Sexism, racism and fear of speaking out: Police behaviour report set to land

A culture of sexism, racism and a fear of speaking out about misconduct in the Queensland police force will be detailed in a report set to be released on Monday.

Nov 21, 2022, updated Nov 21, 2022
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll. (AAP Image/Darren England)

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll. (AAP Image/Darren England)

The state government has had the final report, which follows a three-month inquiry into police responses to domestic violence, for seven days.

Judge Deborah Richards’ probe was twice extended to more closely examine police force culture, airing multiple allegations of female officers being sexually assaulted, harassed, threatened and bullied by colleagues.

Alleged abusers were given a slap on the wrist by colleagues misusing the disciplinary system, while victims often stayed silent for fear that speaking out would ruin their careers, the probe was told.

The final report is expected to be highly critical of Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll’s evidence and her failure to improve professional standards to ensure perpetrators were disciplined since she took the role in 2019.

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Judge Richards is set to find the commissioner was either wilfully ignorant, kept in the dark or deliberately obfuscated about her own knowledge of cultural issues, The Australian newspaper reported last week.

Both the Labor government and Liberal National Party opposition have publicly backed Carroll, who said last week she hoped to survive and deserved more time to reform her organisation.

Last month, she apologised to officers who had been sexually abused and faced sexist or racist bullying by colleagues. She promised to review every complaint.

Carroll also asked the government to give her show-cause power to sack “some of these predators”, saying the current disciplinary process was frustrating.

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