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Griffin Police Review Reveals Tragedy of Errors

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Friday, 26 February 2021

Tags: Police, Child Abuse, Launceston General Hospital, Commission of Inquiry

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The review by Tasmania Police into the James Geoffrey Griffin investigation reveals a decade long failure to properly investigate serious allegations, and woeful communication between Tasmania Police, Child Safety and the Department of Justice. 

The failures revealed in this review are breathtaking in their scope and potential human impact. Tasmanians must be able to trust police when reporting serious crimes, especially those regarding children. 

The review confirms reports were made to police about Griffin’s behaviour in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015.  Yet, in 2016 Griffin was given Working with Vulnerable People registration.  How did this happen?

It took ten years from the first red flag being raised before he was stood down from the LGH. This will distress many Tasmanians, particularly survivors of sexual abuse.
Why, too, did it take government more than a year following Griffin’s death to initiate this police review?

So many questions remain unanswered. 

We welcome the development of protocols regarding Working with Vulnerable People registration, and the police review of guidelines for the investigation of child sexual abuse.

Clearly, a major overhaul is required.

While the Commission of Inquiry will produce its own recommendations, the government must act on the Tasmania Police review immediately. The Police Minister must assure Tasmanians this decade-long tragedy of errors will never, ever happen again.