Police officer misinterprets the law

by Astrid Wilson24 Aug 2012

Perhaps a few more information days or training sessions could have prevented this embarrassing error for West Australian police.

Then again, it could have just been a rogue cop looking to lay down the law, even if it was…not a real law. Either way, HR stepped in and the embarrassing slip-up is now on this officer’s performance record.

Police Inspector Bill Munnee yesterday confirmed to media that in April this year a young mother was issued with a fine for talking on a mobile phone and pushing her child in a pram along a Mandurah footpath.

Yes, you read that correctly. Fined for pushing a pram and talking on a mobile phone. The officer concerned had misinterpreted the law regarding the definition of a vehicle.

Thankfully the $250 fine was withdrawn within 24 hours and the woman was apologised to after the Senior Constable’s boss realised the embarrassing error.

“It was recognised as incorrect within 24 hours by police [and] as a result the officer’s OIC [officer in charge] immediately contacted the woman involved, attended her address and apologised and cancelled the infringement notice,” Inspector Munnee said.

The inspector added the officer at the centre of incident “should have known better”, and following the incident was provided with guidance and the matter was adversely recorded on his performance file.

Inspector Munnee said the woman concerned accepted the apology from police.


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