Over 1,000 Victoria Police have reportedly been working without the proper authority because of an admin error and all I have to say is: things that make you go “hmm”.
A load of cops were sworn into the force by people who didn’t have the right authority over an eight year period between between 2014 and 2021. That means that hundreds of cops were sworn in, but didn’t actually have police powers under the law.
A great look for the definitely-benevolent, not-at-all-problematic profession of policing!
Speaking to radio station 3AW, Victorian Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton confirmed that those officers were not technically police.
“They were sworn in, but the person swearing them in didn’t have the valid powers to do so, so they didn’t get the powers of a police officer,” Patton said.
The issue comes down to changes made to the Victoria Police Act 2013. Those changes essentially boiled down to who could delegate the power to acting assistant commissioners to swear in new police officers.
“What that means is that on a number of occasions since 2014 acting assistant commissioners on occasions have sworn in police officers and protective services officers without having the valid powers to do so,” said Patton, as per The Guardian.
The admin error has affected around 1,200 people in total, including 29 police custody officers, 157 protective services officers (PSOs) and 1,076 cops. The spiciest bit of the whole affair is the fact that the police affected haven’t legally had the power to actually … be police. So that means they’ve been pressing charges and arresting people while not actually having the power to do so.
According to Nine News, this could mean defendants might possibly be able to contest their cases.
Patton said that Victoria Police was planning to remedy the issue.
“[The police] have of course been working with other police officers during that period of time who had those extra powers that police are granted and they also have those standing powers as any citizen has to conduct arrests,” he said.
Now tell me why I thought citizen’s arrests were something they made up for King of the Hill?
Vic’s Police Minister Lisa Neville said the admin fuck up wouldn’t affect any criminal cases currently in court.
“It won’t really be an opportunity for people to have matters overturned,” she said, as per Nine.
Legislation which will address the issue retrospectively is also likely to be introduced into Victoria’s Parliament ASAP.
660 police officers were scheduled to be sworn in on Thursday.