A year after this community came together in Harmony Park to demand action on homophobic violence in NSW, another gay couple has been savagely beaten and our state police force found lacking again.
The ambush-style attack on Aaron Wernecke and Greg Harland in Blacktown fits among the worst categories of crime. A metal pole is a potentially deadly weapon. A beer bottle can maim someone for life.
It’s only the attackers’ dumb luck that they didn’t kill Aaron. They showed no concern for his survival. They should be charged with attempted murder and this treated as a hate crime.
The very least citizens should be able to expect is, if they can identify the perpetrator of a crime, police will seek that person post haste.
The attacker whose identity was made known to police should’ve been cooling his heels in a cell the very night of the attack and the names of his accomplices demanded. Instead they’ve had three months to get their stories straight, and evidence left uncollected. It’s just not good enough.
Between them, Blacktown and Quakers Hill LACs span 25 postcodes, three police stations, and an area home to 100,000 people. Yet NSW Police have just one Gay aand Lesbian Liaison Officer to serve the thousands of GLBT residents and workers who live in the area or pass through it each day.
Despite hard work by Surry Hills LAC in restoring community confidence since last year, if police have a problem attracting gay recruits, they only have themselves to blame.
Just days before we broke this story, Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione touted the release of an official police Bible — with Old and New Testaments bound in cop blue and the NSW Police crest stamped on the cover.
In 2004 this same man as Deputy Commissioner attended a memorial service for the self-confessed pedophile and disgraced Assemblies of God pastor, Frank Houston, father of Hillsong’s Brian Houston.
Under Scipione, every police officer who graduates from the Goulburn Academy is offered a Bible.
Said Scipione, “I believe the police Bible will impact on generations of police officers to come… I would like to think an officer who receives one of these special police Bibles will one day sit in my seat.”
What message does that send to potential recruits from the GLBT community and other faiths about what the ‘right stuff’ for career advancement under this Commissioner might be?
We can be forgiven for feeling we’ve been failed yet again.

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