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DATE: February 28, 2019

The following can be attributed to WA Police Union President Harry Arnott:

WAPU is currently assisting our Members involved in this incident and will continue to ensure their health and welfare is looked after.

However, we disagree with the wholesale and relatively indiscriminate targeting and charging of many of our Members with disciplinary offences. Such an approach might be convenient to the WA Police Force because it allows them to represent to the world that it has addressed the issue, but it completely overlooks the systemic failures that greatly contributed to this incident.

These systemic failures are the Fremantle Offender Management Area; the lack of proper preparation and risk assessment for New Year’s Eve operations; and the Offender Management Area operations manual.

The Fremantle Offender Management Area is not a 'lock-up' or 'watch house' as this means that the WA Police Force can use the facility as a detention area without providing the resources and infrastructure required. This area has been used for a number of years to detain arrested persons and the reality is that it is used on a daily basis as a lock-up facility despite being deemed an Offender Management Area.

As an example, if this detention area was operated as a lock-up, a nurse would have been required to be present on the night in question, and Ms Duncan would have been provided medical attention as soon as she arrived at the facility.

We inspected this facility again on Friday and have reported it to Worksafe. While this facility continues to be used by the WA Police Force, the community and our Members are at significant risk of harm or injury.

ENDS