A former senior police officer and respected Perth lawyer have delivered a scathing attack on the ability and culture of WA’s Corruption and Crime Commission.
Murray Lampard, the deputy commissioner of police until his retirement four years ago, told a committee of Parliament that officers had no trust in the watchdog or faith in its ability to investigate.
He cautioned against Barnett Government legislation to join the two agencies together to fight organised crime saying police “simply didn’t trust the CCC” and vice versa.
“The officers that investigate organised crime I believe don’t have confidence in the abilities, experience and skill of the CCC officers to properly partner them in this very important crime type,” Prof Lampard said.
“I don’t think the rank-and-file in the WA Police have a high opinion of the CCC and that’s been brought out by a fair bit of history.”
Prof Lampard, who now works at Edith Cowan University, was followed at the CCC joint standing committee hearing by veteran lawyer Ron Davies.
He savaged the management of the CCC by claiming a “zealot grouping” of staff operated on the basis of “self-justification”.
He was highly-critical of the methods used by the CCC to gather evidence and hold hearings saying it was oppressive and procedurally unfair.
The most recent example, Mr Davies said, was the way the CCC went about investigating complaints against Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan.
Mr Davies said Premier Colin Barnett’s legislative push to bring the CCC and police together on organised crime inquiries would be a “disaster” and “wouldn’t work”.
The former prosecutor was Mr O’Callaghan’s lawyer through the nine-month investigation into credit card use and evidence about the 2011 Perth Hills fires and has written to the Parliamentary Inspector of the CCC about the way the CCC inquiry was done.Before finishing his evidence today, Mr Davies suggested the committee plan for a full hearing after the Parliamentary Inspector completes his inquiry.
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