Thursday, January 26, 2017

How our police utterly failed us

We had a lovely brunch of baked eggs in an area we don't normally visit, Hardware Lane at a place called Triim. Mine were with chorizo, R's with mushrooms. You probably have to be Australian to get this, but it was the first time I actually heard someone order smashed avocado. R picked up his new supply of contact lenses from the optometrist and we wandered down Bourke Street to Myer to buy a dress for the almost 1 year old Little Em for her birthday. It was unavoidable that we would we see the flowers and toys laid out in memory of those slain last Friday. We almost bumped into former police commissioner Christine Nixon as she crossed the street. She was also on site last Friday as the event unfolded and assisted.


R stopped for a while and looked at the mass of flowers. I thought it would be in bad taste to take a photo, so I didn't and no-one else seemed to do so either. I also did not want to hang around and end up being someone dependent on the volunteers who were handing tissues to mop up tears.

Now for the hard part. Wisdom with hindsight? I am not so sure. The police had a number of opportunities over the day to stop the alleged murderer who, it is alleged, almost murdered his gay brother, beat up the former partner of his mother and stole his car, nearly ran down people in Clarendon Street, South Melbourne, took a hostage who escaped, seemed to be off his tree in Yarraville, burnt doughnuts outside Flinders Street Station while police stopped the traffic, had been charged with family violence offences before he tried to murder his brother and had a very long list of previous crimes. Why on earth was he bailed?

Not one police officer knew what the horrific outcome would be as they trailed this out of control person around Melbourne on the day. No matter what the police did, they would be damned if they did and they are certainly damned that they didn't. I am only a humble ill educated wage slave but to me it appears to be a drastic failure of policing. Someone like the person it is alleged committed the crime should have been stopped, straight away, by whatever method would work at the time.

I don't blame any police officer on the ground. No doubt directions came from on high, but it is as simple as this, Victoria's police force failed to protect its citizens when there were multiple opportunities to do so. Wisdom with hindsight undoubtedly, but that is the essence of it.

32 comments:

  1. Andrew, I have read an interesting story about Melbourne so it is really great multuiculural city...

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    1. Gosia, very much a multicultural city and the better for it.

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    2. Hi Gosia - multicultural since the traditional aboriginal landowner occupants were displaced by colonisation and London transporting it's criminals here in 1840's then the Gold Rush of 1850 brought all nations, then Melbourne was changed enormously by 1956 Olympics when many athletes just remained here [Europe still post war shocked] and our available food in particular became more exciting as a result. Melbourne is biggest concentration of Greeks outside of Greece. We are ALL immigrants and refugees.

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  2. I found it very difficult to read about the slaughter of those innocent victims in Melbourne. I know hindsight is a wonderful thing but it does seem that the those in authority do not learn from their mistakes. Someone who is mentally ill with violent tendencies should not be wandering the streets.

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    1. Marie, yours is unassailable logic. Mental illness, probably drugs and violent tendencies. What can go wrong?

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  3. It is on record and his record that the alleged perpetrator displayed earlier signs of his mental instability. The 'failure' was well before police on the murderous day.
    He was violent to his very exotic looking 'girlfriend', and stabbed his brother 'for being gay' it has been reported. Also reported, his recent conversion to Islam, and that he was under the influence of methamphetamine. The foreign criminals who import this vile drug by the shipload have to be stopped and severely dealt with. Moron bogans under its influence are harming partners and small children too frequently.
    We are all gutted with sympathy for the parents of the tiny baby and of course those who can do it, express this by leaving flowers at the intersection. I do agree with your decision to not photograph the growing mound.
    Many other people who were on the streets are badly affected by shock/trauma so in Melbourne this week, treat everybody gently.
    Before the human carnage, I was briefly hysterical for the safety of those nearby horses doomed to drag idiot tourists around.
    Also spare a thought fore the owner of the stolen car used.
    Psychiatrically disturbed people are not sufficiently helped by our health system. Relatives may report them to family doctors, who are forced to respond "he is an adult and we cannot make him go to a facility until he harms someone". This is to protect you and I from being locked up on the say-so of ... a psychiatrically disturbed person. Life is a jungle dear readers. Wishing you all safe, esp the Highrisers.

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    1. Annie, meth does seem to be a really bad drug yet its highest use is among the gay community who don't seem to react to it in the same way boof heads do. The horses shoudl be moved to somewhere more horse friendly and not such a busy street. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

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    2. I didn't know that thanks Andrew. I live where I am the only gay in the village. I do know that bad people on LSD have bad trips, and sweet trippers have a lovely time, so there may be a connection like that.

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    3. Annie, it goes back to even older days, happy drunks and nasty drunks.

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  4. Sigh. They were definitely damned whatever they did. Police chases here are cut short quickly. Which the criminals know.
    I suspect the fault started with the justice system. This man should not have been out on bail. Which rubs salt into the already bleeding wounds of the bereaved.

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    1. EC, I should imagine those left behind must be feeling some anger along with terrible grief.

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  5. The courts, the weak justice system failed the people.

    Smashed avocado was the "in" food of 2016! It's out of fashion for 2017! ;)

    For goodness sake! We've been smashing avos for years and years, and it hasn't cost an arm and leg to do so, and partake in!

    We were even filling halved avos with seafood and baking them (briefly, otherwise they gain a metallic-aluminium taste if they in the oven too long - I wrote about this not that long ago in my blog)at a restaurant we managed at Noosaville back in the early 80s.

    On this property here where I dwell there are 12 or so avocado trees growing and producing - abundantly.

    Tamborine Mountain is an avo tree-growing area. The place is loaded with them.

    I "smash" them and have them on toast every other day (but I spread the flesh on the toast...it's much kinder and more gentle that way - unless I want to vent for whatever reason! :) Often I make guacamole and eat them that way.

    When spread on toast, avocado is great topped with sliced tomato, salt and freshly ground pepper (of course), and sprinkled with curry powder...as much as or as little as, according to personal preference/taste.

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    1. Lee, I too rather like avocado. We once had an avocado tree that grew from a stone rather than a graft. In about its seventh year it gave us a solitary fruit and it was delicious. We only ever had the one.

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  6. Dreadful state of affairs.
    Police I believe are not permitted to chase cars too far, their hands a tied and very frustrating for them.
    The whole Justice system needs a good shake up in so many areas it's hard to know where to begin.

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    1. Margaret, the police won't actually say what their policy is after the no chase at all was lifted. It must have been hard for them to not 'take him down' when they had chances. Yes, the system does need a shake up.

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  7. Oh Andrew ..... we are all to blame. It's the system not just the police. We have all become way too soft and way too politically correct. There's an excuse for everyone and everything these days. If I hear one more time someone had a bad childhood and thats why he/she did whatever I'll scream. Life's tough for everyone. Get over it and be kind to one another. Do something evil and rot in gaol forever, I say.
    Avocado and Vegemite on toast is great for brekky. Charlie likes it too.

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    1. Charlie's mum, I essentially agree. We are old fashioned in our views but children need to brought up with much clearer ideas of standards of behaviour. R does not like Vegemite but of course I was brought up on it and why didn't I think of vegemite and avocado?

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  8. and yet someone acting drunk and disorderly is hauled in to spend time in the cells until sober.
    I don't care about "damned if they do and damned if they don't", at the first available opportunity, the police should have taken him in.

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    1. River, and the drunk person would probably better taken home and put to bed. Thanks for you endorsement.

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  9. I don't know how your legal system works...But here it seem like money talks.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Dora, sadly I can only say our legal system does not work very well at all, at times.

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  10. The Age said Dimitrious Gargasoulas was off his tree. Insane. Violent. Totally out of control.

    Certainly the coroner has to look at bail, the police and every other thing. But the mental health system probably failed the system even more. If the carnage was even vaguely predictable by psychiatrists, I would be happy if the alleged killer was locked up forever in a secure mental hospital and not in a gaol.

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    1. Hels, R suspects that is what will happen to him, if proven guilty, living a life of indulged comfort. I am not so sure. I think he may well just go to gaol. What must he be thinking now, presumably without any drugs? Too late for regrets, but how does his mind work?

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  11. I'm not sure the police on the ground were at fault. I think they made what would normally be the right choices, and in this case it turned out very, very badly. Like everyone else, I can't believe he was bailed. Why does this seem to keep happening? But I am very curious as to why and how these bail decisions are made. There must be some reason why dangerous people keep getting bail. What are the pressures on the bail judges? What are the guidelines and rules around granting bail? Are the prisons too full, and if so why?

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    1. Jackie, I am not really saying they were, but it was a failure of policing for some reason and given the result, how could the police response be correct? He was known to be a violent drug user who was clearly out of control. Don't forget the person who made the decision to bail him was a bail justice, a volunteer position. Now there is doubt that the police opposed bail at all as the is no official notation that they did. One thing I am sure of, the police are quite happy to lock people up and if prisons are too full, not their problem but the government's problem.

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  12. I think you have hit the nail on the head Andrew. directions from higher up were.. not there!

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    1. I think so Grace. Lack of autonomy for the police on the ground.

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    1. To add to the discussion...it's always easy for us who weren't players in what went on to voice our opinions.

      As someone said the other day, and it made a lot of sense to me...

      "This wasn't a movie. This was reality. And reality is a hell of a lot different to a movie!"

      I think what we watch on hour-long episodes of TV series, and two or so hours of filmed fiction has affected what we expect should happen in reality.

      It doesn't quite work that way, unfortunately.

      Scripts and action scenes are written, filmed and adhered to in the production of movies/TV series..., but not in real life.

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    2. The one major difference here is that in TV shows, violent or not, the "dead" people aren't really dead. In real life, they can't just get up and walk away when the scene is done. I remember making sure my children understood the difference from a very early age. Some of the trouble these days "may" be that people who are unwell mentally, may not make that connection. Of course drug fuelled rage is another entirely different thing.

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    3. Lee, quite so. Not a movie or a tv show. I still stand by the essence of what I said though. Given his history, the police should have acted earlier.

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    4. River, yes that may well be. Interesting to ponder, and yes, I will wear that.

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