FAKE COPS: Major bungle sees more than 1,000 Victorian police officers wrongly sworn in – so how did it happen?
- 1260 officers from Victoria police force wrongly sworn in over seven year period
- Sworn in by acting assistant commissioners who didn’t have required powers
- Affected officers must be sworn in again before they can return to police duties
Hundreds of police officers have been caught up in an embarrassing administrative bungle that went on for seven years.
Victoria Police Commissioner Shane Patton has revealed 1260 officers from the state’s force were wrongly sworn in between July 2014 and August last year.
Affected officers must be sworn in again before they resume police duties.
The bungle was caused by amendments to legislation nine years ago, where acting assistant commissioners needed to be appointed by the chief commissioner, or by a deputy commissioner with the authority delegated to them before they could swear in new recruits.
Hundreds of police officers in Victoria (pictured) will be urgently sworn in again
A review identified 1076 police graduates were sworn in by acting assistant commissioners who didn’t have the required powers.
A further 157 protective service officers and 29 police custody officers were also wrongly sworn in.
Victoria Police will immediately swear in more than half of the affected officers on Thursday.
‘We are confident this administrative error will be corrected next month and there will be no ongoing ramifications for impacted staff or any of their court matters,’ Commissioner Patton said.
The Victorian government is in the process of drafting legislation to fix the error.
‘My priority and the priority of the government is now to fix this issue, to do so with retrospective legislation, to get it through as quickly as possible,’ police minister Lisa Neville said.
She stressed affected officers acted in good faith and remain vital members of the police force.
Around 1260 officers from Victoria’s police force were wrongly sworn in between July 2014 and August last year (stock image)
The state’s Police Association is aware of the ‘unintended and highly technical administrative error.’
‘We understand that Victoria Police will move decisively and quickly to remedy this situation so that our members can get back to doing what they do best, looking after the community,’ a statement read.
‘We will support the members impacted in any way we can and ensure that their legal and industrial rights are protected, as this issue is rectified.’