Sunday 23 August 2009

Another day, more knickers in a knot

The SMH really shits me some days. Today is one of those days. This headline for one got up my goat:

Lisa Carty NSW Political Editor
August 23, 2009

TWENTY of the state's best prosecutors were learning how to shoot machine guns at a conference costing NSW taxpayers $110,000, yet just two weeks later the courts were left unattended because of a lack of money and staff.

Lisa Carty, you are a twat of the first order.

15 seconds on Google took me to the brochure for this conference.

I am going to copy a big chunk of the conference brochure across:

The AACP Annual Conference is the main event of the year for the Association. It is designed to promote the professional and educational development of members and observers, as well as providing a convivial environment for prosecutors from the different jurisdictions to meet, discuss their work, and socialise.

I'm not sure how much fun it is when prosecutors have a few beers, but let's pretend they are human like the rest of us, and have a tendency to do the dance of the flaming arseholes after having a few too many shots of tequila.

Jurisdictional Round-Up

First up is the round-up. Let us all share our experiences of the last year.

Online Sexual Predators

Witness a live demonstration of the investigation of online sexual predators. Learn about the latest investigation techniques in this growth area.

I think I would have worded that a bit better. It reads like they are sharing their experiences of being sexual predators. However, nothing wrong with showing prosecutors how rock spiders are busted.

Fire Scenes

Watch a fire develop from a few metres away. Shipping containers sheeted with plasterboard and fitted out with carpet and furniture replicating a room in a house will be set on fire allowing you to watch the development of the fire; the rate at which it develops and the burn patterns produced.
Nothing like a good bit of fire, something to bring out the inner arsonist in all of us. I presume prosecutors have to prosecute arsonists from time to time, so they might as well learn a bit about fire and how it behaves. Especially if it is used to cover up a murder.

Visit the training facility at the Amberley Air Base and participate in the Weapons Training Simulation System (WTSS) where you will learn how to handle and fire a variety of weapons ranging from pistol to light machine gun.
Until I read this bit, I had no idea where they were getting their hands on machine guns, given that civilian firing ranges generally don't have them on offer. However, they went to Amberley, which is different. I am not exactly sure what the WTSS involves, but it sounds like an indoor range where the weapons are re-calibered to .22. I'm not really sure why prosecutors need to know how to use a Minimi, but it sounds like fun.


Visit Queensland Health and Scientific Services and learn how autopsies are performed and how decisions are taken about what examinations are done and what tests are performed. See the CT scanner in use and its capacity to improve the presentation of this evidence to a jury.
Can't see anything wrong with showing prosecutors how to slice and dice either.

So whilst the blatting at Amberley might be a bit questionable, what the hell is wrong with the rest of the conference? It went for 2 days, and the weapons bit took up 4 hours of one day.

The primary aim of most of these shindigs is for people from different places to meet and greet and swap stories and experiences. From what I can see from this program, it was designed to generate enough interest to maximise the number of people attending, and to generate a bit of adrenalin which might get people to open up.

Oh, and by the way, the SMH really stuffed up by putting the following title into the HTML of this story - "prosecutors tax rort". Nowhere in the story does it mention a tax rort. I hope Cowdery sues for libel.


Richard Sharpe said...

WTSS involves in-service weapons re-engineered to fire a laser at a screen. All of the working parts and drills are the same. The recoil is provided by compressed gas that enters the weapon via a hose. It provides an opportunity to conduct weapons training without expending expensive ammunition. It also allows the user to replay shots and determine where they may have gone wrong, and to improve marksmanship techniques. It is advanced and accurate enough for the system to be used for the periodic weapons tests required to stay current and deployable. Some things still need to be done live at the range; initial weapons qualifications, advanced marksmanship shoots (Crossed Rifles) etc. It doesn't completely replace days spent sitting at the range, but it means that basic practices (like periodical weapons re-certs) can be done quickly without expending ammunition and wasting a whole day at the range for 10 mins on the mound. It also provides great training with the shot replay function, as well as some quite good scenario based shoots. In particular, the LOAC practice runs in real video. It is set in urban terrain and includes women and children (some of whom are legitimate targets- using the "Mother and Child" guise as a method of getting close enough to attack at close quarters) and other non-combatants. It gets quite tricky, and the replay provides valuable training points.

Boy on a bike said...

That sort of thing was just getting off the ground when I resigned. We had one range in WA, at Karrakatta I think. A few blokes tried it out, and loved it.

As much as a good live shoot can be, christ they are boring.