Personal tools

Skip links and keyboard navigation

You are here: Home News and media CCC media releases Assessment of complaints regarding Gold Coast Police District matters - 5 December 2017
You are here: Home News and media CCC media releases Assessment of complaints regarding Gold Coast Police District matters - 5 December 2017
You are here: Home News and media CCC media releases Assessment of complaints regarding Gold Coast Police District matters - 5 December 2017

Assessment of complaints regarding Gold Coast Police District matters - 5 December 2017

In the first half of 2017 the CCC received complaints related to the recording of crime statistical data and inappropriate workplace behaviour by senior officers of the Queensland Police Service (QPS) in the Gold Coast District (GCD). Its assessment of those complaints involved interviewing a number of witnesses, including police officers, and examining documentation provided by QPS and others.

The CCC has now referred 19 matters involving corrupt conduct and 14 matters involving police misconduct to the QPS for further investigation and appropriate action. In total, 15 officers were involved in these matters.

Due to the level of public interest in this matter, the CCC has determined to provide an update on the complaints and the assessment outcomes. These are set out below.

Failure to release information

One of the complaints alleged that QPS had failed to release information about a bikie brawl between gang members at Varsity Lakes in December 2015. However, the CCC identified a number of QPS media releases about the matter and noted that, without further information, the complaint did not raise a reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct or police misconduct.

Manipulation of crime statistics

Several complaints related to a lack of confidence generally in the crime statistical data for the GCD, also specifically alleging that a senior QPS officer had directed junior police to manipulate the crime data and clearance rates in certain circumstances. It was further alleged that senior officers bullied and victimised officers who opposed their work practices (including those related to crime statistics), and this behaviour had negatively affected workplace culture in the GCD.

In relation to the integrity of the crime statistics, and the alleged directions to manipulate the data, the CCC noted that although the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) identified some data anomalies and inappropriate practices in its report Criminal Justice System – reliability and integration of data (14:2016-17), the Queensland Auditor-General did not refer any suspicion of corrupt conduct to the CCC. Also, the CCC does not hold any information which raises a reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct or police misconduct in relation to these issues. The CCC noted further that the QPS has taken the necessary steps to rectify the data anomalies identified by the QAO.

Inappropriate workplace practices: bullying/victimisation and favouritism

The CCC did not find evidence of formal directions being given to alter crime statistics. However, it did find evidence that officers were pressured to achieve “aspirational” performance targets and subjected to verbal intimidation and negative workplace behaviours by a number of senior officers to encourage them to meet those targets. Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that officers who had assisted the QAO investigation were subjected to negative workplace behaviours by some senior officers. Such conduct contravenes the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010, which prohibits reprisal against whistle-blowers.

Allegations were made that senior officers at the GCD had given preferential treatment in recruitment processes and career development opportunities to fellow officers who supported their inappropriate workplace practices.

In relation to general practices and behaviours, the CCC’s preliminary inquiries did not find evidence that raised a reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct or police misconduct. It did however find evidence relating to an expression of interest process in place in the GCD for both commissioned and non-commissioned officers. The CCC was told that, due to the behaviour of some senior officers, most people chose not to apply to relieve in a particular position. This led some people to believe that the officers who were given relieving opportunities in the position were being favoured.

There was also evidence found against senior officers in relation to favouritism shown to one of the senior officers in relation to acting in a higher role, as well as evidence regarding the officer inappropriately pressuring another officer in relation to a transfer.

The CCC has also separately taken action against a senior officer from the GCD in relation to matters arising from a specific recruitment process. The matters are now before the Court.

Summary of outcomes and next steps

In relation to ongoing campaigns of bullying, victimisation and favouritism, reprisals, negative workplace behaviours and officers failing to properly report misconduct, the inquiries made by the CCC found evidence to support a reasonable suspicion in relation to 19 matters involving corrupt conduct and 14 matters involving police misconduct. In total, 15 officers were involved in these matters.

Of the 14 police misconduct matters referred to above, 12 relate to officers failing to properly report misconduct by other officers in relation to matters disclosed to them regarding inappropriate practices about the reporting of crime statistics. Police officers have obligations under section 7.2 of the Police Service Administration Act 1990 to report misconduct.

The other two police misconduct matters relate to unprofessional behaviour by a senior QPS officer towards other police officers and QAO staff, and negative workplace behaviour by another senior QPS officer towards a junior officer.

Section 34 of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (CC Act) recognises that the Police Commissioner is responsible for managing the QPS, which includes dealing with inappropriate behaviour of police officers and taking action to deal with corruption. The Police Commissioner will now be responsible for ensuring the matters are investigated and dealt with.

It should be noted that the CCC has not made any final determinations in relation to the allegations. It has, however, found evidence supporting the allegations which warrant further investigation by the QPS.

The CCC is an independent agency combating major crime and reducing corruption for the benefit of the Queensland community.

--ENDS--

For updates follow the CCC on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CCC_QLD

or https://www.facebook.com/crimeandcorruptioncommission

Last updated: 05 December 2017
For all media enquiries, please contact:

[email protected] or
07 3360 6000

Rate this page

How useful was the information on this page?