29 September 2008

The NSW Police Force

It seems that having a criminal conviction is no bar to getting into the NSW Police Force. A Freedom of Information request has uncovered that 133 current serving officers have criminal convictions. This makes up less than 1% of the total number of officers serving in the Force of some 15,200 officers.

Nevertheless, some of these convictions are for fraud, negligent driving, and assault. The majority are for drink driving offences in both the medium and high ranges. Other offences included unauthorized access to police computer systems.

None of the officers with criminal convictions have served any jail time.

I guess this is what they mean when they say "everyone deserves a second chance". I suppose police officers should be no different from anyone else.


Anonymous said...

Many people have a criminal record, but it many cases it does not mean that the person should be out of a job. Background checks are a tool, and need to be used with common sense.

Rob Baiton said...


I have this thing for anonymous posters and would rather you adopt a pen name. The problem really is not one of your anonymity but rather that there are many people posting as anonymous I do not know which anonymous is who.

I don't know that I said they should be out of a job. I was actually pointing out second chances and that police should be no different from anyone else.

Although, that said, if you have a criminal conviction for assault occasioning actual bodily harm then I think that should be a consideration in whether you should be eligible for appointment to any police force.

It was interesting to me that a criminal record did not prohibit you from joining the NSW police force. I, like many others perhaps, would have assumed that it probably would have made entry difficult.

I am always learning new things.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with your post more.
As a 15 year old I was caught with marijuana and given a conviction. I haven't used drugs (or even alcohol for that matter) for many many years now.
I have worked as a NSW Ambulance Paramedic and held positions of high responsibility and yet when I went for a position with the federal police I was told I did not meet the 'high integrity requirements' because of a conviction I got as a silly child!!
Yes, we need a criminal record system to ensure public safety in many regards, but it is good to see NSW Police taking into other factors before turfing out what may be very good officers who like everyone else have made mistakes.

Rob Baiton said...


As with all my anonymous posters I would prefer you to use a pen name or sign off in your post with some identifying feature, such as initials, so that I can identify your from others.

Other than that, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

I don't think that we should be punished for childhood indiscretions such as wacky weed use when we apply for jobs later in life.

Nah, if you killed someone I would probably have a different opinion on this.

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