News flash Thursday November 18, 2018

NZ Police advise that they do not work underground.

The story about the police refusing to working underground misses the point. 

First, the police are publicly funded and responsible for the investigation of crimes.  Should they be able to ignore a suspicious death which happened underground?  Should criminals now see the underground as a rule free place?  

Second, what was the role of the police during the Royal Commission of Inquiry?  Did they refuse at that time to ‘go underground’ thereby thwarting any serious investigation into the cause of disaster?  Criminal responsibility for the deaths of 29 men was impossible to establish without forensic evidence.  What role did the police play at that time in allowing the guilty to get off?  And then what about product liability or professional negligence?  Without scene investigation, there was no evidence as to whether the manufacturers of the ventilation system or those who designed the mine were or were not negligent in their work.  

And then, lastly what about the Royal Commission?  Around 20 million dollars were spent.  The documents gathered by this expensive venture remain embargoed for 30 to 100 years.  The heralded report resulted in a revamp of health and safety rules but failed utterly in determining why the mine blew up.   What was the role of the NZ Police in that fiasco?

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