An internal notice to members from NT Police Assistant Commissioner Michael White warned officers not to speak to the media about a fellow officer charged with ‘failure to rescue’, reminding them about their code of conduct, breaches of which are used to issue Section 79 disciplinary notices.
In a statement on Friday afternoon, media manager Rob Cross said a 51-year-old male officer had been issued a notice to appear in Darwin Local Court for the offence of failure to rescue.
He said the matter was being investigated by the Crime Command, and the officer would be required to appear in court on May 17.
As is typical with NT Police statements made under “transparency guidelines” for charges against officers, it gave less information than for civilian charges.
Under section 155 of the NT Criminal Code Act, any person who can rescue, resuscitate, or provide medical treatment, first aid or succour of any kind, to a person urgently in need of it, and whose life may be endangered if it is not provided, has callously failed, and is guilty of an offence, and faces seven years in jail.
In his communication, Mr White said any approaches from the media about the charge should be directed to Mr Cross, and that all members were bound by the NTPF code of conduct and ethics, and their oath to be an officer.
The range of consequences of section 79 disciplinary notices for breaches of code of conduct and ethics range from no action taken, to demotion, and even dismissal.
Mr White said the Office of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption and the NT Ombudsman would be advised of the matter.