Police porn scandal

I am wondering if the Police have not slightly over-reacted with the news of 330 police officers being investigated for having inappropriate images in their e-mail.

Don’t get me wrong. I agree with the Police Association that the officers involved are bloody stupid and should know better. However lets remember this is not a case of police having gone to a site and downloaded images, but having received, presumably unsolicited, ‘humourous’ e-mails with adult content. Yes they should delete them after reading them, but I would have thought a memo firing a rocket up their behinds would be all that is needed.

Those who forwarded it on, may be in a bit more trouble. It is pretty stupid to do that on police e-mail accounts. At Parliament a few years ago, quite a few of us used to circulate very funny, yet potentially offensive to some, e-mails but we tended to do it through a private mailing list with our home e-mail addresses so it was not through the Parliament network. It is a judgement call for what is hilarious to 95% of people can still offend some others.

I used to apply a judgement test of could I send this e-mail onto my female friends, but unfortunately most of the worst stuff came from said female friends, so that was no help 🙂

The only time I recall I did misjudge was when a journalist sent me a website link which comes up with a cute rabbit bouncing through the woods and some very quiet dialogue. Naturally I, like everyone else, turned the volume up so I could hear what was being said and then 15 seconds into it the computer then shouts at full very loud volume “Hey, hey this person is looking at porn” repeatedly and the rabbit in woods image is replaced with some flashing adult content. A very naughty practical joke.

I laughed my head off at being taken in by such a simple trick, and naturally forwarded it on to a few friends. I discovered that not all of them liked having their computer shout out at full volume embarrasing things 🙂

Anyway I digress. The police officers involved have been stupid, but unless the material was illegal rather than just inappropriate, I would have thought that a series of verbal reamings would have been the way to handle most of it. The more serious images, and it sounds like there are a few, would need formal disciplinary action though.

As a side-bar to all this, the Government is referring this to the stalled Commission of Inquiry into how the police dealt with complaints involving police and sexual allegations. What they have tried to hide is that the original commission was set up in a knee-jerk fashion, spent millions and then had to stop work as it interfered with the criminal investigation, and so now has been restructured to hide that it was a total waste of time.

The Government needs to stop reacting in such a knee-jerk fashion, and think through consequences. All the mess about the Foreshore is because they panicked and did a knee-jerk press conference announcing they would legislate, rather than let the judicial process take its course. The same happened here where they should have awaited for the final criminal investigations to be done, before looking at a wider ranging commission.

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