The media-government circus, notably represented by the camera-hungry Queensland Police Union’s Ian Leavers, feeds on the terrible murder of two police. The circus calls for $100m to be spent on a National Firearms Register and for a back-blocks crime scene to be turned into a memorial.

We explained just two days ago that some really serious questions about police data and process arise, potentially exposing inexperienced constables to deadly risks. We wondered aloud whether QPS was circling the wagons to dodge potential adverse findings at a coronial inquest into the deaths.

This crystal-balling took less than 48 hours to manifest, a new record here at LAFO HQ. The picture of mess has gotten worse from QPS Deputy Commissioner Tracey Linford’s press briefing today.

The QPS briefings to the media on the awful murders at Wieambilla have become, as far as we can tell, internally contradictory. Time to write to Queensland’s Police Minister, Mark Ryan MP.

Correspondence to Mark Ryan

Dear Minister Ryan,

The press briefings from QPS Commissioner Carroll and Deputy Commissioner Tracey Linford reveal a situation in which young, inexperienced constables were set to a very dangerous callout. On one view of it, QPS senior leaders are blaming the constables for their own deaths (by asserting the constables conducted a “full risk assessment” and were “comfortable”) and seemingly setting up defenses to a potential Coronial Inquest finding. They appear to call for a National Firearms Register as a distraction.

To avoid doubt, we have no problem with a National Firearms Register, as police can already search interstate licenses. It’s the deflection from QPS that merits attention.

Blaming the constables

Commissioner Katarina Carroll was very quick to describe the situation the constables walked into:

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll has said a “full risk assessment” was done by the officers who were “comfortable” with the situation.

(ABC News 19 December)

Supposing lots of information about the offenders was available, this almost cynically sets the constables up as the authors of their own demise. The endlessly disappointing Deputy Commissioner Tracey Linford piped up today to admit that Nathaniel Train was being approached that fateful day about illegally disposing of firearms and that a warrant for his arrest was now in force.

Reportedly Linford said in the same press conference:

Ms Linford said police intended to have a “discussion with him (Nathaniel) about that day” and “why he had left two firearms behind”.

And in the same one:

“There was nothing to indicate to them that Nathaniel was at that address,” Ms Linford said.

If he wasn’t thought to be at that address, then why go there?

Here are the six questions we posted two days ago:

  1. Commissioner Carroll: were the four constables left to conduct the “full risk assessment” alone and with no intelligence from NSW?
  2. Was the duty sergeant part of the “full risk assessment”, in light of the constables’ inexperience?
  3. What data did NSW Police bother to send to QPS?
  4. Were NSW Police able to draw anything useful from their shambolic firearms registry?
  5. What happened to the border-crossing complaint data from 12 months prior?
  6. Did our good friends at counter-terrorism know/do/contribute anything?

Internal plank-walk

What we are all now witnessing, from the outside, is an internal struggle in QPS as to who will take the blame for the awful data and process handling that led to dead constables who were certainly inexperienced and most probably lacking in critical information.

Will it be the Commissioner who has to resign? A Deputy? A Super? What a pirate ship.

QPU’s Ian Leavers

Ian Leavers in public statements tars everyone as pro-gun or anti-vax as linked to the killing. That’s incredibly offensive to about 20% of Queensland. His public statements suggest that the crime scene would be used as a sort of religious site for anti-vaccine Queenslanders.

Mr Leavers appears aptly surnamed, because he’s set to leave more problems than he solves for the Queensland Government and public. This is set to be a full-blown Jackie Tradgedy.

Yours faithfully,

For LAFO Inc