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1700 sickening reasons why Queensland police culture has become a vile, lawless disgrace

The evidence emerging from the inquiry into police responses to domestic violence is more than shocking. It’s fundamentally damaging to the credibility of the service, writes Madonna King.

Oct 06, 2022, updated Oct 06, 2022
(Photo: ABC)

(Photo: ABC)

DEFINING rape as ‘surprise sex’. Rape threats. Masturbation videos. Sexual assault. A request for oral sex. Penis pictures. Calling domestic violence ‘foreplay’.

Sick yet? Keep reading.

Serial harassment. Touching the vaginas of female police officers, and asking whether they enjoyed anal sex. Calling women ‘baby’. Bullying. Sexual assault. Following officers into bathrooms and asking for blowjobs.

The list goes on. And this is not some cheap porn movie; it’s the Queensland Police Service in 2022.

Imagine going for an advertised job with the service, and as you sit in the waiting room, one of the panellists walks past. He slides his hand over your bottom, up your back and to the bottom of your bra.

And then he simply walks on, without a word. The next time you see him, he’s sitting on the panel that will determine whether or not you get the job. But not before – and during the interview – he and another panellist pass notes wondering how ‘loose’ you might be.

Good God.

The crooks might be out of the police service – but is this any better than when they ran the shop?

This type of lawlessness is almost unfathomable. It’s sexist. It’s horrid. It’s criminal. And it runs counter to every public message delivered by the police service around domestic violence.

And yet, these despicable officers – who are being paid by our taxes – have been able to walk free. Retired. Resigned. Medically unfit.

And I bet every one of them kept their big fat public service entitlements.

Why?

Why can’t that money be taken back and given to domestic violence victims?

And who is responsible for this mess, given on the evidence provided this week that it’s gone on and on and on.

Katarina Carroll either didn’t know about it as a female constable or sergeant or inspector or assistant commissioner. And if she did, she didn’t act on it.

As police commissioner – a job she’s now had for more than three years – she’s either been told lies by her senior staff, not asked about complaints, or supported inaction that now makes this service absolutely impotent.

If this behaviour, and the inaction in dealing with it, has been kept from her, every culprit should face the sack. That would be sabotage.

Every decent police officer should also be as angry as the rest of us this week.

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One officer had 80 separate allegations against him substantiated! And we are not talking here about the odd complaint that slipped through the system. Almost 1700 complaints that included sexist, racist, misogynistic or homophobic allegations have been lodged against police recently – in the last two years, and during the current police commissioner’s tenure.

Saying it was traumatic doesn’t stop it. Neither does calling it unacceptable or sexist or disappointing or appalling or whatever other adjectives coloured the evidence given to the inquiry into Queensland police responses to domestic violence.

The damage done, just by the evidence which surfaced yesterday, is incalculable. Former commissioner Ian Stewart, who must also cop some of the blame here given how deep-seated the problems are, must be shaking his head today.

He copped almighty criticism from the State’s Crime and Corruption Commission for a gender equity recruitment drive that would increase the number of female officers. “Unlawful discrimination,’’ it was called.

And following a woman into a bathroom and requesting oral sex isn’t?

But the real victims here are those women who are subject to domestic violence and who might need to pick up the phone to a police officer tonight or tomorrow or the next day.

How do they feel after hearing this evidence, led by counsel assisting Ruth O’Gorman.

And will it stop them making that call?

I hope not.

 

 

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