‘Devastating’ outcomes for woman abused by police officer husband after Ibac failures, report finds | Victoria | The Guardian

Victoria’s anti-corruption commission fundamentally failed a woman who was abused by her police officer spouse, with delays in the handling of her case meaning a second officer who leaked her escape plan could not be prosecuted, a report has found.

Emma had serious concerns about Victoria police’s handling of her case, including that confidential information she had provided to a family violence officer about a plan for her and her children to escape her husband interstate had been given to her abuser.

She made a complaint to Ibac, the body tasked with police oversight in Victoria, in November 2018. A second complaint was also made to Ibac about Victoria police about two years later.

Rather than investigate, Ibac referred both of these complaints back to Victoria police’s professional standards command, which handles the force’s internal investigations.

The inspectorate found Ibac’s referrals had serious consequences, including negative impacts on Emma and her children’s welfare, and meant she did not receive a better police response in the context of serious and ongoing family violence.

It also found that the referrals meant that the possibility of corruption was not pursued; that serious conflicts of interest at Victoria police were allowed to affect the independent investigation process; and that the alleged unwillingness of police to act against their own was effectively overlooked.

Emma, who has previously used other pseudonyms including Michelle and Jay when detailing her experiences in the media, told Guardian Australia that she was dismayed by Ibac’s response to her complaint, and the fact it had still failed to apologise.

The lawyer with more than two decades’ experience has started a support group for the partners of abusive police officers.

“We’ve got prima facie evidence of an integrity body with an integrity problem. This is absolutely not about resourcing – this is about mismanagement and culture.”

Source: ‘Devastating’ outcomes for woman abused by police officer husband after Ibac failures, report finds | Victoria | The Guardian

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