Former police officer misused position to access information for church

By Jackson Graham

December 17, 2021

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A senior Victoria Police officer misused his position to access confidential information. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

A senior Victoria Police officer misused his position to access confidential information about historical sexual offence cases for personal interest, the state’s corruption watchdog says.

An Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission investigation has now been tabled in parliament making recommendations to amend a section of the Victoria Police Act.

Former superintendent Paul Rosenblum plead guilty to accessing police information without authorisation and was fined $20,000 earlier this year, with no conviction recorded.

The charges followed Victoria Police informing IBAC in 2017 that Rosenblum had misused his position as an officer after he was approached for advice by associates of his church on investigations into sexual offences.

IBAC found he accessed confidential information held on Victoria Police’s Law Enforcement Assistance Program, contacted investigating officers to gain information, and contacted the alleged offenders and people associated with them.

The commission’s investigation also found he drafted a letter intended to be signed by an alleged victim of a sexual offence requesting Victoria Police take no further action.

Members of the church requested this letter and later presented it to the alleged victim, who refused to sign it.

“This was improper, and a clear conflict between superintendent Rosenblum’s duties as a senior officer and his personal interests,” IBAC’s report says of the letter drafting.

IBAC has found unauthorised access and misuse of information an ongoing concern in investigations, and flags information misuse as a “key enabler” of other improper conduct.

“It is critical that information and data held by Victoria Police on its systems, including LEAP, is handled in accordance with the Victorian Protective Data Security Framework,” the report says.

The corruption watchdog has also recommended the government amend a section of the Victoria Police Act 2013 to include a clear obligation that police only access or use information they have a demonstrable and legitimate need for in their duties.


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