Major Crime to lead probes involving police officers
THE WA Police Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) will no longer be the lead investigator on incidents involving police after a review into a shooting in Carlisle last year.
WA Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan announced last week that Major Crime would now solely investigate incidents such as police shootings and car crashes involving police vehicles.
These investigations were originally carried out by both Major Crime and IAU.
On November 8, a Carlisle man holding a hostage, died after he was shot by police officers when nego- tiations failed.
Brendan John Lindsay walked into The Lunch Club deli in Carlisle about 8am and held a 37-year-old female staff member at knifepoint.
When attempts to negotiate with him failed, officers fired their weapons. The man and the hostage received gunshot wounds but he was declared dead at the scene.
After the shooting, the officers involved were arrested following WA Police protocol, and one officer was not allowed to wash blood off his arm.
A number of concerns about the treatment of the officers, including their arrests, were raised after the incident and Mr O’Callaghan was asked to conduct a review.
He said one concern raised was how long the officers were left on the street, arrested, and in front of the public.
Mr O’Callaghan has changed the policy to protect the safety and welfare of police officers.
Major Crime will now be the lead investigative unit while the IAU will audit the quality of the investigation.
He said officer safety and welfare was paramount and will be put ahead of preserving forensic material such as blood on officers.
Officers under investigation will be moved quickly from the public eye to alleviate some of their stress.
The officers involved in the shooting were back on duty and no charges have been laid.