Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “The moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are permanent dispositions which make man docile in following the promptings of the Holy Spirit. … They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations” (catechism, No.1830-31).
The Victoria Police response to, and investigation of sexual crime, is governed by this Code of Practice for the Investigation of Sexual Crime, applicable legislation and the Victoria Police Manual (VPM). Police action will be consistent with the Victoria Police Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct.
Police members reading and using this document should do so with applicable legislation, Chief Commissioners Instructions and the VPM.
Victoria Police regards sexual offending as extremely serious criminal behaviour. There is often a continuing threat to the victim’s safety and well-being and to that of the community.
When police are responding to calls for assistance in sexual offence matters, they undertake to treat all victims with dignity and respect, in accordance with the Victims’ Charter Act 2006 and the Victim-Centric Service Delivery Strategic Approach 2015–2018.
The aims of this Code of Practice are to:
Victoria Police has four main functions in sexual offence cases:
The first priority in sexual crime cases is the care of the victim.
The welfare of the victim is maximised when police conduct the investigation in a supportive and non-judgemental manner.
Police sensitivity to victims will:
Police are reminded of the need to ensure victim confidentiality according to the requirements of s 4 Judicial Proceedings Reports Act 1958.
Police must always consider the victim’s immediate medical needs. Police should follow the T.H.I.N.K protocol (Timing and forensic issues, Hospital, Incident, Not able to consent and Know your victim) to assist in assessing whether a victim requires immediate medical attention. The T.H.I.N.K Checklist will allow police to obtain necessary information required by the Forensic Medical Examiner (FME) and allow them to make an informed decision about the victim’s immediate health. Refer section 11.1 – T.H.I.N.K protocol.
If a victim requires immediate medical attention for injuries, they should be conveyed immediately via ambulance to the nearest Emergency Department (ED).
Strangulation/neck compressions are not always visible or seen as ‘injuries’ but should a victim report being strangled or pressure applied to their neck during the offence, they should be conveyed to hospital for immediate medical attention.
Catholic police officers investigating crimes of Catholics and more importantly investigating crimes of Catholic clergy can be easily deterred, diverted, blocked or stymied through a plethora of religious threats or inducements. The threat of excommunication or the threat to take away aspects of their religion is of such proportion that they must and will fold to the whim of these threats. Under these circumstances survivors/victims can not be assured of a full and proper investigation or that the investigating officer has been compromised in some way as a result of his religion.
Can a proper investigation be carried out? Can an independent and uncompromised investigation of a sexual crime by Catholic clergy against a child who rejected the Catholic religion as a child and still rejects that religion today.
Can a Catholic police officer be objective and unbiased when investigating a sexual crime on behalf of an agnostic or atheist child or adult?
-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: DS Rod Jouning re: Police urge abuse victims to speak up
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:24:49 +1000
Detective Superintendent Rod Jouning
My name is John Brown, I am a co-founder of SoCAA (Survivors of clergy abuse Australia). I recently read the following article on ABC National News http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-13/spike-in-child-abuse-offences-as-more-victims-come-forward/5741694
Firstly let me applaud your statements and your urging people to come forward.
As the majority of those we engage with are now or have been since childhood atheists or agnostics and from our understanding of those who have been abused by clergy this demographic makes up the largest single percentage of survivors of childhood sexual abuse, torture and other abuses by clergy.
In that regard these individuals when they are engaging with authority and professional treatment they require an absolute assurance that they will be engaging with an independent person regardless of the service being provided.
Unfortunately this has not always been the circumstance as I had occasion to discuss the issue of police training in this regard with the then head of sex crimes unit the now disgraced Glenn Davies and to encounter such an experience personally in more recent times I felt it necessary that I should write inquiring if this is now included in your training and policies?
Unfortunately Mr Davies was unable to give me information as his motivation was to push the agenda of his religious connections at the time; Mr Davies appeared to be oblivious of the high risk of re-trauma when survivors of clergy abuse encounter the personal religious beliefs of people in authority and in particular when they are put into the position of taking down details of crimes committed by clergy that they have a religious obligation to believe and to follow.
Are there any written policies dealing with this very important aspect of personal safety for the victims of these crimes and how does the Victorian Police service surmount the issue of Catholic police officers having an obligation to the laws of their religion before the laws and the rules of our country? (This aspect is relevant to other religions as well however I speak here only of the Catholic religion as that was the religion I was raised in and therefore I understand these aspects as a result of my Catholic education and upbringing and understand that it simply is not possible for a Catholic to clock of their religious beliefs as they clock on for work. As we Catholics know they have an obligation and they are under a direct threat against their human and spiritual life if they should consider for a moment to do so.).
The call from the Royal Commission for victims of Institutional child sex crimes has also helped to raise this issue. It is my opinion that many of those yet to come forward will not do so until this aspect is covered publicly so that they can openly see and hear the policies on how Victoria Police deal with this the most important of issues for them.
I look forward to receiving copies of policies where available.
If a taskforce were to be given a Latin name of course the denial for that has had a long time to develop but help yourself to a long long list of Latin named police taskforces as history shows a solid connection with our "Christian heritage" and more particularly Catholic wherever there is a chance to block the progress of a claimant through filtering State and Criminal law through a Catholic indoctrinated filter. Nothing to see here now move along or will all that be over if Victoria Police decide to apologise for their many years long obstruction of victims.
Victoria Police should disband SANO as any apology without doing so would only be a fraud and would take the World further back towards those primitive ways of life we are all trying to move forward of and beyond.
One of many simple scenarios would see a practicising and devout Catholic who is a detective level police officer on a taskforce purposed to investigate crimes by Catholic clergy.
What could go wrong?
A simple scenario would see a practising and devout Catholic who is a detective level police officer on a taskforce purposed to investigate crimes by Catholic clergy.
Would the level the clergyman holds within the Catholic Church hierarchy bear in any way on the investigation?
Have Police in any Australian state ever received a complaint of a clergy man or someone acting on his behalf or claiming to be acting on his behalf or on the behalf of other clergymen of rank within the Catholic Church up to and including the Pope positing an opinion as to the spiritual well-being of a police officer should X clergyman continue to be investigated?
Do Police have policy or procedures on how they should manage a circumstance where a police officer is threatened with excommunication or other religious threat as a result of carrying out his duties as a police officer?
Should Police in Victoria provide secular officers and or officers of other religions such as Islam and Judaism in taskforces such as SANO if they are going to allow representation by Catholics?
Is there a procedure to manage such a circumstance? What should occur if a conflict re this arises?