A female officer with Victoria Police, who served for 16 years, has resigned in protest against the use of police to enforce Covid-19 rules, saying in an interview that a “great majority” of her colleagues shared her sentiments.
…Some rough behavior by the police during the pandemic might be partially explained by the enforcement approach taken by Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, Mitchell suggested. “I think that the reason, or the issue, in why perhaps police [are] feeling more emboldened to act the way they are in relation to these harsher actions is because of the messaging that comes from Dan [Andrews],” who tells the law enforcers what to do “on a daily basis,” she said.
Acting Senior Sergeant Krystle Mitchell is a sworn member of the Victoria Police in Australia. She has served Victorians for 16 years as a police officer including 6 years at Professional Standards Command – the division responsible for investigating police misconduct, corruption, discrimination and freedom of information, referring investigations to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) where appropriate.
Acting Senior Sergeant Mitchell cites ethical conflicts as the reason for speaking publicly about conduct of Victoria Police officers, their Chief Commissioner – Shane Patton, their Minister – the Hon. Lisa Neville MP, and ultimately their Premier – the Hon. Daniel Andrews MP. She feels she can no longer remain silent with the division between police and community is growing, and totally ignored by the leadership of both the police and government.
Despite a promise to focus on ‘Community Policing’ and ‘Back to Basics’ policing by Shane Patton, Acting Senior Sergeant Mitchell has witnessed the opposite trajectory during the Covid-19 pandemic and is reminding her colleagues that ultimately they will individually be held accountable for their actions, and are still subject to s 462A of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) which forbids the disproportionate use of force.
She is also calling for Victoria Police to remain consistent to the values, ethics and decision making frameworks (such as SELF) that it used to demand of its members a mere 2 years ago.