN rubber rounds, which struck her head and led to her death four days later. The presiding judge is expected to make a final decision in mid-May and may also provide recommendations regarding police policy and practice.

The IBAC assessment highlighted several misconduct risks facing Victoria Police, including inappropriate targeting or profiling of LGBTIQA communities, mistreatment of vulnerable persons in custody, favoritism in recruitment and promotion, illicit drug use, bullying and harassment, improper human source management, and concealing misconduct complaints. The commission has outlined focus areas for 2023-24, such as addressing predatory behavior by police personnel, excessive use of force on youth offenders, and illicit drug use by police.

Why this matters:The incidents and findings highlight the importance of robust oversight and accountability measures for law enforcement agencies. Addressing police misconduct is crucial for maintaining public trust and ensuring the responsible use of police powers in serving and protecting communities.

IBAC Commissioner Robert Redlich emphasized the need for Victoria Police to prioritize the prevention and detection of police misconduct. "Recognizing and preventing misconduct is crucial to maintaining public trust and ensuring that police powers are used responsibly and ethically," Redlich stated. The commission's ongoing work aims to identify and address systemic issues within Victoria Police and promote a culture of integrity and accountability.

Key Takeaways

  • Victoria Police under scrutiny for misconduct, IBAC assessment
  • Death of Lisa Rauch: Hearing on police use of force
  • IBAC identifies risks: Profiling, mistreatment, favoritism, drug use
  • Focus areas: Predatory behavior, excessive force on youth, drug use
  • Need for robust oversight and accountability to maintain public trust