Opinion

Police lacking conscience

By Shepparton News

Police lacking conscience

- Kaz Gurney, Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre

MP Suzanna Sheed is concerned about the welfare and access to justice issues brought about by the concerted efforts of both sides of the political debate to be seen as ‘‘tough on crime’’.

We strongly agree with her recent comments to the Shepparton News that mandatory sentencing, harsher sentences and bail laws, and new anti-association laws all work against those who are most vulnerable in our community receiving proper justice outcomes.

Our laws are based on a foundation derived from Magna Carta that says a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Small comfort for ‘‘Kate’’ (not her real name), vulnerable and just a few weeks older than 18 years of age, who was arrested in Kilmore for breaching an intervention order by allegedly responding to contacts made by the ‘‘protected party’’, her former partner.

Kate was at home asleep when officers arrived last Friday. She was not permitted to dress properly before being transported to Shepparton where she was placed in the police cells. She spent the weekend locked up with inadequate clothing in primitive conditions.

When the matter finally went before Magistrate John Murphy on Monday, he expressed deep concern at her treatment before releasing her on a short bond without conviction.

Police then left Kate at the Shepparton railway station to make her way home to Kilmore inadequately dressed and without money or phone.

We note that a matter is already in the Supreme Court in which is it is being argued that police have a duty of care in circumstances of family violence matters.

We therefore wonder how Victoria Police could then sensibly and in good conscience contemplate leaving this vulnerable young woman in such a predicament?

Not listening

- Kevin Reid, Kialla

I write in response to the letter ‘‘Independent voice matters’’ published in last Thursday’s Shepparton News.

The author has posted that State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed ‘‘listens to all people’s problems’’.

It seems the only person she is listening to is Daniel Andrews.

If the member listened so well, why did she choose to ignore her constituents’ wishes and to vote with her Labor mates on so many important issues?

She ignored our wishes when she voted with Labor to destroy the CFA.

She ignored our wishes when she voted with Labor to destroy family-owned taxi businesses.

Ms Sheed also voted with her Labor mates to enact the union-driven labour hire laws that hurt our farmers so much.

Given that Ms Sheed has history of doing the opposite of what our community wants, it is no surprise she is doing it now.

Remember when she wanted to send our water away with the failed north south pipeline. This failed scheme cost us $750million.

We can’t afford to have our wishes ignored any longer.