Victoria Police Faked 258,000 Roadside Breath Tests
More than 258,000 roadside alcohol breath tests were faked by Victoria Police officers in an apparent attempt to fool productivity checks.
An exhaustive audit by Professional Standards Command and statisticians was launched when claims officers were cheating the tests emerged late last year.
Victoria Police has issued a state-wide directive following the revelation some police officers have falsified preliminary breath tests (PBTs). More → https://t.co/a7ted6r2It pic.twitter.com/ImNQVztAuF— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) May 30, 2018
Officers were conning the tests by placing a finger over the straw entry hole or blowing into the straw themselves.
"The investigation, which analysed over five years of data, 1500 preliminary breath test devices and more than 17.7 million tests, disappointingly found 258,463 PBTs or 1.5 per cent of all tests had been falsified," Assistant Commissioner Russell Barrett said.
"I had not heard of our members engaging in such a practice, we let ourselves down, we've let the community down. It stops now."
An external investigator will now be brought in to reveal why it happened.
"There could be a number of reasons but the main rationale I believe is to hide or highlight productivity," Mr Barrett said.
"Whatever reason our workforce may come up with, it isn't acceptable."
The main culprits were general duties and highway patrol officers, with some rural areas over-represented.
The practice was not found at supervised drug and alcohol bus test sites and there is no evidence at this stage to suggest fraud or any criminality had occurred, or prosecutions were risked, Mr Barrett said.
Statisticians had to look at complex algorithms together with considerations on the length of time it would take to administer one test and a succession of tests.
The external investigator will also look at underlying cultural and behavioural issues, supervision and management practices that let the fake tests go unchecked, and aggravating circumstances that may need further investigation.
Victoria Police is in discussions with the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission about the discovery.