POLICE officer Amy Lovett had thought she was investigating an outlaw motorcycle gang but it turns out her assignment allowed the police service to monitor her own behaviour.Ms Lovett said she suffered psychological injuries after being asked to conduct a probe into a former boyfriend, unaware this was part of the internal investigation of her activities. She has won a compensation battle with the NSW Police.In September 2006 Ms Lovett was asked to look into the activities of an outlaw motorcycle gang operating in western Sydney. But she became concerned when she was not given a detailed briefing and then discovered her list of targets included a dead man and another who had been her boyfriend when she was 15.Concern turned to fear when on the third day of her inquiries she was tailed by a white van while driving home from Wetherill Park police station in Sydney’s west. She believed she was followed by the bikie gang and telephoned work to run a check on the van’s number plate. But she did not receive any information about who owned the vehicle.As a result, Ms Lovett grew anxious, paranoid and depressed. She was certain her life was in danger and after four days of the investigation called in sick. Ms Lovett has not been able to work in the 3½ years since.Weeks later Ms Lovett learnt the whole investigation, including the surveillance by the white van, was a ”dummy job” made up by the police.It was part of an internal investigation the force was running into Ms Lovett, who was suspected of improperly accessing the police computer database.The NSW Workers Compensation Commission has determined the police actions were not reasonable in relation to the offence Ms Lovett was alleged to have committed. It has ordered the force to pay her weekly compensation from September 2006 to date and continuing.Ms Lovett told the commission as a result of the police inquiry she no longer trusted anyone and had stopped speaking to close friends.Ms Lovett said: ”I believe that the police could have informed me of their investigation the day I was followed, or completed their inquires in a different, professional manner.”The NSW Police argued that the action was appropriate, highlighting that Ms Lovett had been issued with a commissioner’s warning in May 2008 in regards to her improperly accessing the database in 2003, 2004 and late 2005.But the commission determined that warning had been issued well after the internal investigation had taken place and only after an attempt to prosecute Ms Lovett for accessing and modifying restricted data had failed.The commission ruled there was no evidence to show the matters highlighted by the commissioner’s warning were those that had prompted the internal investigation in September 2006.
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