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QLD: Police criticised in fake search warrant scam

05 Nov 2008 6:18 PM
QLD: Police criticised in fake search warrant scam

By Crystal Ja

GOLD COAST, Nov 5 AAP - A lawyer for police whistleblowers says internal police investigators were possibly "not looking hard enough" for witnesses toback up claims of police corruption on the Gold Coast.

Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson today said there had been no evidence so far to support allegations that Gold Coast officers were regularly falsifying search warrants and illegally searching homes.

Three serving policemen went public last month claiming colleagues had beenfalsifying search warrant applications for the past five years to boost their monthly quotas.

Mr Atkinson ordered an immediate audit of Gold Coast property searches and appealed for residents who believed they had been victims of the practice to speak up.

But, he said, two weeks into the investigation, police had not managed to substantiate any of the claims.

"There was a small number, in my view, of people who put their hand up and said we were unhappy that our home was searched and that will be looked at," Mr Atkinson said.

"But nobody has come forward and said: `I know, and I have evidence, that police falsely put forwards grounds for a search warrant'."

But lawyer Glen Mylne, representing the three whistleblowers, suggested police investigators were simply not looking hard enough.

"This seems to be an unfortunate circumstance of the police investigating the police," he told AAP.

"It's impossible to comment unless we know the procedures they've implemented, (but) maybe they're not looking hard enough.

"Maybe they're not looking in the right places."

He said names of the officers allegedly involved had been provided to the Crime and Misconduct Commission up to 12 months ago.

"(The police) would have already seen these men come forward and then to say that they have found nothing is inconsistent," he said.

Mr Atkinson said he was reluctant to comment further on the investigation, given that one of the whistleblower officers was expected before the court on a stalking charge.

He said the investigation would take several more weeks and a report would be released.

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