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Culture of police impunity and misconduct must be challenged in light of more evidence

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Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
15 December 2023

15 December 2023 - New evidence of police impunity and misconduct has been revealed in relation to the NorthConnex car crash in May of this year. In the wake of internal documents obtained yesterday by Greens MP spokesperson for justice Sue Higginson, it has now been revealed that the senior police officer who crashed his car after allegedly consuming 23.5 standard drinks filed his own insurance claim and failed to disclose alcohol was involved. The officer, whose identity is to be kept secret for the next 40 years, reported to insurers that he fell asleep at the wheel, with no mention of alcohol, despite footage that revealed the contrary, alongside internal police briefings of the alleged consumption of alcohol. Not only did the officer, referred to as AB, file his own insurance claim omitting the consumption of alcohol, and filled his “safe driving entry” again omitting any mention of alcohol. This culture of police impunity and cover-ups that led to AB constructing falsities and attempting insurance fraud must be challenged. 

Greens MP and spokesperson for justice Sue Higginson said: “It is deeply concerning that a member of the NSW police executive lodged his own insurance claim for a police vehicle that he crashed after reportedly drinking 23 standard drinks and he didn’t disclose that there was alcohol involved. Not only is it outright lying and gross misconduct it is indicative of a culture of impunity and coverup. 

 

“Two officers at Ku-Ring-Gai Police Area Command saw what had happened and took matters into their own hands. They contacted the insurance company notifying them that the claim had been approved without critical information that would render the insurance claim invalid.

 

“These documents show that it wasn’t until the LECC started asking questions, that a safe driving panel was set up, three months after the crash occurred, to assess whether the accused officer should continue to hold his driver's licence and it appears that the officer is still on the roads right now. 

 

“Being a senior officer and close to those in police leadership should not grant impunity to members of the police force. Frankly it appears that if it hadn’t been for the diligence and honesty of the Kur-ing-gai police, the officer now known as AB may not have ever faced any accountability. I suspect there is still more to the story yet. 

 

“This revelation closes out a disastrous year of policing in NSW. We simply don’t have an effective police integrity and accountability system. Police accountability and integrity needs to be more than a couple of good cops here and there and while the LECC is very good, it’s mostly responsive, delayed and has limited powers and resources. Now we have another case displaying a culture of impunity and cover-up, it can’t continue. We can and must do better. We need to have a police force and system that people can trust.” Ms Higginson said. 

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Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
15 December 2023
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