Police apology for Fox

INQUIRY: Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox feels vindicated.
INQUIRY: Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox feels vindicated.

DETECTIVE Chief Inspector Peter Fox received an apology from the NSW police force over a flawed internal police investigation only a month before his public outbursts triggered the royal commission on child abuse.

Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas overturned misconduct findings against Chief Inspector Fox and formally apologised on behalf of NSW police last October after his review of police handling of a case that began in 2006.

Mr Kaldas accepted Chief Inspector Fox's description of the 2009 misconduct findings as "gobly gook" [sic], and found it was likely that disciplinary action against a superintendent and a chief inspector caught up in the case "are also bad".

His review included an assessment of allegations of a "boys' club" involving some Northern region officers.

Mr Kaldas forwarded a copy of his review of the region's handling of the matter to the NSW Police Force Professional Standards Command because "it may be useful as a case study".

It included a request for consideration of whether the region required "additional support in the management of internal investigation review" in applying "the principles of procedural fairness".

Mr Kaldas reviewed the police response to an alleged assault of a teenager by police officer Jamie Ross at Lemon Tree Passage in 2006 after Chief Inspector Fox had complained in December 2011.

He was one of at least 10 police officers involved in internal investigations of the Mr Ross case.

In January 2007 he was assigned to investigate 10 issues raised by the NSW Ombudsman's office after an initial internal police investigation had rejected an assault allegation against Mr Ross.

Chief Inspector Fox was investigated in 2008 after he found the initial police investigation was flawed and charged Mr Ross.

Chief Inspector Fox told the Newcastle Herald he felt "vindicated" by the review.

A NSW Police spokesman said Chief Inspector Fox had "exercised his appeal rights, as all officers are entitled to do under our guidelines".

"Consequently, an apology was given to the officer after procedural irregularities were discovered in the original internal investigation."