Aside from all the democratic, political and moral issues raised by the Police’s behaviour, there is a fundamental lack of humanity in their actions.
Yeah, perhaps the Police do have a role in preventing the graffiti of billboards (apparently they used their informant to try to track down a group that graffitied a red meat billboard), and perhaps $600+ a week is worth it (well let’s pretend it is), but what about the human cost?
Paying an informant to infiltrate groups, to build personal relationships with members, is not the same as buying a set of night-vision goggles or a new unmarked car. There are real personal, human costs in addition to the invoice.
Somewhere along the way some of the Police seem to have lost the realisation that personal costs matter when weighing up whether to do something the human damage needs to be factored in, whether the pain they will cause will be worth it.
So, for a bit of graffiti, a brief coal-shop blockade, and some liberated chooks, was the damage to the individuals involved worth it? The 10 years of betrayal that they created, managed and paid for has hurt so many people, from Rob’s friends, to Rob, to people who be turned away by groups on the suspicion of being “another Rob.” How much personal pain is worth less than some red paint on billboard?
After the police conduct enquiry which came out of the allegations of rape and sexual exploitation by Police, it was recommended that the Police establish a code of conduct, which they did strangely it does not mention sexual conduct. When challenged they said that it was covered “in the general guidelines on respect for people and property”, which was a horrific enough indication of their values in itself.
Now, it seems, we have discovered that there is no actual respect for people for their pain, for their privacy, for their rights.