SA Police Must Stop Harbouring Minors to Usurp Parental Authority

Matilda Bawden

Forensic Social Worker & Former Secretary of Whistleblowers Australia, Matilda Bawden, is calling on the Police Minister to introduce Child Harbouring laws to stop the repeat of errors of police misconduct & corruption of the past as exposed by the case of John Ternezis, whose daughter was passed around to convicted pedophiles & made pregnant as a child whilst in State Care, with no remedy or compensation.

Police continue to interfere in domestic situations where parents are exercising their parental rights &, on a whim, feel entitled to restructure family relationships to harbour minors, without just cause or lawful authority.

Child Harbouring laws were never passed in 2008 to prevent Police or other persons from harbouring children from their lawful Parents/Guardians.

It is interesting to find that the State has laws to prevent Child Harbouring once a child is in State Care but no such protections to lawful & law-abiding Parents/Guardians exist when Police are involved in dishonest & despicable conduct.

Tonight, Elizabeth Police literally restructured a family unit & sent a vulnerable, promiscuous, attention-seeking minor a clear message that she can thumb her nose at her mother's authority after her mother, "Cathy", refused to allow her to invite another child on a sleepover, while she already had a friend on sleepover.

The same minor has a history of promiscuous behaviours, has made accusations of sexual assaults & has developmental delay, making her highly vulnerable, yet without any investigation or assessment, Police allowed her to leave her home in the company of other adults, not her lawful Parent & Guardian.

Ms Bawden said, "Among other things, Cathy was concerned the child was on a video link with her alleged "boyfriend" in a bra & undies. When told to put her clothes on to preserve her modesty, & end the private chat with the boyfriend, the child became confrontational & hostile. At that time, Cathy determined to terminate the planned sleepover for the welfare of the other child who came unexpectedly into her care, however, she had no way to contact the other girl's parents, so she called the police to help her return the child."

Literally, the petulant teenager & minor was not having a bar of her mother's wisdom & decided to push the boundaries, whilst police acted with absolute impunity to undermine the mother's authority with the child.

Police allowed the child to leave the safety of her mother's home, against the mother's consent & wishes, in the company of a stranger whose own son self-harms.

The child had better-suited family carers capable of providing her with alternative care, but (without any inquiry into the background of the other male stranger who arrived at the mother's house to intimidate, provoke & harass her), decided to let both girls go with him (with neither parent's consent).

Instead of cautioning the man to leave the mother's street & leave her in peace, they allowed him to throw threats & accusations, unprovoked by the mother who was alone in the house while her husband was away.

Cathy initially only called police to identify the Parents/Guardians of the girl on sleepover (which was terminated after her own daughter began playing up). However, during several phone calls begging the Police come to assist the return of the child to her Parents, Police insisted it was a "domestic dispute" that didn't concern them (i.e., "it's not a police matter", "We are not a taxi service") & refusing to assist the child to be returned safely to her lawful guardians. Cathy explained that she was concerned that she had another minor, who was not her child, in her care & that she needed to ensure that the child was returned to the appropriate Parent/ Guardian after her own daughter began to display inappropriate behaviours.

Upon arrival, instead of focussing on the immediate need to return a child to her family (unknown to Cathy), & removing the boyfriend's father from the vicinity of her home who by now was causing a public disturbance in front of Cathy's home, the Police instead had Cathy's own daughter (& the other minor female child) removed & put in the custody of the male stranger whose own son self-harms, & who arrived at her property uninvited to harass the mother; sending the petulant minor a clear message that she can thumb her nose at parental authority for all the attention-seeking she has been craving.

Ms Bawden said "When we later went to the Police station to question the illegal interventions of Police, we were informed that the daughter was by then in the care of her older, adult sibling who also has developmental delay & would never have been deemed a suitable carer of the mother's choice, ahead of the child's own father & aunty. Police must never be permitted to intervene in the exercise of parental authority where there is clearly no risk or threat to any child, however, once called out for unlawfully harbouring a minor, the police covered for each other's disgraceful actions & misconduct."

At least two belligerent Police officers decided they could usurp the parental authority of a responsible adult who had kept her daughter safe, whilst aiding a stranger to harbour a minor who was at NO RISK OF ANY HARM & AGAINST THE CONSENT & WISHES of a mother who committed NO OFFENCE!

What is worse is the attitude of one officer who, when asked not to trespass over her property after they made it clear that they would not be assisting Cathy's requests, the male officer asked Cathy if she was a "Sovereign Citizen".

Ms Bawden said "Cathy made no references to being a Sovereign Citizen, but this is the nature of contempt today's officers have towards parents who assert their rights over the State. "THIS IS JOHN TERNEZIS'S story all over again & clearly Police have never learned a thing to change their practice" Ms Bawden said.

Matilda Bawden is available

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