Bendigo police under investigation

THE Office of Police Integrity and Victoria Police Ethical Standards department are investigating several Bendigo officers following an inadequate police response when an off-duty officer allegedly left the scene of an accident after drink driving.

The Bendigo Advertiser understands one officer has recently been suspended for alleged drink driving and leaving the scene of an accident, and several others are being investigated for allegedly breaching proper protocols in the hours after the fact.

It is believed one officer blew into a breathalyser on behalf of the intoxicated officer to register a zero alcohol reading, however that reading was not officially recorded on any paperwork.

The three-hour time period during which blood alcohol readings can be recorded at the police station was then allowed to lapse, meaning there is no legal record of the officer’s limit at the time of the alleged incident.

The officer did provide a breath sample some hours afterwards.

The Bendigo Advertiser understands the incident followed a drinking session at the Foundry Arms Hotel on November 17, last year, during which several police officers argued about personal relationships.

The off-duty officer left the hotel in an emotional state, and crashed the car he was driving near the Queens Arms Hotel in Quarry Hill before fleeing the scene.

Victoria Police this week confirmed a senior constable from the western region was under investigation by the Ethical Standards Department in relation to a drink driving incident.

A police media spokesman said the circumstances of the incident were part of an ongoing investigation and therefore there would be no further comment.

The Office of Police Integrity declined to comment to the Bendigo Advertiser for operational reasons.

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