Government punishes head of police watchdog by refusing reappointment


The Berejiklian Government has punished the head of the state’s independent police watchdog by refusing to reappoint him after three years service. Michael Adams has been a principled and indefatigable Chief Commissioner at the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) since February 2017.

Since 2017 the LECC has undertaken essential hearings into strip searches and allegations of excessive use of force by NSW Police. The direct, but fair, manner in which Commissioner Adams has proceeded has not always pleased the NSW Police Association. Commissioner Adam’s existing appointment will expire in February 2020.

Greens MP David Shoebridge said:

“Adams has been a firm, fair and principled head of the LECC, however that hasn’t been enough to save him from NSW politics.

“This is a classic case of political punishment, delivered by the Berejiklian Government, but ordered by the Police Association.

“His careful leadership during the hearings into police strip searches has clearly caused headaches amongst the NSW police leadership.

“There is real concern about the future of the strip search hearings that are now part-heard before Adams.

“Instead of allowing these hearings to come to a balanced conclusion the Berejikilian Government has instead rushed in and gagged the police watchdog.

“The Premier must know this looks bad, hiding the ugly news just two days before Christmas in the middle of a terrible fire season.

“People across the state, especially young people, have a lot to thank Michael Adams for in the decent and humane way he has held police to account these past three years,” Mr Shoebridge said.

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