Add to Technorati Favorites

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Exactly when did we become a police state?

Since posting my last entry, I have already had a couple of people querying this need to go through FOI systems at the AFP in order to find exactly what it is I am supposed to have made in a complaint against another person.

So in direct response to my express request for that information, I received the following by return email from the Professional Standards area of the AFP:

"Should you wish to obtain information in relation to any information held about you on AFP systems you may do so by placing a request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982."

Later in the day this was endorsed by the officer assigned to investigate my complaint against the AFP:

"As pointed out by XXXXXXX below, the Freedom of Information process is the most appropriate way to request documentation or information held by the AFP about you"

Their justification? That they are not permitted to release anything to me about another person. Excuse me? Exactly when did I ask them to reveal jack shit about anyone else? I didn't. The immediate matters of particular relevance I have asked for:
  • for details of what the complaint is that I am supposed to have made
  • a copy of the documentation being handed to others that claims I made such a complaint against another person but so far has been denied to me
  • for any other information or documentation regarding me and this alleged complaint that is being held which may shed some light on the matter.
So exactly what is so secret that I am asking for? Where is all this information about other people that they have implied I was asking for? The bottom line is that the Australian Federal Police have arrested someone, supposedly on the strength of a complaint that I made against them, but I am not allowed to know anything about it!

So it seems that we have indeed descended to the level of police state, without any of us actually realising, that the police are apparently within their rights (at least in their collective minds) to refuse to tell anyone what they are alleging a person has said in an alleged complaint against another party. With that logic, they could make up any crap they like as justification for pinning anything on anyone. And then refuse to release it.

This matter has already escalated to such ridiculous levels that, as well as delivering my FoI request in the morning, I shall also be sending a complaint to the Minister in charge of ACT Policing and commencing a complaint with the Ombudsman.

The really sad thing about all of this is that I come from that lovely, safe middle-class sort of background that is taught to respect the police, that the police can be relied etc etc. Yet the events of the last eleven days will make it very hard for me to ever trust a copper again.

As for Constable Plod that the AFP tell me is now monitoring my blog, happy reading!

No comments: