Kristine WOODS nee BUTT
( late of Cherrybrook & Ryde )
New South Wales Police Force
Original Regd. # 25??? ( joined around 1988 )
Rejoinee Regd. # 33682 ( rejoined in 1998 )
Rank: Senior Constable
Service: ( 1 ) From ??? to ??? = ? years Service
( 2 ) Rejoinee – From ? ? 1998 to 21 March 2002 = ? years Service
Awards: ? – Nil on It’s an Honour
Born: 29 January 1969
Died: 21 March 2002
Cause: Suicide – Service pistol to chest – inside Eastwood Police Station
Funeral date: Tuesday 26 March 2002 @ 1pm
Funeral location: St Charles Catholic Church, 582 Victoria Rd, Ryde
Grave location: ?
Kristine is NOT mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance
List of the fallen should include all the victims
Another week, another death of a citizen at the hands of the NSW Police (”High noon at Castle Hill”, September 30). It’s a week which saw the inquest into the police shooting of Adam Salter inside his own home; a week which saw a teenage victim of robbery shot in the stomach by another cop. And now we are led to believe that a man who apparently travelled to a police station needed to be pumped full of bullets in order to be subdued. Who goes towards a police station to make trouble?
All this in the same week that Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione led his officers in another Remembrance Day for his fallen comrades, the list of which is displayed on the NSW Police website as an honour roll. The list omits the name of Senior Constable Kristine Woods, who died by her own hand on duty at Eastwood Police Station. In fact, almost the only Google reference to Ms Woods is a Hansard entry.
The NSW Police don’t list the names of innocent citizens its own members have killed. When yet another member of the public is gunned down by a blue shirt, we hear that “the officer is receiving counselling and support”. No mention is ever made of any counselling offered to the family or friends of the real victim. The bitter juxtaposition of all these events seems to have also missed the media.
A decade after the police royal commission revealed systemic corruption, the NSW Police Force is now more powerful, more numerous and less accountable than ever.
Peter Maresch Lane Cove
Mr TINK (Epping) [3.38 p.m.]: I draw the attention of the House to the Epping Youth Development Group, otherwise known as the Shack. Following the compilation of a youth-at-risk study reflecting the needs of local Epping youth the Shack was found in 1992 by a group of concerned local residents, churches and businessmen. They have been operating from a disused scout hall that was converted into a counselling and recreation facility at that time. The Shack has to be seen to be believed—it is just that. There are exciting plans for a new building. The management committee, which meets monthly, comprises 10 members from the local community who voluntarily support the administration of the Shack.The Shack provides free and confidential service, home visits, counselling, family support, court support, resumé assistance, job board, youth and school liaison, health education, Centrelink assistance and referrals. The Manager of the Shack, Darlene Keenan, is an inspiration and is assisted by one other person. In the last 12 months the Shack has provided more than 800 hours of counselling for 385 people, 111 hours of court support to 44 people, 422 hours of home visits involving 127 people and many other sundry services. To try to move away from the statistics and into what the program is really about, I will read from what Darlene had to say in the annual report:
- Family breakdown, separation from parents, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, sexual assault, suicide, teenage pregnancy, neglect, lack of education, unemployment and homelessness, and cultural beliefs are common issues affecting our young people in life altering ways. Behaviour is also very changeable and very real whilst any of these factors are alive.
- High expectations in regard to education has seen many clients showing signs of stress where counselling has been necessary to keep self-esteem tuned. Young people suspended have further problems if they link with idle peers.
- Intervention for our young showing suicidal tendencies has seen much progress in positive ways this year. Teenagers are scared, fragile and limited to rise above these very real emotions. Having positive referrals for extra support has proven to be a healing ingredient whilst temptations are being tested. Those wanting to resolve their fears and pain through suicide are just so entrenched with pain and overloaded with many challenges.
This lady and her supporters really work miracles. They are working at the very hard business end of youth at risk, so much so that their program is being copied elsewhere. The Rotary Club of Lindfield is setting up another Shack under the same program and principles. This is policing at its absolute best. I pay tribute to the links between Eastwood police and this operation. Constable Tim Drury, the Youth Liaison Officer from Eastwood police, has made a fantastic effort. Senior Constable Kristine Woods, who unfortunately took her own life at Eastwood police station, was an outstanding supporter of the Shack and did great work at all times with youth in the area. Senior Constable Rowena Thompson, Sergeant Jacky Lilley and Sergeant Bob Porter—who I understand is about to retire from the New South Wales Police Service—do magnificent work. It is an example of how our police and community workers can work together to make a difference for kids who are at high risk of ending up on the wrong side of the law.
It is important to note that the Shack would not be celebrating 10 years of effort in the community without the support of St Albans Church and Reverend John Cornish, and the tremendous support previously given by the former chairman, Mr Alan Gurman and Cathy Sanderson. The present chairman, Mr Ray Miles, from Associated Planners, provides unstinting support. The support through the church and its work in the area and a diverse range of clubs—the Rotary Club of Thornleigh, the Epping RSL and community club and all the voluntary groups and church groups throughout the area—for the operation must be seen to be believed. The Shack is presenting final plans to St Albans Church for approval for a rebuild. Preliminary approval for the plans has already been given to the initial sketches provided by the church. I wish the Shack well. I am delighted to be associated with it and with a program that really supports the kids at risk and, in doing so, takes some risks itself. It is to be commended for its work. [Time expired.]
Mr FACE (Charlestown—Minister for Gaming and Racing, and Minister Assisting the Premier on Hunter Development) [3.43 p.m.]: I thank the honourable member for Epping for bringing this matter to the notice of the House. It reinforces what I said a few moments ago about volunteers, Charity Awareness Week, and people who put so much effort and time into serving other people within our community. Although I am not directly aware of the group’s activities, because it started towards the end of the time that I was the chairman of police youth clubs in this State, I know that it was one of the more diverse organisations that was helping kids, particularly recedivist kids and youth at risk that a lot of other organisations were not prepared to help. That was at a time when the police youth club movement was moving away, to some degree, from completely structured organisations and what the original youth clubs were set up for, which has been of considerable benefit.
This is another great effort of a community accepting its responsibility to ensure that it is able to contend with people who, in many cases, are less fortunate than others. They are not always people from lower socioeconomic circumstances. It can be a result of communication breakdowns regardless of where they sit in the social strata. During my time as chairman of the police youth clubs I became aware that many kids were lonely and in need of someone to put a hand out to them—some of them were from the so-called better areas of my electorate and other parts of this State. The Shack is doing a great deal of good work. The community is to be congratulated on its efforts.
The Hon. GREG PEARCE
- [10.20 p.m.]: Tonight I speak on the dereliction of policing services in the Ryde area. While the Commissioner of Police, Peter Ryan, was seeing the sights of Athens, the people in the Ryde area were suffering from an ill-equipped police force and falling police numbers. The Minister for Police said that all police, including the commissioner, would be involved in regular street patrols, but while Commissioner Ryan takes time out to see the sights of Salt Lake City or to pay a visit to the Parthenon, the people of Ryde are being neglected with a diminishing police presence.
- On 6 March the
Northern District Times
- reported that police would be having a three-day operation in the West Ryde area, getting to know the people and letting them know that they are out and about. For three days people in the West Ryde area got to know who some of the officers that served and protected them were, but a month later the question is: Where are they now? For three days in March the citizens of West Ryde got to see some police patrolling their streets but now they have been taken away, back to their desks perhaps or to other poorly equipped areas. Maybe the police were merely there for the show, to appease the community’s justified concerns about the level of crime. However, having a three-day operation does not show that the police are serious about maintaining a real presence on the streets.
- Late last month a 16-year-old boy walking through Boronia Park in Ryde was assaulted and had his mobile phone and wallet stolen by two men, one of whom punched him in the back of the head. On 28 March a security guard was badly beaten during a ram-raid at the Fujitsu warehouse in North Ryde. Perhaps Commissioner Ryan should spend less time on his passion of Olympic security consulting in Athens and visit the streets of West Ryde, where there is still a marked lack of police. Perhaps he will be sent there around the time of the next election for a day trip, but there needs to be a genuine lift in the level of service for the people of the Ryde area long before then.
- Police are desperately needed by the community, and after the tragic murder of Constable Glenn McEnallay and the suicide of Senior Constable Kristine Woods at Eastwood police station on 21 March, it is time for Commissioner Ryan to show some leadership and to help the police force get back to the basics of serving the community. Police are needed on the streets to fight crime, not for three-day operations that merely serve as a political stunt, similar to the stunt that was viewed by all in the Auburn by-election last year.
- On 12 December 2001, the West Ryde Chamber of Commerce wrote to the honourable member for Ryde regarding police numbers, the lack of patrols in the area and the physical remoteness of West Ryde from Gladesville police station—Gladesville being the station that serves the people of West Ryde. What was the result? Merely the three-day operation I have referred to that took place early in March, not a real commitment to increasing police numbers and improving the quality of service. The police Minister likes to make an announcement almost daily about his finesse in fighting crime, but when it comes down to it, when we see where the promises are allegedly being acted upon, the result is disappointment—like the disappointment for the people of the Ryde area.
- Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, who was appointed commander of Gladesville police station in January this year, is the sixth commander of the station in the past four years. Police in Gladesville must find it difficult to do an effective job with so many different commanders, no doubt all of whom have a different way of performing their job, different ideas and different ways of running the station. The residents of Ryde are being punished because of the commissioner’s inability to appoint a commander who will serve the community for a long period. Superintendent Katsogiannis has been appointed only until 31 December this year. Why has he not been given a longer contract? Clearly, Commissioner Ryan has very little faith in his local area commanders. This must be a terrible thing for police morale, prohibiting them from getting on with the job.
The people of the Ryde area need some stability and a serious police commitment on the streets so that levels of crime are reduced. People are still unsafe on the streets of Ryde. This clearly demonstrates that policing must be taken more seriously and that greater police numbers should be on the streets. There needs to be a genuine and substantial police presence in the Ryde area, not merely a passing show in the hope of buying a few votes for next year’s election.