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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 800 ..

Australian Federal Police - Alleged Corruption

MR MOORE: My question is directed to Mr Humphries, the Minister for Police, and follows the question asked by Mr Whitecross yesterday. In response to Mr Whitecross's question on what he would do about accusations of police corruption, Mr Humphries said that there had been one allegation in relation to a certain AFP officer in the region over an issue that happened on Christmas Island. I think it is fair to say that we also have mention of a number of Federal Police officers at the Wood royal commission. We also have the police officer who went on 60 Minutes on Sunday night to talk about the corruption that he considered endemic in the police force. Mr Speaker, I have in front of me a letter from the Commonwealth Ombudsman. I need to take a little time to give the background, being careful not to mention any names. I quote from this letter:

... in the absence of any independent confirmation of either your or the police claims in regard to the second part 2 -

there is a series of claims listed -

of your complaint, I am unable to come to any conclusion on what actually happened. In these circumstances, there really is nothing more we can do.

This was not an investigation just by the Ombudsman; it was by a senior officer doing a second investigation, and the Ombudsman responding. Another paragraph in the Ombudsman's letter states:

Finally, I agree that part 8 -

of the series of claims -

is substantiated, in that the AFP did not properly record the seized articles.

The person had claimed that articles had been seized and then not returned. The letter continues:

I consider that this occurred because the AFP was acting on behalf of the New South Wales Police Service ... and some confusion arose as to who would provide you with a record of the items seized. It is certainly the case that the AFP did not properly record the seized articles.

There is mention of a number of people, whom I did not mention, as I said that I would not. In light of this sort of issue where the Ombudsman is often left with no choice but to record an open finding, Mr Humphries, will you urge your Federal counterpart in charge of the Australian Federal Police to do what the Australian Federal Police Association said that they would welcome and urge him to conduct a royal commission into the Australian Federal Police to ensure that any such accusations are cleaned up, so that people can have confidence in our police force?

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