Sunday, August 30, 2015

Australia: Officers having sex on station desks, female staff being groped and revolting slurs: Top cop concedes poor behaviour has 'spiked' amongst Gold Coast police

[Qld.] Police Commissioner Ian Stewart believes a review into the culture of the Gold Coast police stations will likely find poor-behaving officers.

Commissioner Stewart said there has been a spike in ‘poor behaviour’ among the officers in the coastal, south Queensland region but believes it’s more likely a few spoiling the reputation.

It comes after Gold Coast Bulletin alleged to have obtained a leaked copy of a survey detailing allegations of female staff being groped, discriminatory slurs graffitied in stations, and officers have sex on station desks and in police cars while on duty.

‘The actions of the few often tarnish the great work done by the many,’ Commissioner Stewart said in Brisbane.

One fifth of Gold Coast police surveyed said they did not believe their managers showed the type of behaviour expected of all employees, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin.

But Commissioner Stewart said this was distinct from a cultural review being undertaken by an independent consultant, with findings expected to be handed down in coming weeks.

‘I want the answers,’ he said.  ‘We need to understand have we actually got an inherent problem ... in the Gold Coast area.’

He said the review wouldn't have been instituted unless there were valid concerns about a ‘spike’ of incidents in the past year or so.

‘[But] I'm quite convinced that what could potentially be found is that the actions of a few are tarnishing the great work of most of the police that work on the Gold Coast,’ he said.

Nevertheless, Commissioner Stewart said he was confident community faith in the state's police force wouldn't be damaged by reports of cops behaving badly.

‘We're more transparent and accountable than probably any other organisation that I know of,’ he said.

He said police would determine if the review's eventual findings would be made public.

The commissioner was also asked to address recent controversy about allegations of excessive force used by officers on people in custody.

He said officers found to have genuinely mistreated subjects would be punished in the same way a regular member of the public would be.

Original report here

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