If you have an open matter with Victoria Police…CONTACT THEM ASAP. Your charges might be invalid
More than 1000 Victorian police officers have been wrongly sworn in over the past eight years due to an administrative bungle, casting doubt over thousands of police matters.
Chief Commissioner Shane Patton on Thursday said he was recently given legal advice informing him of a legislative error in the Victoria Police Act.
The error means that from July 2014 to August 2021 deputy police commissioners were appointing acting assistant commissioners without the required powers.
Those acting assistant commissioners then swore in a number of graduating police officers.
However, under changes to the Victoria Police Act in 2013, acting assistant commissioners needed to be appointed by the chief police commissioner or a deputy commissioner who had been delegated the authority.
Due to the error, 1076 police officers, 157 protective service officers and 29 police custody officers have been wrongly sworn in by acting assistant commissioners.
The mistake could mean police officers have been making arrests and issuing charges without the powers to do so.
Affected police members are being contacted on Thursday, with Victoria Police saying they are moving to “urgently swear in these officers again over the coming days and weeks”.