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Australia Tas police apologise over pedophile probe

07:36  26 february  2021
07:36  26 february  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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Tasmanian police received multiple complaints about an alleged pedophile nurse in the decade before he was charged, according to a review which found failures in the investigation process.

Tasmania's top cop has apologised for the way complaints against an alleged pedophile were handled. © Brendan Esposito/AAP PHOTOS Tasmania's top cop has apologised for the way complaints against an alleged pedophile were handled.

The state's top cop has formally apologised to survivors over the investigation into James Geoffrey Griffin, who took his own life in October 2019.

In the months prior, Mr Griffin was charged with a string of child sex offences including indecent assault and distributing and producing child exploitation material.

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An internal Tasmania Police report, released on Friday, revealed complaints against Mr Griffin were received in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015.

A lack of information sharing between child safety services and police was to blame for the 2011 allegations of historical abuse not proceeding further, the review found.

In 2015, police received information from the Australian Federal Police relating to Mr Griffin, sexual offending and child exploitation material.

The report found "deficiencies in the management of this information", which is the subject of an ongoing professional standards investigation.

No further details were provided in the report.

A victim came forward to police in May 2019 with historical accusations against Mr Griffin and he was stood down from his job at the Launceston General Hospital in late July.

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"We are truly sorry for any harm caused to the victims who were let down by deficiencies in our investigative process at the time," Tasmania Police Commissioner Darren Hine said.

The handling of the investigation will be further probed this year by a broad-ranging inquiry which will examine the handling of sexual abuse allegations in Tasmanian institutions.

The inquiry was launched in November by the state government after accusations around Mr Griffin and workers at the Ashley Youth Detention Service came to light.

Since then, 14 state service employees have been stood down in relation to contemporary and historical sexual abuse allegations.

"My expectation is that no stone be left unturned. I want to do this job once, I want to do it right," Premier Peter Gutwein said.

In 2013, child safety services raised concerns with police that Mr Griffin had inappropriately touched and groomed children, the report said.

Child safety services spoke to Mr Griffin and the alleged victim, who both denied inappropriate behaviour, but police did not speak to either of the pair.

In 2009, police investigated a report from interstate agencies that Mr Griffin had taken photos of children in a public place but determined there was no evidence he'd committed an offence.

Mr Gutwein has committed $1.5 million towards a historical complaints review process, while Tasmania Police has promised several process changes.

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After Floyd killing in US, no sweeping police reform but small, local steps .
George Floyd's death at the hands of a white police officer last year was a gut punch that sparked sometimes violent nationwide protests over brutality against people of color in America and a national reckoning over race relations. "I think some of that assumption is being upset by video, and protests and narratives about people who are killed by the police who are no way violent," she said.Nine months later, the US has not undertaken any radical overhaul of its police forces, but is instead taking incremental and localized steps to better tackle excess force and racism in the ranks of its law enforcement agencies.

usr: 0
This is interesting!