Territory Stories

Letter from Jane Hartwig Senior Investigation Officer for the Ombudsman of the Northern Territory regarding Complaint against Senior Constable Westra van Holthe and Mr Michael Rowley and sale of Toyota Troop Carrier dated 14 February 2004



Letter from Jane Hartwig Senior Investigation Officer for the Ombudsman of the Northern Territory regarding Complaint against Senior Constable Westra van Holthe and Mr Michael Rowley and sale of Toyota Troop Carrier dated 14 February 2004

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Tabled paper 1286


Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled By Christopher Burns


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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16. You told the PRC in a letter dated 2 April 2003, that immediately following your letter of complaint against police, you and your family and an employee received unwelcome attention from Katherine police, which you believe was a deliberate attempt to harass and intimidate you. You said that police patrolled the road past your business in five cars for two hours, picked up your apprentice for a traffic infringements (which were unsustainable in your opinion) and set up an RBT at the end of the street in which you live. Furthermore, you say you were told by a third party that Constable Westra Van Holthe and Brevet Sergeant Wenn were overheard saying that they will make you pay for making the complaint, and that you will not be safe going to or from work. The JRC notes that you did not seek to then provide enough further details to sustain an investigation of these allegations and that you told the PRC that when you wrote that letter you were feeling "paranoid from the sheer co-incidence of if . However the JRC endorses the comment of Superintendent Pryce in his interview with you, that if allegations of this nature were proved to be true, the PRC (and in turn the JRC) would treat the matter very seriously indeed. 2. Allegation of false statements in ? Statutory Declaration by Constable Ian Kennon The PRC investigator received a further letter from you dated 20 August 2003. In this letter you raised concerns about the veracity of a Statutory Declaration submitted to you as part of your civil case against Constable Westra Van Holthe. You allege that his Statutory Declaration is false and that three officers have lied and conspired to cover the initial fault of selling the vehicle. You also complain that personal details from your MVR records were handed out by police (which is dealt with above). The PRC investigator acknowledged receipt of this correspondence. He informed you that your letter would form part of the investigation file. It appears, however that only the MVR matter has been investigated to date. It is noted that you chose, with the benefit of legal advice, not to proceed to hearing in the civil matter, and that in the course of those proceedings you would have had an opportunity to test the veracity of the contents of Constable Kennons Statutory Declaration and get a ruling from the Court on it. Your lawyer could also have advised you about the legality/appropriateness of the other party seeking to tender that document so late in the proceedings, which is part of your complaint but not something for the JRC to consider. Whilst the JRC acknowledges your perceived difficulty with Constable Kennons affidavit, the police general orders do not prohibit his making such an affidavit in those circumstances and the JRC does not propose to take any further action in relation to this complaint. 3. Private sale of motor vehicles at remote bush stations The private sale of motor vehicles at remote bush stations has the potential to create situations similar to the one the subject of this report, due to the fact that police officers at remote bush stations are also agents for the Motor Vehicle Registry. Indeed each MVR transaction conducted at a remote Police Station involving another police officer could constitute a conflict of interest. The Code of Conduct provides some general direction in relation to potential conflicts of interest and requires that members seek advice from a superior officer in all.circumstances. In this instance, members involved failed to recognise the conflict of interest, The JRC recommends that:

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