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Tuesday, 28 December 2010 13:07

Aussies sue over computer flawed arrests

Written by Nick Farell

Not fair dinkum
Aussies are rustling up a class-action after children and adults wrongly arrested and detained because of systemic computer problems.

A team of Sydney lawyers is planning a law suit over a legal system computer flaw that has led to dozens of people, including children, being wrongfully arrested and often falsely imprisoned. NSW Police paid more than $2.7 million in the last year to 22 people, including five juveniles, after officers made unlawful arrests wrongly alleging bail condition breaches.

But it turned out that the police computer system did not contain accurate information. The government has ignored requests to fix the problem and opted for the Kafkaesque approach of just arresting people.

Edward Santow, the chief executive of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre told the Sydney Morning Herald that the group had asked for the database to be fixed 10 times and each time been ignored. A lawsuit was seen as the only way to get the government to pay any attention to the problem, he said.

The problem was that when a bail condition such as an 8pm curfew expired or was removed, the information was not communicated to police, who then arrested and, in many cases, locked up people up. ''They go before a court. The court records are accurate and the police say 'sorry' and the state ends up with a compensation payment on its hands.''

Nick Farell

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+8 #1 Reavenk 2010-12-28 16:42
So citizens are getting falsely arrested, they have to pay compensations (I'm assuming out of tax payer funds), and they're being detained on the tax payers' dime - all while villanizing police officers who are just not being informed. I can see why they would be hesitant to fix it, it's obviously too much trouble for the insignificant problems it causes(*sarcasm ?).
-9 #2 East17 2010-12-29 01:53
The policeman's main problem should be : "making sure you,law enforcer, don't enforce an abuse or mistake" .

And they should take this seriously as I would disable any "law enforcer" if I know I'm innocent.

As a policeman, make sure you're not becoming the tool of oppression and abuse.

Last time something similar happened to me, 2 policemen apologized to me an thanked me for not putting then into a wheel chair.

They did not recognized me in the night but after the fact they knew they were wrong and, after checking me on their computer, they got to know that 7 years before, one of their colleagues ended up with the jaw fractured in 2 places and a broken leg despite the fact that he was armed.
-10 #3 East17 2010-12-29 01:54
Well .. that's life but "blindly obeying" and my supposed punishment for hitting (or killing) an officer is no compensation for a life time pain from a destroyed knee or 9 bashed in teeth.
+3 #4 romulous 2010-12-29 18:33
The AU political parties are only interested in winning elections, not fixing problems. Fixing problems is someone else's job. (but who?) :o

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