Police stood down over allegations
The suggestion police should drive young offenders to remote areas and strand them as a method of “teaching them a lesson” has been branded “unacceptable” by Police Minister Liza Harvey.
The deputy premier said it was not a strategy she would encourage.
Her comments came as three constables were stood aside and placed under investigation by police internal affairs over allegations they verbally abused two teenage boys and dumped them on the outskirts of South Hedland last month, forcing them to walk up to 3km back to town.
Ms Harvey said it was fortunate no injury or harm came to the boys after the alleged incident.
Social media pages have been abuzz with members of the Hedland community saying they felt the officers were right to do what they had done.
An inquiry was launched into the June 11 incident after the parents of the two 14-year-olds complained to police.
Pilbara Superintendent Paul Coombes refused to release further details of the allegations against the officers but, police have confirmed the trio were stood aside from operational duties.
Supt Coombes said the alleged incident followed a “relentless series of issues” officers felt made it hard to police in South Hedland.
“Obviously we don’t want to have any allegations of misconduct against any police officers,” he said. “It is concerning that police officers overstepped the mark, if that is what has occurred.”
The internal inquiry is also investigating when the group’s supervisors found out what happened that night and what protocols were followed to report it.
Ms Harvey said she expected there was a “story behind the story” and there was probably a high level of frustration for the officers involved.
Supt Coombes ordered a separate review of policing in Hedland.