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Police can't set themselves above the law

Police can't set themselves above the law

The police would lose credibility if officers were given immunity from private prosecution, Green Justice spokesperson Nandor Tanczos said today.

"We are totally opposed to what the Police Commissioner's suggesting," said Nandor. "Remember, the Abbott case is the first time such a public prosecution of an officer has ever been brought. Their ability to do their job is not being in any way compromised.

"As the Abbott trial quite clearly showed, police have the benefit of a legal defence not available to members of the public: they can claim their actions were carried out in the line of duty.

"It is essential for their credibility that police are not seen to be above the law, especially as the Police Complaints Authority does lack credibility and the trust of the public to investigate officers.

"In the Abbott case there was clearly enough evidence to prosecute, yet police were happy to drop the case. This is not in the best interest of the force.

"Regardless of the fact the Constable Abbott was found not guilty, if he hadn't been brought to trial there would have remained the strong public perception of a police cover-up," said Nandor.

"Police are doing themselves no favours by trying to separate themselves from the very laws they are trying to enforce."

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