Brett Clifford SINCLAIR – V.A.

( late of Eastwood )

New South Wales Police Force

Regd. # 21771

Rank:  Constable

Stations?, Parramatta HWP

ServiceFrom  8 December 1984  to  25 October 1988 = 3+ years Service

Awards:  Commissioner’s Valour Award for Bravery and Devotion to Duty

Born12 March 1959

Died on:  Tuesday  25 October 1988

Cause:  Murdered – by motor vehicle

Event location:  Jeffrey Ave, Nth Parramatta

Age:  29

Funeral date:  Friday  28 October 1988 @ 11am

Funeral location:  St Anne’s Anglican Church. Church Street, Ryde.

Buried at:  Cremated

 Memorial at:  National Police Wall of Remembrance, Canberra &

Parramatta Police Station, NSW.

 

BRETT IS mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance

BRETT CLIFFORD SINCLAIR NSWPF MURDERED ON 25 OCTOBER 1988 BY SEMI TRAILER DRIVER. https://www.australianpolice.com.au/brett-clifford-sinclair/

BRETT CLIFFORD SINCLAIR
Touch plate at the National Police Wall of Remembrance, Canberra


 

 

FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.

PLEASE SEND PHOTOS AND INFORMATION TO Cal

BRETT CLIFFORD SINCLAIR NSWPF MURDERED ON 25 OCTOBER 1988 BY SEMI TRAILER DRIVER. https://www.australianpolice.com.au/brett-clifford-sinclair/

Hanging at Parramatta Police stn. Constable Brett Clifford Sinclair V.A.
Murdered On Duty 25 October 1988.
” Our Mate “

 

BRETT CLIFFORD SINCLAIR NSWPF MURDERED ON 25 OCTOBER 1988 BY SEMI TRAILER DRIVER. https://www.australianpolice.com.au/brett-clifford-sinclair/ PARRAMATTA POLICE STN In Memory of Constable Brett Clifford Sinclair of Parramatta District Highway Patrol who died as a result of injuries sustatined during his attempt to halt the driver of a truck who had threatened the lives of innocent members of the community at North Parramatta, Tuesday 25th October 1988. Constable Brett Clifford Sinclair V.A. Murdered On Duty 25 October 1988. " Our Mate "

PARRAMATTA POLICE STN
In Memory of Constable Brett Clifford Sinclair of Parramatta District Highway Patrol who died as a result of injuries sustained during his attempt to halt the driver of a truck who had threatened the lives of innocent members of the community at North Parramatta, Tuesday 25th October 1988.

 

BRETT CLIFFORD SINCLAIR NSWPF MURDERED ON 25 OCTOBER 1988 BY SEMI TRAILER DRIVER. https://www.australianpolice.com.au/brett-clifford-sinclair/ BRETT SINCLAIR BELOVED HUSBAND, SON AND BROTHER. 12-3-1959 - 25-10-1988 SADLY MISSED

BRETT SINCLAIR
BELOVED HUSBAND, SON AND BROTHER.
12-3-1959 – 25-10-1988
SADLY MISSED

BRETT CLIFFORD SINCLAIR NSWPF MURDERED ON 25 OCTOBER 1988 BY SEMI TRAILER DRIVER. https://www.australianpolice.com.au/brett-clifford-sinclair/

BRETT CLIFFORD SINCLAIR NSWPF MURDERED ON 25 OCTOBER 1988 BY SEMI TRAILER DRIVER. https://www.australianpolice.com.au/brett-clifford-sinclair/

National Police Wall of Remembrance Family – paying respect on Brett’s death anniversary – 2015

BRETT CLIFFORD SINCLAIR NSWPF MURDERED ON 25 OCTOBER 1988 BY SEMI TRAILER DRIVER. https://www.australianpolice.com.au/brett-clifford-sinclair/

 

About 5.50pm on 25 October, 1988 Constable Sinclair suffered severe head and internal injuries at North Parramatta whilst attempting to arrest an offender following a domestic dispute. Earlier, police had been called to assist ambulance officers at the disturbance in Jeffrey Avenue. The offender, who was bleeding from the arm, had locked himself in his truck. While Constable Sinclair and Constable Cummins spoke with him, he continually threatened them while revving up his truck engine. As the police approached the offender wound up his window. The police then smashed the window and attempted to remove the driver from the cabin of the truck. With both police standing on the step of the truck, the offender began to drive along Jeffrey Avenue.

Constable Cummins was able to get off the step, but due to his falling to the roadway, was unable to assist his colleague.

The truck’s speed increased with Constable Sinclair still partially inside, and partially outside, the cabin. The offender then drove across the roadway where the vehicle collided with a tree, crushing the constable.

He was conveyed to the Westmead Hospital where he died a short time later. Constable Sinclair was awarded the Commissioner’s Valour Award for Bravery and Devotion to Duty.

 

The constable was born in 1959 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 8 December, 1984. At the time of his death he was attached to the Parramatta Highway Patrol.

 

 

Pre Police, Brett worked for QANTAS

 

 

The Sydney Morning Herald     27 October 1988     p36

The relatives and friends of the late BRETT CLIFFORD SINCLAIR (Cons NSW Police Force), of Eastwood, are invited to attend his funeral, tomorrow (Friday), to leave St Anne’s Anglican Church. Church Street. Ryde., 11am.

At the conclusion of the service the funeral will leave for the Northern Suburbs Crematorium.

DIGNIFIED FUNERALS.

FDA -NSW. FIVE DOCK.

713 1911

https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/120541199/

 

 

Brett Clifford SINCLAIR 1 - NSWPF - Killed 25 October 1988

Brett Clifford SINCLAIR 2 - NSWPF - Killed 25 October 1988

The Sydney Morning Herald 27 October 1988 p 7

Crimes Amendment (Murder of Police Officers) Bill 2007
Extract from NSW Legislative Council Hansard and Papers Thursday 10 May 2007.
Second Reading
The Hon. MICHAEL GALLACHER
(Leader of the Opposition)
[4.30 p.m.]: I move:
That this bill be now read a second time.
I am honoured to introduce this bill on behalf of the Opposition, all New South Wales police officers and their families. The bill amends the Crimes Act 1900 to provide that compulsory life sentences are to be imposed by courts on persons convicted of murdering police officers. A compulsory life sentence is to be imposed if the murder was committed while the police officer was executing his or her duties or as a consequence of, or in retaliation for, actions undertaken by any police officer. This bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation that I have spoken on in my time in Parliament.
In recent weeks the deaths of police officers have been receiving publicity for all of the wrong reasons. The tragic suicides of our young officers, the attempted suicide of even the more senior and the very public breakdown of another young officer are a reminder to all of us of just how tough it is to be a police officer in 2007. Last year, along with the police commissioner, the then Minister for Police and many police, former police and their families, I attended the eighteenth annual National Police Remembrance Day memorial service and laying of wreaths at the Wall of Remembrance in the Domain next to the Art Gallery. The Wall of Remembrance marks the sacrifice of all police officers in the execution of their duties, and in particular the 248 officers whose names have been added to the New South Wales Police honour roll. On the night of Police Remembrance Day, as a mark of respect, Sydney Opera House was bathed in a blue light.
For members who are not aware, National Police Remembrance Day is held on 29 September, which is St Michael’s Day. St Michael is the patron saint of police and archangel to protect and defend people. Last September’s commemoration was even more significant with the official opening of the National Police Memorial by the Prime Minister in Canberra. The memorial is to all police officers throughout Australia who have served our community and have lost their lives in the execution of that service. The ceremony was tinged with sadness.  Just the day before Police Remembrance Day, Sergeant Colin McKenzie, a highway patrol officer based at Ballina, became ill during rehearsals for the Canberra service and subsequently passed away. He was yet another officer to die while undertaking his duty.
As honourable members would be aware, I joined the New South Wales Police Force in 1980. It is a sad fact that since then the names of 73 New South Wales police officers have been added to the New South Wales Police honour roll. The honour roll commemorates those members of the New South Wales Police who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the execution of their duty. These officers gave their life to protect us. This bill acknowledges that police play a unique role in protecting the community. As the law currently stands, there is not a sufficient deterrent to attacking and murdering a police officer in New South Wales. Police put their lives on the line every time they walk or drive into a situation that they do not have control of and in which they seek to gain control and effect the arrest of an offender or offenders.
Since 1995 at least 18 police officers have died as a result of duty-related incidents. These include five who were murdered in the course of carrying out their duty.  Another four police officers are assaulted every day. It is unacceptable that people involved in some of these murders are now enjoying freedom. That should change and this bill seeks to effect that change. There can be no clearer justification for this legislation than the fact that since 1980, 11 officers have lost their lives as a result of the actions of offenders who have attacked police executing their duty to protect the community. They are Sergeant Keith Haydon, shot by an offender on 24 November 1980; Constable Pashalis Katsivelas, shot by an escaping prisoner on 4 April 1984, from recollection at Concord Hospital; Sergeant Paul Quinn, shot by an offender following a pursuit on 30 March 1986; Constable Brett Sinclair, from in juries sustained whilst affecting an arrest on 25 October 1988; Constable Allan McQueen, shot whilst affecting an arrest of a fellow attempting to break into a motor vehicle only a few hundred metres from where we are now on 5 May 1989; on 9 July 1995, two officers, Senior Constable Peter Addison and Senior Constable Robert Spears, shot by an offender at Crescent Head as they got out of their vehicle to enter a home; Constable David Carty, stabbed during an affray in Wester n Sydney on 18 April 1997; Constable Peter Forsyth, stabbed whilst affecting an arrest on 28 February 1998; Senior Constable James Affleck, struck by a motor vehicle whilst deploying road spikes to stop a stolen car on 14 January 2001; and Constable Glenn McEnallay, shot by an offender at Matraville following a pursuit on 3 Apr 2002.
Honourable members should be aware that in response to this bill, which was introduced into the other place by the New South Wales Liberal leader in May last year, the New South Wales Police Association issued a circular to their members throughout New South Wales, which stated:
Members are advised that, following discussions last evening with the State Opposition, your Association has determined to support the Bill which proposes mandatory life sentences for anyone convicted of murdering a police officer.
In light of the recent decisions relating to the murders of David Carty and Glen McEnallay it is apparent that there is strong community support for police and for the introduction of measures which would deter offenders from assaulting and killing members.
Delegates elected to attend your Association’s Biennial Conference commencing on 21 May will be asked to endorse a campaign for 3,000 additional police and to strengthen laws aimed a protecting members. In the interim members are asked to contact their local member of state parliament and express their support for this legislation.
It is only by hearing first hand the concerns of constituents that politicians will be motivated to act. The circular was signed by Bob Pritchard, President of the New South Wales Police Association. I have no doubt that some member s will argue that police should not be given special consideration. The simple fact is that police have a legislated duty to go to the assistance of community members who are in need or to confront offenders, whether they are on duty or not. Twenty-four hours a day, whether they are wearing the uniform or not, they have a legislated duty to act.
Coming to the assistance of the community at any time, whether they are on or off duty, is not something that they have a choice about. This House needs to acknowledge that being a police officer brings with it a different set of dangers than any other occupations or professions.
As I mentioned earlier, Senior Constable Jim Affleck was run down when he tried to stop an offender’s car during a high-speed pursuit in south-western Sydney. He was attempting to deploy road spikes designed to deflate the tyres of speeding vehicles and bring them to a stop. The offender who ran down Senior Constable Affleck received only a minimum sentence of 12 years. Today is an opportunity for all honourable members to vote in support of our police. This bill inserts a new section into the Crimes Act 1900 after section 19A. It reads:
19B Compulsory life sentences for murder of police officers
1) A court is to impose a sentence of imprisonment for life on a person who is convicted of murder of a police officer if the murder was committed:
(a) While in the execution of the police officer’s duty, or
(b) As a consequence of, or in retaliation for, actions undertaken by that or any other police officer in the execution of the officer’s duty.
2) A person sentenced to imprisonment for life under this section is to serve the sentence for the term of the person’s natural life.
3) This section applies to a person who is convicted of murder of a police officer only if the person was of or above the age of 18 years at the time the murder was committed.
4) If this section requires a person to be sentenced to imprisonment for life, nothing in section 21 (of any other provision) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 or in any other Act or law authorises a court to impose a lesser or alternative sentence.
5) Nothing in this section affects the prerogative of mercy.
The concept of protecting police has support on both sides of the Chamber. In April 2002, just after Glenn McEnallay was murder ed, then Premier Carr said:
I want those who murder police officers to go to jail forever. I want those who murder police officers to go to the dingiest, darkest cell that exists in a prison system …
In May last year one of those involved in Glenn’s murder had his conviction for murder quashed. A few short days later, his parents spoke out in favour of this bill when it was introduced into the other place. Bob McEnallay said:
They support us in our time of need but when some thing goes wrong there’s no one there to support them.
Bob and his wife, Judy, were joined by the father of David Carty in support of this bill. Member s would remember the tragic murder of Constable David Carty, who was stabbed to death after being brutally assaulted in the car park of the Cambridge Tavern at Fairfield in April 1997.
These parents know that this bill will not bring their sons back. And, unfortunately, it will not keep their killers in jail. But it will keep future killers of police where they belong: behind bars—as the former Premier said, in the dingiest, darkest cell forever.
The quashing of the conviction of the driver of the car that carried the killer of Constable McEnallay highlights the important issue of joint criminal enterprise and whether people were jointly involved in an act of murder. The community and the Opposition—and certainly Glenn McEnallay’s parents—believe the driver of the car involved was implicated in the murder and should have stayed in jail for the murder of Glenn. The cases of those involved in the murders of David Carty and Glenn McEnallay highlight the soft stance taken in New South Wales against people who murder police officers. This bill is another step in providing a higher level of protection for police.
In 1997 former Attorney General Jeff Shaw spoke on the Crimes Amendment (Assault of Police Officers) Bill, saying:
The bill is predicated upon a belief that police officers are rightfully owed a measure of protection by the community. That is so for at least two reasons.
First, police officers place themselves in positions of risk on behalf of the community. Second, an attack on a law enforcement officer strikes at the core of our system of democratic government. Those who seek to harm the persons responsible for the enforcement of laws passed by our Parliament should be subject to special punishment.
That principle is already recognised in the Crimes Act. Section 58 of that Act imposes a higher maximum gaol penalty for the offence of common assault of a police officer than is imposed for the same offence against a civilian. Indeed, the relative maximum penalties are five years and two years respectively.  Surprisingly, and anomalously, the principle is not carried through by the Crimes Act to apply to more serious assaults that in fact inflict injury.
In June 2002 the then Leader of the Opposition in the other place introduced a similar private member’s bill to this bill. At that time John Brogden wrote to the Premier foreshadowing the bill, and sought bipartisan support for it. When introducing the bill he said:
… this bill will require that anybody who murders a police officer acting in the line of duty will go to gaol for life. We believe that, because of the nature of the job, police officers in New South Wales should be afforded extra protection under the law when they are on duty.
When police officers are in uniform on duty or have recalled them selves to duty they put themselves forward when others step back. They put themselves in danger and do so to protect you, and me and the citizens of the State.
The law should recognise that to murder a police officer is one of the most serious crimes in the State.
In response the Parliamentary Secretary for Police, who led for the Government, said:
The Government wants people who murder police officers to rot in prison; we have never resiled from that position. Today Government members have the opportunity to stand by this commitment and that of former Premier Carr, who, I remind members, said:
I want those who murder police officers to go to gaol forever. I want those who murder police officers to go to the dingiest, darkest cell that exists in a prison system …
They have the opportunity to stand by the commitment of the Premier, who said on 11 May:
We want these people to rot in jail.  Government members have the opportunity to vote for this legislation, which will mean that those who murder police officers will rot in prison. In conclusion, my experiences during more than 16 years of service shaped my belief that those who murder police officers should spend the rest of their natural lives behind bars. I do not anticipate that the use of this legislation will be required all that often—in fact, I hope that it is never needed.  But it should be on the statute book to deter those who would consider, even for a second, acting to murder our police.
I ask all members to carefully consider this bill and vote to support our police officers, and indeed their families, who every day they go to work kiss their loved ones good-bye knowing the dangers that confront them.
The Sydney Morning Herald
Making sentences fit some crimes
Author:  Anna Patty       Date:  26 May 2010

A series of gunshots fired at close range killed 26-year-old police officer Glenn McEnallay in his highway patrol car after he responded to a report of a stolen car in Matraville in March 2002.The man who pulled the trigger, Sione Penisini, was sentenced to 36 years in prison, but his accomplices escaped with much shorter sentences after they pleaded guilty to manslaughter. A public outcry followed and the murdered officer’s father, Bob McEnallay, described the seven-year jail term handed to one of them as “an absolute bloody joke”.

But this week he made it clear he does not believe his son’s life was worth more than that of any other citizen. He says the state government’s plan to introduce mandatory life sentencing for people who murder police is unfair to other victims of serious crime. Bob McEnallay says the life of his surviving son, Troy, not a police officer, should not be valued less than that of Glenn. He believes there should be a minimum sentence for murder, regardless of who the victim is.

“I wouldn’t like to think my son’s case would attract more attention from the courts than some other citizen,” he says. “I know the [government’s] intentions are good, but I would rather see a system where the maximum possible sentences for murder are issued for any citizen who is murdered.”

The NSW Attorney-General, Greg Smith, says the bill to be introduced in Parliament this week was developed in response to the murder of police officers David Carty in 1997 and Glenn McEnallay. His office confirms the new law will not apply to accessories to murder, such as the Taufahema brothers who were involved in the McEnallay killing. The new law will mean only the murderer would serve the term of his natural life in prison.

The Premier, Barry O’Farrell, says the Coalition has been committed to the policy since 2002 and will “ensure that those who murder police officers spend their lives behind bars”.

But in 2010, Mr Smith denounced those who called for mandatory sentencing as “rednecks”, who were indulging in a “law and order auction”. He now says police killings are an exception. “The murder of a police officer is a direct attack on our community and warrants exceptional punishment,” he says. “It sends a serious message of support to our police, but I hope it is never used.”

Mr Smith prosecuted two trials in relation to the murder of Carty and he conducted the committal hearing. “I gave my blood, sweat and tears to that case in honour of that policeman. I then appeared in the appeals to the Court of Criminal Appeal and the High Court, both of which were dismissed,” he says.

Mr McEnallay says he can appreciate the support of John Carty, David’s father, for the new law, but does not agree that police officers should be treated differently. “I am very pro-police,” McEnallay says. “But I just hope some good legislation comes out of this for everybody.”

Mary Cusumano, whose husband Angelo was shot dead in his Penshurst computer store 15 years ago, leaving her to raise four children on her own, says she is angry with the new law. This week she learnt her husband’s murderer is up for parole.

“It just infuriates me,” she says. “My husband was a wonderful human being and he served his community. It is as if the government is saying his life is worth less than somebody else’s.

“With all due respect to the police, they make a choice to enter that career, with all the risks it involves. They are armed, my husband wasn’t. My husband never thought he would go to work and that a person would put a rifle to his head.”

Martha Jabour, who represents the Homicide Victims Support Group, says the new law will divide families. “If the government is thinking of making it mandatory life, why not mandatory life for every life. I cannot say that one occupation is far more worthy than the life of a nurse or a vulnerable child.

“If my son was murdered I would want his murderer to get life, but my son isn’t a police officer.”

The vice-president of the Victims of Crime Assistance League, Howard Brown, says ambulance and other emergency service personnel will not be treated equally under the new law. “It is a dangerous piece of legislation because it has not been well thought out,” he says. “We are told by the judiciary and by politicians that everyone is treated equally before the law. But for some reason they have decided to place police above everyone else, including judges.”

Mark Findlay, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Sydney, says it is “a pity that the new government’s legislative agenda for criminal justice should be opening with what is largely something for appearances”.

“The murder of a police officer should be condemned. But if the families of police officers are meant to be comforted by this proposal it would only be at the level of retribution,” he says. “There is no convincing evidence that mandatory life sentences have any significant deterrent effect on those who kill police officers in the circumstances in which such murders take place.”

The Greens MP David Shoebridge says mandatory life sentencing has not worked in other countries and does not produce a reduction in crime. The US Sentencing Commission delivered a report to Congress nearly 20 years ago denouncing mandatory minimum sentences. In its 1991 report, it said mandatory sentencing failed to improve public safety or deter crime.

Nicholas Cowdery, who retired last month as the head of the Department of Public Prosecutions, was involved in the prosecution of McEnallay’s killers. He says the new law “appears to be a purely political exercise to in some way satisfy an obligation to the NSW Police Association.

“I say that because there is no present criminal justice need for this legislation. There are no miscarriages of justice or anomalies that have occurred in the past that justify departure from the existing law. The present law is well capable of imposing a suitably severe penalty on a person who murders a police officer or a person in other categories of employment which have an increase in risk of harm attached to them.”

The existing law allows judges to impose a sentence of natural life for murder, and about 50 people are serving that sentence.

Death on duty

NSW police killed since 1980

1980 Sergeant Keith Haydon, shot at Mount Sugarloaf.

1984 Constable Pashalis Katsivelas, shot by an escaping prisoner at Concord.

1986 Sergeant Paul Quinn, shot during a pursuit at Perthville.

1988 Constable Brett Sinclair, died from injuries while making an arrest in North Parramatta.

1989 Constable Allan McQueen, shot while making an arrest in Woolloomooloo.

1995 Senior Constables Peter Addison and Robert Spears, shot at Crescent Head.

1997 Constable David Carty, stabbed outside a Fairfield hotel.

1998 Constable Peter Forsyth, stabbed while making an arrest in Ultimo.

2001 Senior Constable James Affleck, deliberately run over as he set up road spikes to stop a stolen car in Campbelltown.

2002 Constable Glenn McEnallay, shot at Matraville after a pursuit.

Source: Hansard

http://newsstore.fairfax.com.au/apps/viewDocument.ac;jsessionid=2ED0D325ED2097D6D6DFD2D6E94B776D?sy=afr&pb=all_ffx&dt=selectRange&dr=1month&so=relevance&sf=text&sf=headline&rc=10&rm=200&sp=brs&cls=205&clsPage=1&docID=SMH110526116Q13KR49H

 

Crimes Amendment (Murder of Police Officers) Bill 2007

Reverend the Hon. Dr Gordon Moyes:

OBJECTIVES:

The object of the Crimes Amendment (Murder of Police Officers) Bill is to amend the Crimes Act 1900 to provide that compulsory life sentences are to be imposed by a court on persons convicted of murdering police officers. A compulsory life sentence is to be imposed if the murder was committed while the police officer was executing his or her duties or as a consequence of, or in retaliation for, actions undertaken by any police officer.

COMMENTS:

The tragic suicides of young officers, the attempted suicide of a senior officer and the recent very public breakdown of another young officer are reminders to us all of how tough it is to be a police officer in 2007. Every day police officers kiss their loved ones goodbye and go to work, knowing the dangers that may confront them. Supporters of the bill argue that those convicted of murdering police officers do not deserve another chance to be free members of society. Murdered police officers do not have another chance at life and their killers should not have another chance at freedom. I would also mention, however, that it is grieving families, aside from those convicted and those who are murdered, who endure the pains of such actions.

Since 1995 at least 18 police officers have died as a result of duty-related incidents. These include five who were murdered in the course of carrying out their duty. Another four police officers are assaulted every single day, as a previous speaker has mentioned. It is unacceptable that people involved in some of these murders are now enjoying their freedom. That should change and this bill seeks to effect that change. There can be no clearer justification for this legislation than the fact that, since 1980, 11 officers have lost their lives as a result of the actions of offenders who have attacked police executing their duty to protect the community.

They are Sergeant Keith Haydon, shot by an offender on 24 November 1980; Constable Pashalis Katsivelas, shot by an escaping prisoner on 4 April 1984, from recollection, at Concord Hospital—a probationary constable, I am reminded; Sergeant Paul Quinn, shot by an offender following a pursuit on 30 March 1986; Constable Brett Sinclair, from injuries sustained whilst effecting an arrest on 25 October 1988; Constable Allan McQueen, shot whilst effecting an arrest of a man breaking into a motor vehicle only a few hundred metres from where we are now sitting on 5 May 1989; Senior Constable Peter Addison and Senior Constable Robert Spears, shot by an offender at Crescent Head as they got out of their vehicle to enter a home on 9 July 1995; Constable David Carty, stabbed during an affray in Western Sydney on 18 April 1997; Constable Peter Forsyth, stabbed whilst effecting an arrest on 28 February 1998; Senior Constable James Affleck, struck by a motor vehicle whilst deploying road spikes to stop a stolen car on 14 January 2001; and Constable Glenn McEnallay, shot by an offender at Matraville following a pursuit on 3 April 2002.

In the light of recent decisions relating to the murders of David Carty and Glen McEnallay it is apparent that there is strong community support for police and for the introduction of measures to deter offenders from assaulting and killing members. The bill is predicated upon a belief that police officers are rightfully owed a measure of protection by the community. This so for at least two reasons. First, police officers place themselves in positions of risk on behalf of the community. Second, an attack on a law enforcement officers strikes at the very core of our system of democratic government. Those who seek to harm the persons responsible for the enforcement of laws passed by our Parliament should be subject to special punishment.

That principle is already recognised in the Crimes Act. Section 58 of that Act imposes a higher maximum jail penalty for the offence of common assault of a police officer than is imposed for the same offence against an ordinary civilian. Indeed, the relative maximum penalties are five years and two years respectively. Surprisingly, and anomalously, the principle is not carried through by the Crimes Act to apply to more serious assaults that in fact inflict injury or permanent damage to officers. When police officers are in uniform on duty or have recalled themselves to duty they put themselves forward when others step back. They put themselves in danger and do so to protect you and me and citizens of the State. The law should recognise that to murder a police officer is a serious crime in this State. The Parliamentary Secretary for Police, who led for the Government, said:

The Government wants people who murder police officers to rot in prison; we have never resiled from that position.

Today Government members have the opportunity to stand by this commitment and that of former Premier Carr. He said:

I want those who murder police officers to go to gaol forever. I want those who murder police officers to go to the dingiest, darkest cell that exists in a prison system …

Government members have the opportunity to vote for this legislation, which will mean that those who murder police officers will rot in prison. There are certainly some contentious provisions that merit further examination. However, there are two aspects of this bill that do concern me. The first is: Is there any evidence that the likelihood of a compulsory life sentence would have any deterrent effect? I ask whether a compulsory life sentence can achieve reduced recidivism and increased rehabilitation in our society. Can a compulsory life sentence stop future acts of violence? Is the life of a police officer more valuable than the life of anyone else, such as a doctor treating a patient, teachers or others in the community?

If honourable members consider any aspect of my speech today I ask them to reflect on this one point: I remind them that the stark account of prison life presents powerful challenges in our liberal democracy. During my whole life, from the time I was a parole and probation officer as a young man through to all my years at Wesley Mission, I have visited numerous prisons around the country. In fact, at different times I have been detained in her Majesty’s finest. Most of them are characterised by routine, regulation, boredom and depression associated with serving a long-term sentence. They are also characterised by claustrophobia, noise, chaos and the real risk of being compelled to inhabit a very violent world, including not only other prisoners but also others who enter the prison. Inmates that I have talked to over the years inevitably possess low intelligence quotients or have suffered brain damage, frequently from extensive alcoholism, and mental illness. Critical criminologists and sociologists have long since documented the squalor and brutality associated with incarceration. Even in today’s society, public complacency generally surrounds the plight of the incarcerated.

The growing fear of crime, fuelled at least partially by the media, and the frustration with the seeming lack of positive results of rehabilitation provide public support for hardened policies. This trend has become amplified by the rhetoric of politicians who have found that being tough on crime is an unbeatable popular issue.

CONCLUSION:

However, with all of that said, with the limitations of our current prison system and acknowledging the absolute futility of long-term incarceration of individuals, there is no question in my mind that the Crimes Amendment (Murder of Police Officers) Bill is needed. I commend the bill to the House.

http://www.gordonmoyes.com/2007/11/16/crimes-amendment-murder-of-police-officers-bill-2007/

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutube
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail