3 March 2021: Tasmanian Police Try to Justify Failures in the Griffin Investigation
The Tasmanian Police have released an “Outcomes Report on the Griffin Matter.” Griffin was the alleged serial perpetrator (now deceased) who worked at the Launceston Hospital where he allegedly abused young girls.
Tasmania Police say that they do a good job when the victim has been identified but in our experience working with survivors in Tasmania, this is not necessarily the case. We have examples where clients have gone to the police in historical matters and the police have failed to act even though we now know that there may have been reports from multiple victims at different stages.
At the same time, the Government is rightly encouraging survivors of historical sexual assault to come forward and make police complaints, but there is no dedicated police unit to deal with historical sexual assault complaints as there is in Victoria and other states on the mainland. Asking people to come forward but then basically expecting them to walk into their nearest police station and make a statement is really difficult for survivors of sexual assault and particularly for those in rural areas, the lack of privacy and the possibility that they might actually know the police officers who would take their complaint is a real barrier.
Also, we know that without dedicated units which can join the dots, reports may be made at disparate police stations and each survivor is told it happened too long ago, there is no corroboration etc so the complaint is not investigated but in fact there may have been other complainants over the years at other police stations which without a centralised system, particularly pre-digitisation, the disparate complaints are not connected.
We know that in the Griffin matter reports were made to the police in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2019. We have other examples where complaints have been made about serial perpetrators and no action taken by police for years and sometimes for decades. Tasmania Police must do better.
If you have made an historical child abuse complaint to Tasmania Police which has not been investigated or dealt with and you need assistance, please contact Angela Sdrinis Legal for a confidential free first appointment.
By Angela Sdrinis
Director, Angela Sdrinis Legal