QUESTIONS must be asked about the state’s bail laws when a man accused of seriously assaulting a serving police officer is allowed straight back on the streets.
Because if any group in our community should expect special protection from the law, it must be those charged with upholding the law.
With that in mind, the case of the 68-year-old former police officer granted bail despite being charged with an assault that left a female officer nursing facial injuries demands closer scrutiny.
It may be holiday time for the state’s politicians, but Attorney General Brad Hazzard and Police Minister Stuart Ayres both owe it to our Police Force to make this case a priority.
It will be up to the courts to decide the guilt or otherwise of the accused man, but every police officer walking the beat today has the right to feel safe as they go about their duty.
Over the past two days, this newspaper has tried to get comment on this case from both the attorney general and police minister but without luck. Hopefully that will change today as they come to appreciate the potential seriousness of this case.
And, hopefully, the state government will not try to draw political capital from this case by using it to highlight the inadequacy of existing bail laws.
Stricter laws will come into effect next month after the government fast-tracked the process to ensure they were in place before the election on March 28.
And they might deserve some credit for the changes if not for the fact that it was thisgovernment that watered down the laws in the first place. Since the changes were approved, however, there has been an attempt to rewrite history to distance the government from thedecision of its former attorney general.
But don’t expect the voters to be so easily fooled.
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