Thursday, April 8, 2010

Schapelle Corby, Anna Bligh & Australia's Keystone Cops . . .

Well this morning I rang Anna Bligh's office back, about this serious complaint to her police force, to absolutely confirm what her staff had told me yesterday, namely . . .

1. No-one in Anna Bligh's office will speak to me.

2. No-one in Anna Bligh's office will ever speak to me.

3. This is not the Premier's responsibility.

It was a little hard for me to believe that, and also to believe that Anna Bligh's staff had the arrogance to say it so bluntly. I presumed it may have been said in the heat of the moment, so I wanted to give Anna a fair opportunity to correct the public record. I politely announced who I was, and then quoted those three points, saying that obviously, there had to be some mistake, and maybe a professional PR person, or senior policy advisor, could correct a misunderstanding.

I was left hanging for about 5 minutes, listening to background music, when suddenly, without warning, I got an "Engaged" tone. Obviously, I assumed I'd inadvertently been cut off, so I rang back. Before I even got the words out, I was abruptly instructed that I was "Not" to call Anna Bligh's office, ever, and that no-one there (ever), would take my call. Then I heard a click, and they hung up on me. I called back many more times, each time they simply put the phone down on me when they heard my voice. It's beyond bizarre. All I've ever asked for (politely), is to speak to senior policy advisor, in regard to a very high profile criminal complaint, because no-one within the Queensland Police Service will tell me if this investigation is even going ahead, and I can't get any answer on this from the Police Minister's Office either.

It's not rocket science, was the cultivation and supply of $40,000 worth of marijuana investigated by the Queensland Police in 2004, or wasn't it? Was anyone ever charged with this crime, or weren't they? And if Schapelle's home was not searched or investigated for evidence of drug trafficking, and the same goes for her banking and phone records, what an earth is going on?

Anyway, not to be deterred, I then rang the Police Minister's Officer, and got a slightly more civilised response. However, I was told there wasn't ONE senior policy advisor there (in the office), e.g. someone with the experience and authority to provide me with a reliable answer to a simple question, "Is this investigation into drug cultivation and supply going ahead, or isn't it?"

Anyway, the receptionist in the Police Minister's Office did go out of her way to be helpful (thank you), and suggested that maybe this was a police "Operational" matter, that was not the Minister's responsibility. OK then I said, I'll call Bob Atkinson.

When I rang, I was told that Bob Atkinson "Doesn't take calls from the public." However, when I explained what I was asking about, they put me through Senior Police Officer Peter Crawford. His normal portfolio is child protection, so I guess he must have been filling in.

He told me that a letter is being prepared for me, and that he couldn't tell me definitely (one way or the other), whether the cultivation and supply of $40,000 worth of marijuana, supposedly to a long-term resident of Queensland, who began her journey on the Gold Coast, was a Federal Police matter, or a Queensland Police matter. When I asked to be put through to someone who could direct me on that very simple point of police jurisdiction, he said that he was unable to do that. Peter Crawford also tape recorded our conversation, a measure I had absolutely no problem with (and something I welcomed wholeheartedly, and I hope it's preserved, because I will be requesting it under FOI). Unfortunately, I did not have the benefit of a tape recording, so this is written with the benefit of my notes, and my best recollection. Please correct me Peter if you feel I've misrepresented you in any way, and I'll do something about it straight away.

Anyway, onwards and upwards (as always). I rang the Australian Federal Police on their crime reporting line, and eventually spoke to a senior supervisor there, called Dean. He said that he's worked there for 3 years, and worked in the courts for 6 years before that. I carefully explained the situation to him, and he said that without a doubt, the cultivation and supply of that $40,000 worth of drugs was a Queensland Police matter. He re-iterated it several times, and was unequivocal in his verdict.

So, I then rang the Queensland Police again, and asked to speak to Peter Crawford, to give him this information. He was unavailable. I asked if he could call me back, he never did. I also explained to the police officer who took my call that maybe the Queensland Police needed some urgent in-service education on their area of responsibility and jurisdiction. Seems this most basic information is severely lacking, even at their most senior levels.

I then rang the Police Minister's office, to complain about this basic lack of understanding (re jurisdiction), in senior police ranks. Surprise, surprise - no-one could talk to me, and there was no firm time anyone would ever be available. They have my phone number, but given that no-one in the Queensland Government has ever called me back on this issue (even when I've asked), I'm not holding my breadth.

This blog now has thousands of followers, all over the World - and as of this moment, the Queensland Police are too incompetent to give a straight answer on what their responsibility is, and what it isn't. Hardly rocket science, at least, you'd think not.

I'll call back Monday to drive that point home. Hopefully, someone will have the guts to speak to me about it.

Next episode HERE