Independent calls for reforms to police services
As many know,, I was recently arrested without cause and
deprived of my liberty, (video here) the outcome of which opened my eyes to a variety of
abuses of our most basic civil and human rights by way of the actions of our
When I was thrown into the rear of a police 4x4 paddy wagon (steel cage),
I was an innocent man under South Australian law, and in fact it was proven
that the arrest was unlawful, so how should I have been treated?
I was woken from my sleep at 7.30 on a Sunday morning, and was not
dressed appropriately to be hauled away. At no time was a warrant shown to me,
and I was denied the right to call my lawyer or even enjoy my morning relief,
something that seems abusive from the onset.
In the back of the van. with my hands cuffed behind my back to the degree my shoulders were in pain and the cuffs were cutting my skin, I
had no way of hanging on during the ride to the Elizabeth station, resulting in
several painful injuries.
At no time did I refuse my arrest other than demanding to
know why and to see a valid warrant, it appeared these questions resulted in increased
At this point we must question the law, as much as we should
question the conduct of the officers involved. For my own safety the hand cuffs
should have been removed, seat restraints or adequate padding to the enclosure
in which I was held would be a step in the right direction in regards to my
safety and my rights.
The cells in which I was placed were not heated, so I opted
to be in the outside cells, in 5 degrees, because it was warmer there. It was
here I met a man in custody on trifling matters, who did not even have shoes or
socks on when arrested. He was shivering in the freezing conditions, yet not
even a blanket was offered, let alone a pair of socks, something I found atrocious.
Police have a duty of care when a person is in their custody that extends to
ensuring their health and safety?”
The result of my dealing with SAPOL over the years makes it
clear they are “long overdue for a huge dose of accountability”, and my recent unlawful
arrest has only enforced this statement.
In recent years community expectations have been let down, with increasing complaints about their conduct and performance, from the alleged
use of Quotas, placement of speed detection devices, to ignorance of people’s
rights and liberties.
The police are in the public’s eyes at least, employed to
protect our best interests, and that belief would include our civil rights and
indeed our liberty. This should also
include our most basic human rights, and that of justice and humility.
If an officer takes something from you and that action is
found wanting, why should we be forced to sign a waiver of our rights before
the return of our goods, which has become standard practice? If an officer breaks
the law, why is it that the police are the ones that police themselves?
If the police defect a vehicle and get it wrong, why is the victim expected to cover the costs?
Accountability is not a one way street, if I break the law, I
should be held to account, and the police themselves should lead by that example,
not hide behind indemnity waivers, for their own self protection and
I personally know many good people that have joined our police
force, and I genuinely respect their decision to take on such a role in the
community is indeed an important and compassionate motive. It is those who
direct their actions and write the legislation that need to be held to account.
"I seriously doubt any officer joins up in favour of raising revenue or ignoring our rights!"
Reforms to our police services are long overdue, to ensure
their conduct is brought up to date with current community expectations, and this
would best be achieved by an open and transparent parliamentary enquiry so
every interested party can have their input.
A transparent public consultation process would also be a
very effective way to access what the current community expectation is, in
relation to police services.
in our courts becomes unaffordable for the majority, justice on our streets becomes
Independent candidate for Wakefield