Liz questions policy on police complaints

By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

COMPLAINTS against police in Queensland are not being properly investigated, according to Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham.

Mrs Cunningham has called on the Minister for Police Judy Spence to investigate allegations that the process for complaints is flawed.

Mrs Cunningham stressed the complaints were not addressed specifically to the Gladstone region but were more generic.

"I have been told that there is a clear differentiation between complaints made about commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers,'' she said.

"When a complaint is made against an ordinary policeman such as a sergeant or senior constable that complaint goes straight to the Crimes and Misconduct Commission (CMC) and that police officer is not able to be considered for promotion or transfer until the matter is dealt with.

"When a complaint is made against a commissioned officer there are examples that indicate the officer is still able to get promoted or transferred.''

Mrs Cunningham said this was a fairly serious allegation. She said there was no reason to doubt the validity of the complaint as the complainant could cite a number of examples.

"I want the minister to check the process in terms of the number of allegations referred to the Ethical Standards Command (ESC) of the police service and how those complaints were handled.

"I also want an audit of ESC decisions in relation to commissioned and non-commissioned officers,'' Mrs Cunningham said.

The Police Minister Judy Spence said should Mrs Cunningham have specific information that demonstrated these processes had not been followed or there was any inequality in the way commissioned and non-commissioned officers were treated, she would refer the matter to the CMC for investigation.

"I am advised by the assistant commissioner George Stolz that, in the past two years in the central police region, there has only been one disciplinary matter that has involved a complaint against a commissioned officer, and the complaint was referred to the CMC,'' Ms Spence said.

Ms Spence said she believed the processes for investigating allegations of misconduct by police in Queensland were transparent and fair to everyone involved.



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