George Brouwer revealed yesterday that no one examined the merits of why the Office of Police Integrity bugged telephones.
He could find no evidence the OPI had illegally tapped phones, but said that it, and Victoria Police, should be subjected to more rigorous scrutiny to ensure that all bugging was justified.
In a report tabled in State Parliament yesterday, Mr Brouwer recommended changes so that the OPI, and the new anti-corruption body that will replace it, have to argue merit as well as legality when applying to tap phones.
Every one of the 179 bugging applications made by the OPI since 2007-08 was approved.
Mr Brouwer heard allegations that the OPI had abused its powers when it bugged the phones of former police deputy commissioner Sir Ken Jones and Tristan Weston, an adviser to Police Minister Peter Ryan.
Mr Brouwer expressed his frustration yesterday that he had been unable to fully investigate allegations that the OPI had been abusing its powers to tap telephones.
"Witnesses have also raised concerns with my office regarding the OPI's alleged overuse of telecommunications interception powers - particularly, but not exclusively, in the investigation into Mr Jones," he said.
"Due to Commonwealth legislation, I am not able to investigate the OPI's alleged use of telecommunications interceptions."
He warned the lack of scrutiny of warrants used by the OPI, and by Victoria Police, could lead to a "situation where an opportunity for the improper use or overuse of interception powers could go undetected".
heraldsun 13 Oct 2011
Corruption in the police force is rife, and none of the authorities admit to the great extent it is.
Heads of police are involved in the drug syndicates, but when they're exposed for other fraud, they are taken away from the public eye, and deliberately not reported by the government sponsored mass media.
The so called anti-corruption watch dogs are a joke at the expense of the public.