The Tumut Police Charged
3 February 1888 The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser (From tho Cootamundra Herald.)
Readers will have noticed more than one reference in our telegraphic and written correspondence from Tumut as to certain police proceedings which seem to call for public comment.
It appears that, through charges made secretly against the police and as secretly investigated, Sergeant Larkins was reduced to the rank of Senior-constable after twenty-four years service; First-class Constable Berry was discharged after thirteen years service; and Constable Warren was fined; while Larkins and Warren were removed from Tumut.
The charge was that members of the police were playing billiards while they should have been on duty, and while riotous proceedings were going on in main street, Tumut - during election time.
This charge has been investigated by the police branch with the result as stated above, and it is said the evidence produced showed that two constables did engage in a game of billiards; and the statement of their accuser was alone accepted as to the riotous proceedings.
We have a copy of the evidence before us, with the dates and names of parties: but they need not be reproduced.
What we are desired now to do is to state the facts as given to us, and to publish correspondence bearing upon the matter, between our correspondent and the representative of Tumut, in which the latter consents to act if the demand is taken up in a public spirit, either per the local Progress Committee or by other public means.
Mr. Traves Jones is right in the position which he takes; and, for the present, at any rate, we deem it wise not to publish the correspondence.
Our correspondent is actuated by a very worthy motive - the defence of men who, he says, have been unjustly dealt with; and he is unquestionably right in contending for an open investigation, with the view of satisfying the public that either no wrong has been done or of relieving the accused of unfair punishment.