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Integrity testing for Commonwealth law enforcement

By johnboy 30 March 2012 3


The ABC has the good news that long overdue integrity testing is coming for AFP, Crime Commission and Customs officers:

Under the plan, Australian Federal Police, Crime Commission and Customs officers could be offered fake bribes, or confronted with valuable items planted in suspicious shipping containers or crime scenes to tempt them.

The so-called ‘integrity tests’ would target officers suspected of corruption.

“It will be controversial, these are tough new powers, but there’s no place for corruption in our law enforcement agencies and where it exists I am determined to weed it out,” Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said.

The union is, of course, agin’ it.

UPDATE 30/03/12 12:35: The Ministerial media release is now available with considerably more detail.

“There is no place for corruption in our public service,” Mr Clare said.

“It is a fact that law enforcement officers are targeted by criminals because of the nature of their work.

“Where we find corruption we have to weed it out. This will help weed it out.

“The power of integrity testing is that it puts fear in the mind of people thinking of acting corruptly.

“They will need to think twice before accepting a bribe from a criminal because that criminal could be an undercover police officer.”

Under the legislation the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and agencies including the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and the Australian Crime Commission will have the power to conduct targeted integrity testing.

The Integrity Commissioner or the head of the agency will be responsible for authorising integrity tests.

The Integrity Commissioner will have overall oversight of the integrity testing system and will be made aware of all integrity tests being undertaken by agencies.

Oversight will be provided by the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity.

Employee representatives are also being consulted on the development of the system to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place.

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Integrity testing for Commonwealth law enforcement
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PoQ 2:23 pm 30 Mar 12

The problem is the old “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”. And this proposal makes the problem worse.

So the powers that be suspect Customs Officer A, so they lay a trap for him (it’ll probably be a him). How can we be sure that the “tempting item” is not stolen by someone else, or it was just said that it was there? And so when Officer A opens the box, and its not there, that “proves” that he’s a bad person? Who are the witnesses, and who was watching the box to prove it wasn’t tampered with?

I suspect that proving that an officer is corrupt is difficult, and this is a simple “gotcha” that cuts through the paperwork. Or they think it will.

Although its an extreme example (or at least I hope so) giving the watchmen these powers will ensure that they’re abused – cf–having-correct-paperwork.html

devils_advocate 1:35 pm 30 Mar 12

They should recruit civilians to get involved in the operations. I’d be first in line.

MERC600 1:18 pm 30 Mar 12

Be interesting to see how Justice Higgins goes along with this. He’s slung out earlier cases where he reckons the cops used ‘ entrapment’ or a sting ( or whatever it’s called )..

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