The Tasmania Police Outcomes Report into the handling of the James Geoffrey Griffin matter has today been released.
The Outcomes Report shows that there are clear areas for procedural improvement by Tasmania Police and these are being addressed as a priority.
It’s important to note that Tasmania Police acted to review our own response – before the Commission of Inquiry was announced- as we wanted to identify issues and areas for change as soon as possible.
Tasmania Police has a strong record in dealing with crime reports of child sexual offences where the victim is known.
However this Outcomes Report has identified deficiencies in the way we draw together information across agencies, particularly in relation to third party reports where the victim is not identified.
We are truly sorry for any harm caused to the victims who were let down by deficiencies in our investigative processes at the time. We are committed to implementing immediate measures to ensure information is handled appropriately.
In relation to the Griffin matter, the Outcomes Report has confirmed:
The police investigation began on 7 May 2019, when the victim made an initial statement to Tasmania Police regarding a historical sexual assault.
Over the next two months, work was undertaken to prepare a detailed investigative package.
It’s necessary to be methodical in relation to evidence gathering for such serious crimes; and even more so in relation to historical offences, as was the case in this investigation.
On 28 July 2019, Launceston CIB notified the Office of Accreditation of the alleged offending by Griffin in order to suspend his working with vulnerable people accreditation.
On 31 July 2019, Griffin’s residence was searched. The Office of Accreditation and the Director of Clinical Management at the LGH were advised by investigators that Griffin was in possession of child exploitation material. Griffin was immediately stood down by the LGH.
Griffin was formally charged on 3 September and 3 October 2019 in relation to a number of historical matters that were identified as part of the investigation.
The areas of immediate action are:
- Review and consolidate investigative guidelines for child sexual offences
- Review practices for information sharing regarding Working With Vulnerable People risk assessments
- Review protocols for information sharing across agencies in relation to child sexual offences
- In particular, we’re reviewing the way information is shared between the Department of Communities and Tasmania Police in relation to third party information reports about child sexual abuse.
Tasmania Police’s full report will now be released to the Commission of Inquiry.
The full report contains highly sensitive and identifying information about victims and in accordance with legal advice will not be released ahead of the Inquiry.
We are being as open and transparent as we can; on legal advice we cannot provide more information other than the Outcomes Report without prejudicing the Commission of Inquiry or identifying victims.
It is essential that the Inquiry is not impeded in its full examination of all matters.
We will engage fully with the Commission of Inquiry and address any further findings as a priority.
A specialist investigative and policy team has been established in Tasmania Police to address the issues identified so far.
We encourage anyone who may have information about historic allegations of child sexual abuse related to Tasmanian Government agencies to make a submission to the Inquiry at: www.justice.tas.gov.au/inquiry/home
We encourage anyone who wishes to make a claim under the national redress scheme for victims of child sexual abuse as a result of interactions with institutions to visit www.nationalredress.gov.au or call 1800 737 377.
The Outcomes Report is available here: https://www.police.tas.gov.au/information-disclosure/