Don’t involve the police, says NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb

In the interview, Webb described the Cooma incident as isolated, unique, and not representative of officers’ “day-to-day behavior.”

“I hope the community will remember all the good things the police do every day and not see this as an opportunity to turn against the police,” she said.


She understood the public had questions about why a stun gun was used on Nowland, who was holding a steak knife and using a walking frame, but “if we don’t go through a process, there could be a miscarriage of justice here.” .

Webb advocated the use of tasers, although he feared they could lead to “lazy cop” syndrome, where the police are too likely to turn to them. “I’m confident that the use of a firearm has gone down because the taser is available and therefore lives are likely to be saved,” she said.

When asked if the investigation took longer because the alleged perpetrator was a police officer, Webb replied, “We are conducting this investigation like any other investigation in this case.”

The LECC released a report this week that raised concerns about police mental health training, saying it was “extremely limited at this time”. Webb said she was also concerned that police were called to a private healthcare facility to resolve an issue that staff could not resolve.

“That’s their core business, it’s not a police officer’s core business, but we were called there,” Webb said. “People with dementia need special care, attention and understanding.”

The inspector’s mother suffers from advanced dementia.

Former LECC commissioner Patrick Saidi on Thursday echoed criticism from a woman whose brother died after more than a dozen taser attacks when he expressed doubts “there is any informed person who believes it is appropriate for the police.” conducting investigations himself”.

Saidi left the body after filing a complaint against a higher-ranking commissioner.

“There are too many flaws in such a system,” Saidi said. “One example of the effectiveness of the current system is how few police officers are actually charged with unlawful use of force.”

NSW Police Officer Ryan Barlow has been found guilty of assault after beating an Indigenous teenager unconscious with a leg sweep.

NSW Police Officer Ryan Barlow has been found guilty of assault after beating an Indigenous teenager unconscious with a leg sweep.Credit: Kate Geraghty

On Wednesday, the LECC released a rare statement in response to proposals to take over the Cooma investigation, saying it could only launch its own investigation if the police commissioner asked it to, but no such request had been made.

Webb said police were diligent about conflicts of interest in police investigations and did not believe the LECC was restricted.

When asked if she would forward the investigation to the LECC, Webb said no.

“The LECC has quite strong powers,” she said. “They already have a lot of power and use it often. There is already quite strong and strong oversight.”

Webb said police were deployed from more distant locations when investigating critical incidents. Homicide investigators were involved in this case, but officers from Cooma and Queanbeyan were not.

“We are very aware that in this organization we try to remain as objective as possible,” she said.

The Redfern Legal Center will attend the LECC hearing on Thursday about the incident involving the 14-year-old Aboriginal teenager. Lead Attorney Samantha Lee said the unlawful use of police force was of major public concern.

“New South Wales Police need to undergo greater scrutiny and oversight on this matter,” she said. “Due to the tremendous powers of the police force, monitoring, transparency and accountability are vital, not only for the benefit of the community but also for the benefit of the police.”

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Justin Scaccy

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