Alleged Police Failure To Respond Allegedly Leads To Murder

Alleged Police Failure To Respond Allegedly Leads To Murder

South Australia Shadow Minister for Police David Ridgway

No Ministerial Responsibility A Cop-Out

Victor P Taffa

The State Opposition is furious that Police Minister Kevin Foley and his predecessor, sacked former Minister Michael Wright, have abrogated responsibility over the handling of a call to the Police Assistance Line last September.

Sixty-three year-old Pirjo Kemppainen was found murdered in her Callington home on September 11 2010. She had phoned the Police Call Centre at 12.35 am on the morning of her murder to say youths had attacked her by throwing rocks through her windows.

No Police were dispatched to the scene. Hours later a relative found her dead in her own House.

“Under Pressure from the Opposition, the Government ordered an inquiry into the botched Police Response, but ensured it was an internal investigation instead of one conducted by an independent expert.” Shadow Minister for Police David Ridgway said today.

“The Minister exonerated himself even before the inquiry had begun. Just three days after the death he was already blaming an experienced call centre staffer who took the woman’s midnight call.”

“Where is the concept of ministerial responsibility in Labor’s South Australia? In September the Police Minister quickly excused the very procedure which he himself endorsed. Have they now found a scapegoat while the Ministers stay protected?” Mr. Ridgway asked.

“The Government had also categorically ruled out under-resourcing as a factor in the murder, but we all know Police resourcing is inadequate. Police could get to more crime scenes if we had more patrols. They would routinely go out to more incidents than they do now.”

“There are simply not enough Patrols on the road to attend all A-category emergencies quickly enough.  We had evidence of that when Police didn’t respond quickly enough to prevent 21 year-old Thea Kheave being stabbed to death at Parafield Gardens in December 2007.” Mr. Ridgway said.