REVEALED: Police officers slammed after being caught issuing more than 250,000 fake breath tests over five years
- Victoria Police under fire in independent review into the fake breath test rort
- Internal investigation revealed officers faked 258,463 breath tests over 5 years
- Review described the rort as ‘completely unacceptable’ and an ‘ethical failure’
An inquiry has slammed Victoria Police for a ‘lack of ethics’ in a damning new independent review into fake breath-testing.
The inquiry was launched last year after an internal investigation revealed officers had faked 258,463 breath tests over a five-and-half year period.
Retired police commissioner Neil Comrie released the findings of his independent review Taskforce Deliver on Tuesday, which described the rort as ‘completely unacceptable’ and an ‘ethical failure’, the Herald Sun reported.
An independent review found that Victoria Police officers manipulated breath test devices to boost the number of tests conducted (stock image)
Senior police instructed new recruits to carry out falsified breath tests, according to the review findings.
‘It has been a common experience for new recruits to be inducted into the practice early in their careers through instruction from more experienced members,’ the report stated.
The report also found that police manipulated breath test devices to boost the number of tests conducted.
A statewide directive was issued in 2017 to increase preliminary breath tests from 3.2 million conducted the previous year to 4.5 million.
An inquiry was launched after an internal investigation revealed Victorian Police officers had faked 258,463 breath tests over a five-and-half year period (stock image)
The directive was criticised in the report which said it was ‘not based on any credible scientific evidence and was based on the number of ‘Victorian licence holders at the time.
The report said there was no suggestion any drivers had been wrongly prosecuted and that there was no evidence to suggest the police behaviour was criminal, the Herald Sun reported.
Teste were faked because of the burden of unrealistic quotas for statistical purposes, according to Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt.
“When it becomes more important to meet quotas than to catch drink drivers, the system needs recalibrating,’ he told The Age.
Road Policing Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane welcomed the findings and said all 23 recommendations would be adopted.
The independent review was conducted by retired police commissioner Neil Comrie
The state government plans to work with Victoria Police to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
‘It is extremely disappointing and unacceptable that it happened in the first place – it’s wrong, it’s a breach of trust, and it won’t be tolerated,’ police minister Lisa Neville said.