Police commissioner apologises to Bowraville families
"WE ARE going to do everything possible to find justice for your murdered children."
Those were the words of NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione when he visited the Bowraville memorial site for Evelyn Greenup, Colleen Walker-Craig and Clinton Speedy-Duroux today.
Commissioner Scipione was in town to meet with the families of the three children murdered in Bowraville between 1990-1991.
"I want to pay my respects to the families and I want to acknowledge the 25 years you've been fighting for justice - that's a long time," he said.
"You've been dignified, you've been committed, and your fight for truth has all been about what happened to your children.
"They might not have justice yet and I'm certain there is a way to go, but as demonstrated by recent positive developments in the case, it gives us all hope."
The commissioner acknowledged police inaction at the time of the murders had contributed to the families' ongoing suffering.
"I want to make it clear and I need to say this to the families: your children have not been forgotten and will not be forgotten," he said.
"I want to publicly acknowledge the NSW Police Force could have done more.
"We could have done more for you, for your families, and when these crimes first occurred we should have done more.
"I know this has added to your pain and it's certainly been part of why you've been grieving as a community.
"Can I say to you I am sorry? I'm sorry you had to endure that. No one should have had to endure that.
"It's important you understand I am looking you right in the eye and saying I'm sorry."
He went on to thank lead case detective Gary Jubelin and his team for their commitment to finding the truth.
"I don't think there's much more they could do but if there was, they would and they will.
"Thank you, Gary. I think everyone here knows it's not just your professional commitment to this case but its been your personal determination, your dedication."
Commissioner Scipione, Detective Inspector Jubelin and representatives of NSW Police Force joined the community in laying flowers at the memorial.
Michelle Jarrett, Evelyn Greenup's aunt, said she appreciated public recognition of the community's struggle to achieve justice.
"We're very surprised he apologised but also very pleased because it was a long time coming," Ms Jarrett said.
"It should have been said a long time ago.
"Finally people are starting to see everything we've had to fight against and that we've kept coming back stronger each time they've knocked us down."
Colleen Walker-Craig's mother Muriel said she was relieved the commissioner had taken the opportunity to apologise.
"I'd hoped he might but to actually hear him say the words is really good," Ms Walker-Craig said.
Leonie Duroux, who was married to Clinton's late brother, said it was an emotional meeting for the families.
"I think it's pretty special he (Commissioner Scipione) made the trip up," Ms Duroux said.
"Sorry can't change anything but it recognises these kids' lives mattered and that Gary and his team have the support of police at the very top level."