Boys In Blew: Australian Cops Caught Faking 258,000 Breathalyzer Tests
from the blowing-on-the-nipple-of-what's-easy dept
Reason number a billion why quotas for law enforcement are a bad idea: they encourage the worst behavior. The Victoria (AUS) Police recently performed an internal investigation into breathalyzer tests deployed 17.7 million times over the last 5-½ years. Prompted by an “anomaly” in the data, investigators uncovered something horrific and ridiculous all at the same time: Victorian cops blow… thousands of times a year.
Victorian police faked more than a quarter of a million roadside breath tests in what appears to be a deliberate ruse to dupe the system.
An internal investigation has found 258,000 alcohol breath tests were falsified over 5½ years, The Age has learned.
If there’s an upside (and is there?), it’s that it did not result in false arrests. These weren’t faked tests used to prosecute people for driving under the influence. These were tests “performed” to meet quotas given to officers by supervisors. Never underestimate the reluctance of many workforce members to, you know, actually perform work.
Police believe officers may have been blowing into the breathalysers themselves, most likely due to laziness and the need to meet targets.
The anomaly first spotted by the Transport Accident Commission was the lack of a credible gap between test results. In most cases, several minutes at the very least would elapse between tests of motorists. Paperwork needs to be filled out, drivers need to be conversed with and/or cited, etc. That gap wasn’t present in hundreds of thousands of tests which were performed in batches with no time gap between them. The only explanation? Police
snow blow jobs.
[T]he faked tests were occurring one after the other.
This suggests two things: an officer is either placing a finger over the straw entry hole or they were blowing into the straw themselves.
Upside: faked negative tests don’t result in false arrests or prosecutions. Downside: everything else. The Victorian Police have proven a quota system doesn’t work. The officers have proven they can’t be trusted to do their jobs. The latter is at least as significant as the quota issue. If officers are too lazy to hit quotas on breathalyzer tests, what other corners are they cutting while chasing numbers — whether it’s traffic citations or closing investigations?
The investigation does prove at least one thing: officers are abusing the trust placed in them, both by their superiors and the general public. The only factor that appeared to deter test fakery was direct oversight.
It was not a practice found at supervised drug and alcohol bus testing sites.
What will happen to all these lazy officers who abused the trust placed in them? Probably not much of anything. Despite this having been made public, accompanied by statements from police officials confirming the accuracy of the report, government officials further up the ladder — the oversight — appears to be withholding judgment until they are “comprehensively briefed.” If heads roll, it will hopefully start up top and continue through the rank-and-file.
But heads won’t start rolling. The culling will probably target the inanimate objects first. The quota system is effectively dead. It will be the scapegoat sacrificed so lazy cops can keep their jobs. It definitely should go, precisely because it encourages this sort of behavior. But it shouldn’t be the only thing on the chopping block as the Victorian police seek to bring an end to this unflattering news cycle. Laziness is ingrained behavior and faking breath tests may prove to be the tip of the iceberg. Everything still underwater potentially contains serious civil liberties violations. The sooner the Victorian Police digs into officers’ behavior in all areas of their jobs, the sooner it can began regaining the public’s trust.