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Carr says police have learnt from Redfern riot

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 12 August 2004


New South Wales Premier Bob Carr says a lot of lessons have been learnt from the riots in the Sydney suburb of Redfern earlier this year, and action has been taken to address some of the issues.

An internal report has catalogued a series of police failures on the night, finding police were not prepared and were ill-equipped to respond to the riot.

Mr Carr says he has not yet seen a report leaked by the Opposition, that details failures in police communications and training, because it has been prepared for the coroner, not the Government.

He says it is now imperative to get on with improving the situation rather than casting blame.

"Redfern was a sad and savage affair, everyone's learnt from it," he said.

"The police in charge of riot response have learnt from it and they've got new resources and they'll be absorbing the lessons of this report."

The police union says that officers who were called to respond to the Redfern riot in inner Sydney were let down by senior commanders.

Mr Carr says it is still too early to respond to those kind of allegations.

"When we have the coroner's report we'll respond," he said.

"We'll respond when we see the report, not before we see the report, that would be inappropriate and any response by the Government before we've got that coroner's report is likely to be overturned in the court."

The State Opposition wants senior police to be held responsible.

Deputy Police Commissioner Dave Madden says the problems experienced by front-line police were the result of system errors which are being fixed.

"That night, a whole series of system errors occurred, which meant that each compounded on the other and we didn't respond as we should have," he said.

Deputy Commissioner Madden says no disciplinary action will be taken.


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