Premier says Peter Fox will not face disciplinary action over abuse claims

 A SENIOR police officer who exposed alleged child abuse by Catholic priests won’t face disciplinary proceedings, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said today.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox appealed for the premier’s support earlier this week after receiving a letter from NSW police confirming one of his disclosures wouldn’t be protected under whistleblower laws.

Inspector Fox said the letter from police was ‘‘hostile’’ and he felt ‘‘very let down’’.

But Mr O’Farrell said today he had been assured by the NSW police commissioner that no disciplinary proceedings or other detrimental action will be taken over the disclosures Inspector Fox made last year.‘‘

The NSW police force has made clear it will support (him),’’ the premier said.

Mr O'Farrell said there would be no reprisals against Inspector Fox, who will continue to be protected under the Police Act 1990 and the Police Regulation 2008.

Inspector Fox claims the church in the Hunter region covered up evidence about pedophile priests and hindered police investigations into child abuse.

His allegations prompted a state government inquiry and helped pave the way for a federal royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.Inspector Fox indicated he still had concerns, despite Mr O’Farrell’s assurances.‘‘

There is no assurance individual police, past or present, will not take action. That’s what isn’t said,’’ he tweeted.Also on Twitter, Opposition Leader John Robertson accused the premier of ‘‘using weasel words to hide from doing the right thing.’’

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said Inspector Fox need not worry because he was protected by public information disclosure legislation, as well as by the Police Act.

‘‘He will not be in any way victimised, he won’t be the subject of retaliation,’’ Mr Scipione told reporters today.‘‘

He does have the protection in regards to the matters that he’s reported.’’ 

AAP 

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