Fran O'Sullivan : Police excuses ring hollow

Fran O’Sullivan : Police excuses ring hollowFormer National Leader Don Brash cuts a rather pathetic figure as he fruitlessly tries to get to the bottom of who stole the cache of his emails Nicky Hager used as the basis of his book The Hollow Men. There are plenty of theories… [NZ Herald Politics]

Fran O’Sullivan has taken up the cudgel in the increasingly smelly Police investigation of the stolen Brash emails. Unfortunately in her attempt to find out what is happening she attacks Police minister Judith Collins.

Brash has had no help from Police Minister Judith Collins either. Collins was Brash’s close political chum during the dying days of his leadership when it seemed as if he might just survive. But she has not asked for a review.

Now if Fran had actually bothered to read the law pertaining what a Police minister can and cannot do, she would know that Judith Collins actually can’t order such a review. The relevant section is Section 16 of the Policing Act. I have taken the liberty of doing Fran’s research for her. Here is what Section 16 says;

Responsibilities and independence of Commissioner

  • (1) The Commissioner is responsible to the Minister for—
    • (a) carrying out the functions and duties of the Police; and
    • (b) the general conduct of the Police; and
    • (c) the effective, efficient, and economical management of the Police; and
    • (d) tendering advice to the Minister and other Ministers of the Crown; and
    • (e) giving effect to any lawful ministerial directions.

(2) The Commissioner is not responsible to, and must act independently of, any Minister of the Crown (including any person acting on the instruction of a Minister of the Crown) regarding—

  • (a) the maintenance of order in relation to any individual or group of individuals; and
  • (b) the enforcement of the law in relation to any individual or group of individuals; and
  • (c) the investigation and prosecution of offences; and
  • (d) decisions about individual Police employees.

So you see Judith Collins has her hands tied. It is probably for the best that the law preculdes this lest other less judicious adherents to the law started directing the Police. One wonders though whether previous Police Ministers and indeed Prime ministers have somehow circumvented this aspect of the law.

Whatever, though, the continued whitewash of the investigation can only lead one to presume that their is omething smelly in the Police Department.

This case would be one of the reasons I would use to establish a wide ranging Independent Commission against Corruption which would contain the resources of the Serious Fraud Office, the Police Complaints Authority and a rotating panel of judges. We need to root out corruption form everywhere it appears to be festering and a good start would the three op people at the Police National HQ.