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"Haters going to hate" NSW police commissioner brushes off criticism

New South Wales police commissioner Karen Webb has brushed off criticism of her handling of the case of a serving police officer who has been accused on a double homicide.

During an appearance on Channel Seven’s Sunrise program the commissioner quoted Taylor Swift lyrics saying “Haters going to hate”.

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Senior Constable Beaumont Lamarre-Condon was charged over the alleged murders of Sydney men Jesse Baird and Luke Davies on Friday, but the police commissioner did not speak to the media about the incident until yesterday.

It follows on from controversy over a 2023 incident where a police officer used a taser on a grandmother with dementia. Police alleged the 96-year-old was armed with a steak knife. Clare Rowland died following the encounter with police, and Webb was criticised for not appearing before the media until several days after the event. Concern was raised over the initial information released by police which omitted key details about what had occurred.

On that occasion Webb said she had not watched video of the incident, because she did not want to be influenced by seeing the footage. At a media conference on Monday Webb was asked about a 2020 incident where Lamarre had tasered a 31-year-old man. Webb said she had never watched this footage either, despite it being heavily featured in the media.

Appearing on Sunrise on Tuesday morning Webb was asked about concern over her leadership, and criticism that she had been slow to respond to an officer being charged with a double murder where he allegedly used his police issued weapon to commit the crime.

“There will always be haters, haters like to hate, isn’t that what Taylor says?” Webb responded. “I’ve got a job to do, and it’s a big job. We actually had seven murders last week. We had a triple murder out at Paramatta, we’ve had others.”

The commissioner response comes after she labeled questions about her leadership asked at Monday’s press conference as “offensive.”

Commissioner Webb also criticised the media for not covering an event on Saturday which highlighted gay men who have been murdered in the Sydney area over many decades.

“On Saturday morning I attended the sunrise event at Bronte Park, in Marks Park, to remember those gay men that lost their lives there. I don’t remember seeing too many media there, but I was there.” Commissioner Webb said.

Last year a Special Inquiry probed four decades of violent hate crimes against gay men in the Sydney area and found that police had failed to adequately investigate many of the crimes. New South Wales police have yet to formally respond to the recommendations put forward by Supreme Court Justice Michael Sacker, but on Sunday night Webb issued an apology for the police’s actions between 1970 and 2010.

Premier Chris Minns have voiced his support for the commissioner, saying the key role of the police is investigation of crime, and he believes Karen Webb “does that very well.”

OIP Staff


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