11/19/2012 : AUSSIE COPS IN HOT WATER OVER INTERNET ABUSE WHILE ON DUTY
Internal enquiry on online gambling, shopping and dating websites
A group of twenty officers from the Midland 000 Emergency Communications Centre in Western Australia have been brought before an internal inquiry citing widespread internet abuse, reports the Australian Sunday Times.
An unnamed Police insider said officers were placing football bets, gambling on horse races and other sports, perusing internet dating sites, watching movies and shopping on eBAY while on duty at the emergency "nerve" centre.
"There were people gambling, placing bets on horses and footy, tennis, you name it," the police insider said.
A spokesperson for the Western Australian Police Service said in reply to questions posed by the newspaper : "It has been confirmed by our Police Operations Centre that investigations into certain incidents of inappropriate computer use were carried out and have now concluded".
Under the WA Police Code of Conduct handbook examples of inappropriate internet use include accessing interactive games, downloading MP3 or similar files, downloading games and carrying out personal business on the internet such as share trading.
The investigation was initiated following a warning sent from an unnamed Assistant Commissioner to a senior constable stating that his internet use would be audited in relation to his access of online gambling websites amongst others.
In related news, similar action has been taken against a seven-officer Safer Neighbourhood Metropolitan Police Team in the Mottingham and Chislehurst North Ward of Bromley in the United Kingdom.
All seven either resigned or were dismissed when it emerged they had been playing backgammon and poker, watching TV, going for runs and failing to execute the tasks expected of them while on duty.
The investigation, undertaken by the Metropolitan Police Service's (MPS) Directorate of Professional Standards, found two members guilty of gross misconduct, dismissed a third while four others resigned. Three officers were additionally charged with police misconduct and criminal offences.
A Metropolitan Police Service Statement said:
"The disciplinary panel heard evidence that officers from the team had played backgammon and poker whilst on duty, watched TV in the office, frequently failed to go out on patrol, had not worked full tours of duty and also claimed overtime that had not been worked.
“In addition, one officer had gone out for runs during the working day whilst a further officer cleaned his golf clubs in the office.
“These activities appear to have taken place at the expense of policing duties, such as patrolling the local area.”
Commander Allan Gibson, head of the MPS Directorate of Professional Standards, said: “These officers let the whole of the service down with their behaviour; but more importantly they let down their local community.
“There is no place for lazy attitudes in the MPS and those who are found to be failing in their duties will be held to account.”