VICTORIA’S Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna hopes Victoria Police reconsider forming a dedicated, specialised squad to deal with racing.
Perna, who last Thursday delivered a 72-page document into race fixing in Victoria, said he was surprised how quickly his recommendation for a racing squad had been squashed by Victoria Police.
Graham Ashton, the deputy commissioner of Victoria Police, said a specialised squad for racing could not be justified.
Perna told TVN’s Racing Review today that he hoped Victoria Police would rethink the value of a squad dealing with the industry.
He said he was not saying re-form the police racing squad of the 1980s and 1990s.
“You must have trained investigators. At the moment if we refer a potential criminal case connected to racing there is not a point you can go into Vic Pol where you are going to get dedicated, specialists,” Perna said.
“I really think we need some specialised, dedicated resources not necessarily in relation to the race fixing findings, but in response to a number of other issues that have been raised.
“One of them is to have a unit that understands the complexities of racing and be able to provide proactive measures and work with the stewards in resolving issues as they arrive.”
Perna also urged for a review of the penalties.
“If we want to send a message about any aspect one of the ways is to reflect that in the rules and that’s what I’m saying about (jockeys) betting,” he said.
“It is not just an offence, it’s a serious offence. Participants in a sport should be not be allowed to bet, end of story.
“Let us raise that to a serious offence, let’s raise it to the Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board and take it out of the hands of the steward’s making a determination.
“If we look at penalties and look at minimum penalties for certain offences that has to send a message.”