Police not answerable to the public?

johnboy 24 April 2007 59

The AFP Commissioner, Mick Keelty, was on ABC radio this morning with Andrea Close and despite speaking in the elliptical fashion for which police are famed he clearly laid the blame for the death of the Chief Police Officer Audrey Fagan at the door of both Jack Waterford and Geoff Pryor.

Consistent with the tight spin control which, if he is to be believed, got us here, he’s demanding there be a “week of respect” in which the media knuckle down and report only that which he would like us to report.

It seems odd that he could be so certain of what is to blame at this time. It certainly helps divert attention from his own organisation which would appear to have failed miserably in either the promotion of CPO Fagan to a position she couldn’t handle, or in the support and resources it gave her to meet the demands placed on her.

Of greater ongoing significance Commissioner Keelty asserted that the Chief Police Officer was answerable only to the Minister for Police and that the public and media had no business in questioning her policies. If this is so then it needs to be changed, the Minister for Police is but one member of a Government elected once every four years on a vast array of issues.

There will be a full police funeral on Friday at a venue to be confirmed.

If you missed it an MP3 of the interview is here.

UPDATED: The Canberra Times is counter punching:

“Anger over Fagan’s death is perhaps understandable in the circumstances not all of which are publicly known at this point but the criticism of this newspaper is unfair and ill-directed.”

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59 Responses to Police not answerable to the public?
Hasdrubahl Hasdrubahl 6:58 pm 26 Apr 07

Yeah, nice work.
You just need to sort out your “it’s” from your “its” (para 7, word 9).

johnboy johnboy 4:42 pm 26 Apr 07


As I’m getting paid for it we can’t go re-printing it here.

caf caf 4:40 pm 26 Apr 07

jb: That was a well-written and to-the-point article of yours in Crikey today.

vandam vandam 9:50 pm 25 Apr 07

I couldn’t agree with you more Nyssa. People look down on Mental Health, when really if they got sufficient funding and more community support it wouldn’t be such a problem.
Speaking to a few mates, there is plenty of support in jails and mental facilities, problem is, once they are classified as better or released, they get back out in the same mix of people and go insane again or go back to drugs. There is no support after they leave jail or mental hospitals. Something I thought would’ve been given some attention.

nyssa76 nyssa76 12:43 am 25 Apr 07

Sorry it should read: People aren’t

nyssa76 nyssa76 12:40 am 25 Apr 07

well chester i know one person with a mental disease that should be locked up.

bonfire, I’m proud of you. Admitting you have the illness is the first step. However, aligning it to someone else because you’re afraid of being “typecast” is wrong.

Your comment re: meds is also pathetic.

Why don’t you grow the hell up. Mental illness is not a bad thing. People are put into asylums or labotomised anymore.

It’s arseholes like you who make it hard for the mentally ill to come forward and get help.


vandam vandam 12:21 am 25 Apr 07

Chester, I’m not suggesting that everyone with a disease or Illness is criminally associated, I’m stating that many people in the justice system have some form of disease, whether it be Hep C HIV, Mental Illness. Judging by your comments, you must stay at home all day, don’t talk to anyone and have no perspective of life. If the world was a perfect place without mental illness and diseases there wouldn’t be a need for Police. You take away the ilnesses and diseases, which are generally brought on by drugs, and you have a pretty clean society. Although stress and depression are a completely seperate issue, both which don’t generally cause someone to commit crimes against decent human beings.
And for the record HIV which ever way you look at it involves a crime one way or the other, whether it’s drug abuse, someone intentially infecting someone or just pure malpractice. How bout you think about your comments before you post them.

Dude Ranch Dude Ranch 11:46 pm 24 Apr 07

If the majority of you half wit morons actually believe the crap you are writing, Australia is in a world of turmoil!!!!!

Unquestionably, the AFP is the most accountable organisation in both the government and private sector.

Anyone who can come up with an organisation that is more answerable both internally and externally put up or shut up.

If you doubt this, read the AFP act.

FC FC 1:40 pm 24 Apr 07


“Professionals in the various health care delivery systems need to understand about the connections between infectious diseases and substance abuse in order to recognize and assess these often concurrent conditions.”

Kerces Kerces 12:52 pm 24 Apr 07

Bonfire — there’s all kinds of (self-monitored) guidelines for media reporting of suicides because of a large number of studies showing spikes in amounts of suicides correlating to graphic media reporting or high profile cases. You may have noticed Lifeline or Beyond Blue contact details at the bottom of some of the intial stories about Fagan; this is connected.

shauno shauno 12:12 pm 24 Apr 07

“using guilt like this is dangerous.”

No its not, apart from the confusing logic. It may be politically incorrect in your eyes but its pretty blatantly obvious that you don’t carry out such actions unless your suffering from some sort of mental illness or temporary insanity.

bonfire bonfire 11:52 am 24 Apr 07

‘How could you not be to be able to hang your self to death leaving a teenage daughter to face the world without a mother.’

apart from the confusing grammer, if its her choice then it should be respected. using guilt like this is dangerous. its the sort of dangerous tactic that keeps dysfunctional marriages together ‘for the children’.

we dont know her reasons. we are all speculating. i doubt the notes will be released.

bonfire bonfire 11:49 am 24 Apr 07

well chester i know one person with a mental disease that should be locked up. look in a mirror and you will see them.

if a person with hiv is deliberately spreading the disease, then they should be locked up.

you live in a society – to make it function ther eis a set of expected behaviours.

deliberately infecting people with a disease is not one of them. thats why attacking someone with a blood filled syringe warrants a serious charge.

johnboy johnboy 11:36 am 24 Apr 07

It would be interesting.

The causality of disadvantage would make it tricky to draw conclusions though.

Special G Special G 11:29 am 24 Apr 07

I would like some stats on people with infectious diseases and criminal histories. I’m tipping there’s a fairly high correlation.

shauno shauno 11:20 am 24 Apr 07

“reported its as if she did the wrong thing, or was mentally ill.”

Damn right she was mentally ill at least temporarily. How could you not be to be able to hang your self to death leaving a teenage daughter to face the world without a mother.

chester chester 11:16 am 24 Apr 07

I am unaware of any law that says being HIV positive is a crime bonfire. Do you really believe those disturbing comments you just made? I’m sure you’ve really brightened up the day of anybody who acquired HIV via blood transfusion.

No wonder this town is so messed up with troubled souls like you on the loose.

You’ll find standard infection control procedures which hospitals and indeed police should be adhering to, require that you treat everyone as positive. Normally the only way you can tell if someone has Hep C or HIV is if they, or someone else reveal the information.

That better JB? I’d hate for a swear word to get in the way of bonfire’s bigotry.

Maelinar Maelinar 10:49 am 24 Apr 07

And have it the beacon point for suicidal teenagers ?

Media pressure was only one of the factors in the suicide, which was a multifaceted decision by her. To assume counterwise, is putting on some serious blinders.

As far as accountability to the public goes, I believe that the police should be fully accountable, due to the level of trust that has been placed in them, with extra-severe punishments because they should have known better if they decide to walk the criminal line.

There is also an expectation of frank and full disclosure, any organisation taking from the public purse should be accountable for the public money it receives. This takes the form of reporting criminals, responding to public safety, and maintaining law and order, including within their own ranks.

Some people have commented on providing examples of police dishonesty; do your own research trolls, but the CPO was not alone in the abuse of AFP contracts with the building industry, and the cheaper rates afforded to officers. There’s an example, I could troll for more if I had the desire.

teddy bear teddy bear 10:30 am 24 Apr 07

I agree with your comments, jemmy. I also agree with johnboy’s response to some of the attacks made on him.

Waterford was only doing the job he is paid to do, although I do not agree with some of his defensive comments after Audrey Fagan’s death. “Too soon” as “The Chaser” would have said.

I definitely feel that ACT Policing needs more resources and a shake up of its culture. I think Audrey Fagan was trying to do that against the odds and could have done with more support from the community and particularly those more enlightened officers within ACT Police.

If the Stanhope Government spent less money on pet projects, Grassby statues, arboretums, Live in Canberra promotions, etc, then it would be able to more properly resource policing, health and education.

Speaking of statues – perhaps the Grassby statue could be melted down and re-cast as an Audrey Fagan statue for AFP Headquarters. That I would support.

bonfire bonfire 10:17 am 24 Apr 07

on a seperate note – im amazed that the fact that fagan sucided has been glossed over – or not mentioned at all – by the media.

and when it has been reported its as if she did the wrong thing, or was mentally ill.

its generally only monotheistic societies which frown upon suicide, or make it something to be ashamed of.

and ultimately we are masters of our own lives, and if we choose to end it – for whatever reason – that is a right which should be respected.

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