Friday, August 14, 2009

Perverted cops in South Australia

And the "regulator" is of course taking years to do anything about it

MALE police are stripping distressed female prisoners, who are then put in cells under CCTV, a practice being questioned by the independent police complaints body. In a letter to Police Commissioner Mal Hyde, obtained by The Advertiser, the Police Complaints Authority says it has "long-standing disquiet" over the practice, which has been labelled "violent and disturbing" by civil libertarians.

It has only come to light after a mother of three complained about being stripped by up to four male officers and put into a padded cell at Christies Beach police station. She believes her complaint would have been "swept under the carpet" if not for a letter on her behalf from former Supreme Court judge Ted Mullighan. "Lee" - not her real name - told The Advertiser she continues to be haunted by the November 2006 ordeal, and that she is still waiting on a complaints authority ruling.

The Advertiser has also learnt of two teenage girls who claim to have been subjected to the same treatment at Christies Beach but say they are too afraid to lodge an official complaint.

Lee - who gave evidence at the Mullighan inquiry about being sexually abused in foster care as a child - said being stripped by male officers was "like being raped all over again". She was held inside a cell naked for about an hour after being picked up on a warrant for failing to attend a court hearing over a minor theft from a shop in the 1990s - a warrant which took police 13 years to execute despite Lee living at the same address the entire period. "I can't put words to what they have done to me, it's just inhumane," Lee said. "Nobody is game enough to talk about this sort of thing because they are the police, they've got a badge and they are allowed to do whatever they do - it's not right."

Complaints authority investigator Helen Lines outlined some of her concerns about the stripping practice in a letter to Mr Hyde dated June 22 this year.

"I first assessed the conduct of the police officers who were the subject of the complaint in June 2008," Ms Lines wrote. "That assessment was coloured by the long-standing disquiet I have felt about the practice of placing police prisoners in padded cells and of forcefully stripping them before such placement. "These practices are contemplated by SA Police general orders. "I decided that rather than focus on the actions of the individual officers who are subject of (the) complaint, I would focus on the practice of using padded cells to confine distressed prisoners to prevent them from harming themselves with their clothing."

The 25-page letter also contains excerpts from the letter written by Mr Mullighan, who chaired the Children in State Care Commission of Inquiry in 2006-07. Mr Mullighan wrote that, despite her traumatic and abusive upbringing, Lee had managed her life well, stayed out of trouble for most of her adulthood and had raised three children largely on her own. Another woman has told The Advertiser her 14-year-old daughter was also stripped by two male officers at Christies Beach and held in a padded cell in late 2007.

"She was worried the video footage that they took of her was going to be used in the officers' station to have fun with or whatever, which was pretty bad thing for a teenager to have to think ... she actually sat there with her hands over her private parts in her cell trying to hide herself," said the mother, who did not want to be named.

SA Council of Civil Liberties spokesman George Mancini said he was appalled at the "humiliating and violent" practice and said police had a "very high duty of care" to distressed prisoners who were deemed at risk of self-harm. "This goes back to the 19th century when we were dealing with people in the mental asylums ... this is not the proper way to treat people and it is obviously violent and disturbing," Mr Mancini said. He described the stripping practice as "inhumane" and counterproductive. "Surely the only way to reduce that sort of behaviour is to take action against individuals and then publicise it so that other officers know that they will be subject to public scrutiny if they behave that way," Mr Mancini said.

Under current laws, Police Complaints Authority investigations are private and only complainants are given access to findings.

Lee said Ms Lines - who has been examining the case for more than a year - was "horrified" when she watched a video of the incident in which she was stripped after becoming agitated when told she would have to spend a weekend in custody on the arrest warrant and that her children would be put into state care. Yesterday, an SA Police spokesman said police could not comment on Lee's case because it was still before the complaints authority.


Another slap on the wrist for vicious thugs

What's wrong with our judicial system? An unprovoked attack that left two men close to death and the thugs only get 18 months? One of them even had a previous conviction for violent assault

A TV star who was viciously bashed believed he was going to die at the hands of his attackers.

The two men who brutally beat ABC television personality Rob "Tino" Carnevale and his friend Juke Jenyns were yesterday sentenced to at least a year and a half in jail for the unprovoked attack in November last year, The Mercury reports. Damion Robert Stuart Carlton and David Henry Donohue both pleaded guilty to the bashing of the Gardening Australia host that left him with multiple head and facial fractures and his friend with other serious injuries.

During the case in the Supreme Court in Hobart Mr Jenyns, 34, said he thought Mr Carnevale was going to die after he heard his head crack "like an egg".

Although the thugs had made an apology, Mr Carnevale said he was unable to accept it. "Our pain is continuing. It is hard to just put it behind us," Mr Carnevale said. "We live in a great city and a great state and Average Joe can't walk down the street without fearing for his life and that is not a good thing.

Justice David Porter described the act as "callous and heinous".


Some Australian consumer reports on "twisty" lightbulbs
Reports from different contributors to a consumer reports site below. Note that New Zealand has reversed its ban on incandescent globes

* They claim that the energy saving light bulbs lasts 10000 hours, if the one in my son's bedroom is on about 3 hours a day, it should last 9.1 years, well it lasted about 2 years, I have 4 of those light bulbs in my house and all are used around 3 to 5 hours a day and none last more then 2 years.

* From my experience the compact fluorescent lamps are very sensitive to heat and reqire good ventilation. They do not last long in enclosed light fittings. The spiral type tubes are less prone to trap a build up of dead moths and insects and are giving me much better service. I bought a six pack of 'Nelson' brand from Bunnings and the first two didn't last two nights so I returned them and got my money back. Perhaps you get what you pay for.

* Frequent switching on and off also reduces their lifespan. Fluorescent lighting (either compact or standard) generally works best in areas where the lights are switched on and off once or twice a day. If you're going to be out of the room for less than 5-10 minutes, you're better off leaving the light on the time you are out.

* Also, you get what you pay for, and the dearer ones tend to be better quality and last longer, much like everything else. Having said that I bought two Nelson ones at Bunnings a few years ago because they were on clearance (both had different covers on them). One lasted less than 6 months, the other one is still working fine as the main living room light. Most of the packaging will only say'up to 10,000 hours', or 8 times as long as an incandescent globe, as the 10,000 hours is pretty rare.

* So it's a bit of a scam then. "you get what you pay for". Actually I got them for free -- they were giving them away at the shopping center and I got quite a few. the point is, I like the old style light bulbs better, they cost 75 cents and last long enough.

* Not so much a scam, they use about 80% less electricity than the old incandescent light globes, but they do cost more. The basic style (either prongs or twist) are around $3.00-$3.50 each for a reasonable brand (I normally use Phillips, although I have a stash of free GE ones). So even if they only last the same time as incandescent globes, they work out cheaper in the long run due to their lower consumption. But for lights that are left on for reasonable periods of time such as living rooms, or bedrooms where children play, they should last considerably longer than incandescent globes.

There is also the possibility it was just a bad batch. I had some old incandescent globes once that lasted less than 3 months. Their replacements (same brand and type) lasted much much longer.

* "They use about 80% less electricity", well that's what we're told but do they??? My electricity bill didn't come down since I started using these bulbs; anyway I didn't notice it> What we do know for sure is that we have to pay 5 to 6 times more just to buy the bulb, and the old style bulbs are being phased out, so we don't have a choice, is it all for the sake of stopping this climate change?


Nasty council bureaucrats back down under union pressure

Update to a post on July 30th

TWO council workers at the centre of a steak sanga scandal have been reinstated. Mick Van Beek and Peter Anderson were sacked for using hot-mix bound for the tip to fill two potholes that were creating a hazard to elderly patrons at Leopold Sportsmans Club. They received a free steak sandwich for their efforts.

The Geelong Advertiser said the men would now be issued with a written warning.

Australian Services Union Geelong organiser Barry Miller said the council and the union had reached an agreement after five hours of conciliation talks last night. ''They have been reinstated effective from this morning,'' he said. ''Our lawyers are meeting in a conciliation meeting at 9.30am this morning to finalise the details of their return to work. ''We are over the moon. It's a very good outcome, it was the only outcome that could have come out of this whole farce."

Last week, the council offered to reinstate Mr Van Beek but refused to give Mr Anderson his job back on the basis of an incident that allegedly occurred back in 2001 but union officials rejected the offer.



In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is lending his support to AUSBUY, an organization that encourages Australians to buy Australian products

1 comment:

Gareth said...

I love that the government is making rules that will pretty much bankrupt businesses that make children’s products because of incredibly small amounts of lead, meanwhile they are making other rules that allow mercury to be in Light Bulb.