Victorian police watchdog shelved racist complaints

Stuart Rintoul; 18/3/10

More than 20 complaints of racism by Victorian police, including allegations of criminal behaviour, were made to the Office of Police Integrity by lawyers acting for young African Australians between 2006 and 2009. Only one has been investigated by the OPI and several resulted in charges being laid by police against those who made the complaints in what lawyers describe as “cover charges”. No police officers have been sacked for race-related incidents, despite Chief Commissioner Simon Overland admitting he was aware of several “substantiated cases”. Asked yesterday whether police had investigated and found substantiated cases of racist behaviour, Mr Overland, who has been embroiled in race rows, replied: “Yes.” Asked whether these cases were recent, he replied: “Yes.”