A reply from the Victoria Police Association about Graham Richardson's Craig Thomson allegations against police
I went crook at Graham Richardson and News Limited for publishing a terribly defamatory comment last week accusing a good policeman of "a bare-faced lie" while giving evidence under oath.
A number of our readers wrote to The Australian newspaper - including me. I haven't seen my letter published and I've not heard back from the newspaper or Graham Richardson.
A few readers wrote letters to the Victoria Police Association - the police union that I was a member of for 4 odd years.
Good on the Victoria Police Association for sticking up for their members - and in particular for respecting the wishes of a very quiet, reserved and professional career policeman who has no interest whatsoever in publicity of any kind.
IN EMAIL FROM A SPOKESPERSON - VICTORIA POLICE ASSOCIATION
We received a number of emails from members of the public who were unhappy with Mr Richardson’s comments in his opinion piece published in last Friday’s (8/2) edition of The Australian newspaper.
In the meantime, we’ve taken the opportunity to speak to one of our members involved in the Thomson matter.
In discussions with this member, we were able to confirm that contrary to Mr Richardson’s assertions, Craig Thomson was definitely offered the opportunity to present himself in Melbourne – an opportunity he declined which, of course, he is absolutely entitled to do.
However, Victorian police then had no option but to follow their stock standard procedure of sending two detectives to NSW to seek his extradition, which is what they did. In other words, Mr Thomson was dealt with in exactly the same way as anybody else would have been in the same situation. The procedure they followed is the way it has always been done and is still done.
Notwithstanding the inaccuracy of Mr Richardson’s criticisms directed to Victorian and NSW police in his article, our member has instructed us not to take this matter any further as he is getting rather tired of the media frenzy surrounding this issue. As always, we respect our member’s decision in this instance and have heeded his wishes.
That said, he didn’t object to the idea of us writing a letter to The Australian’s Victorian editor to register our displeasure with Mr Richardson’s comments, which we have done.
We thank you again for writing to us and for supporting our members. We appreciate it very much.
(Email in response to one our blog readers who wrote to the Victoria Police Association about the Richardson column)