NSW Police Cleared of Misconduct

9 News
June 19, 2015

NSW Police says it's disappointed its officers endured the indignity of a royal commission regarding alleged misconduct only to have their commitment and diligence recognised in a final report.

Officers including Inspector Beth Cullen were investigated following a series on ABC's Lateline in 2013 that asserted she had been a member of the Catholic Church Professional Standards Resource Group (PSRG) from 1998 to 2005 and destroyed evidence of sexual abuse by clergy members.

Another broadcast said the Catholic Church tried to strike an agreement with police to withhold information about paedophile priests.

In the report tabled in NSW parliament on Friday, it was acknowledged that Insp Cullen's participation in the PSRG was a conflict of interest with her obligations as a police officer.

However it said there were several factors that significantly mitigated this misconduct, including that she had no intention of any misconduct and there was also no evidence she had destroyed any documents.

The commission found it did not consider there was police misconduct on her part or that action should be taken.

"On the contrary, Cullen was well-intentioned," the report said.

"Cullen, drawing on her experience as a police officer, made a valuable contribution to the discussions of the PSRG.

"Cullen has an outstanding service record as a police officer. During her career as a police officer Cullen has made a significant contribution to the detection, investigation and prosecution of sex offenders."

While the NSW Police Force admits it has not been able to look over the report in detail, "it is pleasing the dedication and integrity of the involved officers has been recognised".

"Inspector Beth Cullen has been rightly acknowledged for her career commitment to child protection and crime fighting," the force said in a statement, adding that Inspector Wayne Armstrong was also appropriately cleared of any misconduct.

"It is disappointing that all the involved officers have endured the trauma of both a Royal Commission and public hearings before the PIC (Police Integrity Commission) and a subsequent period of time before learning of this Inquiry's findings."








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