Canberra’s leak hunters running the lowest conviction rates in the country

johnboy 11 January 2011 3

The Age is having a poke at the AFP’s leak investigating section “special references” and the 17-officer “Head Office Investigations” which is tasked with hunting down Canberra’s public servants who can’t or won’t keep secrets.

Under freedom of information, The Age obtained the final reports of all 48 federal police leak cases – referred by politicians or heads of government departments – since July 2005.

The reports not only show Labor’s tenacity in pursuing leaks, they also reveal that such investigations, if judged on their justice outcomes alone, are almost useless.

Of the 48 referrals, only two resulted in convictions, meaning such investigations have one of the lowest success rates in Australian law enforcement – 4 per cent.

Should the police exist to serve the Government? The Law? The People?

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3 Responses to Canberra’s leak hunters running the lowest conviction rates in the country
Antagonist Antagonist 12:10 pm 11 Jan 11

I have seen a lot of these investigations take place over the last 20 years both in ACT and Federal Governments. All of the investigations I am aware of had one theme in common: Those referring it to the AFP already knew the identity of the ‘sources’ before the AFP were called in.

sepi sepi 11:19 am 11 Jan 11

the two instances I am aware of also both involved the minister’s office.

no wonder these investigations usually turn up nothing.

breda breda 10:54 am 11 Jan 11

I’ve experienced a couple of these in the workplace. In both cases the leak came from the Minister’s office – once deliberately, and once by a junior staffer who couldn’t hold his booze and his mouth at the same time. I found this out from the journalists involved (long after each event).

That may go some way towards explaining the low conviction rate for alleged ‘leaks’ from the Public Service.

Given the amount of sensitive information around, and the number of people who can access it, the leak rate is remarkably low.

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