Neil Mitchell says Victoria Police needs a drastic overhaul in the wake of ‘appalling’ royal commission revelations
The Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants is well underway, with former chief commissioner Simon Overland giving evidence for a second day today.
Mr Overland has come under scrutiny for his insistence he did not know gangland lawyer turned police informer, Nicola Gobbo, was informing on her clients.
But Neil Mitchell says there’s a much bigger issue at the core of the royal commission’s revelations.
“This is going to lead to the reshaping of Victoria Police, it’s that important,” the 3AW Mornings host told Tony Jones, who is filling in for him over the summer break.
“Potentially his reputation is on the line and worse, but I don’t think Simon Overland is the key issue here. I think the future of the police force is.”
Neil Mitchell said former deputy commissioner Sir Ken Jones’s comments made at the royal commission last Friday about police culture, and corruption within the force, are revealing.
“He said there was a huge culture problem in the police force, which means it’s failing us. He said that the government wanted to manipulate the crime statistics on the eve of the election through John Brumby and the minister,” he said.
“The government, he is saying, effectively misled the public on the eve of the election.
“That is appalling stuff!”
But the revelations from Sir Jones didn’t end there.
“He said Carl Williams was murdered in jail, assisted by either corrupt or compromised corrections officials. So what he is saying is that, somewhere within the system somebody has helped to facilitate a murder in jail!,” Neil said.
“This could be just the beginning of the whole thing, you know, these are extraordinary allegations!”
Neil Mitchell said if the allegations are correct the police force surely requires a complete overhaul.
“I think the minister is just going to have to reshape the whole thing,” he said.
“I think the choice of the next chief commissioner is crucial, but there also needs to be a cultural change.
“When Ken Jones said they’re serving their bosses, they’re working for political reasons rather than for the law, that’s atrocious and we can’t tolerate that.
“If a society doesn’t stand by its own laws it’s not much of a society.”
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