Former police commissioner to be investigated for crime

p2202-John-McRoberts-1LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – The Government has received a report into the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner’s investigation of the former NT Police Commissioner Mr John McRoberts (pictured with a naval officer) and NT Police Commander Mr Richard Bryson.

 

The investigation was carried out by Mr John Taylor, the former Deputy Ombudsman of Victoria, assisted by Ms Caroline Norrington.

 

The report recommends that the conduct of Mr McRoberts be investigated for the criminal offence of attempting to pervert the course of justice. The report recommends this investigation be carried out by experienced investigators from interstate.

 

While the report found Commander Bryson’s conduct was not improper within the meaning of the Public Interest Disclosure Act, it recommends disciplinary action be taken against him.

 

The Minister for Police has accepted both recommendations. The Solicitor-General has been instructed to take the necessary steps to implement the recommendations.

 

Mr Taylor has also referred a number of administrative issues to the NT Ombudsman for appropriate action.

 

The report also recommends the Government move quickly to permanently fill the executive positions within the NT Police, including the positions of Police Commissioner and Deputy Police Commissioner. The Government supports this recommendation and will move as quickly as possible to make these appointments.

 

Mr Taylor also recommends that Government not make the report public as doing so would have the potential to prejudice any future proceedings.

 

In light of the Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner’s recommendations and separate legal advice it received on Friday, the Government has accepted the advice that given the other investigations and proceedings in train it would not be appropriate to convene a judicial inquiry into these matters.

 

The Government further considers that the inquiry conducted by Mr Taylor was sufficiently robust to not require a judicial inquiry.

 

Adam Giles
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
Peter Chandler
Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services

 

 

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