The head of WA’s Corruption and Crime Commission has hit back at one of the watchdog’s fiercest critics, Ron Davies QC, comparing the lawyer’s backing of the police to the fanaticism of a Collingwood AFL supporter.
Commissioner Roger Macknay today gave more evidence to a State parliamentary inquiry investigating how the CCC handles allegations of misconduct by police.
Answering criticisms from current and former senior police, the WA police union and Mr Davies, Mr Macknay claimed the critics were either out of touch or out of line.
At previous hearings, Mr Davies labelled the CCC’s methods ‘oppressive’, claimed the watchdog had a poor culture and attitude, and said only new legislation could improve the investigative body.
Mr Macknay did not hold back in his opinion of Mr Davies’ evidence.
“It is bar talk,” he said.
“We would challenge that he is in a position to speak for the legal community.
“If the police were a football team and Mr Davies was a supporter, then Collingwood is the team that springs to mind.”
The parliamentary inquiry specifically convened the sitting to allow the commissioner to air his responses to various criticisms, including attacks on the CCC by former deputy police commissioner Murray Lampard.
Mr Lampard has claimed the CCC does not show enough trust of police and says the force has no faith in the commission’s ability to investigate.
Mr Macknay pointed out that Mr Lampard had not been a policeman for four years.
“He is quite erroneous in terms of his perception. I did not feel any level of concern about his evidence. Four years is a long time to be out of any organisation,” Mr Macknay said.
He also sought to cast doubt on a police union survey that questioned whether officers would report misconduct to the CCC.
The chairman of the committee, Liberal Nick Goiran, said he would expect police to report misconduct to a superior officer.