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You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases CMC marks a decade of success in protecting Queenslanders — 17.09.2012
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases CMC marks a decade of success in protecting Queenslanders — 17.09.2012
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases CMC marks a decade of success in protecting Queenslanders — 17.09.2012

CMC marks a decade of success in protecting Queenslanders — 17.09.2012

The Crime and Misconduct Commission has exceeded a range of operational targets in its tenth year, as detailed in its Annual Report 2011-12 tabled in Parliament today [17 September].

Underpinning its goal of making Queensland as hostile as possible to those who would engage in major crime, the CMC’s Crime unit, which focuses on organised crime, proceeds of crime (non conviction-based civil confiscation scheme), criminal paedophilia and terrorism:

  • undertook 26 tactical operations across all areas of major crime, resulting in 396 charges against 76 people and assisted the Queensland Police Service (QPS) to progress a further 48 major crime operations across Queensland;
  • shut down two drug trafficking networks and seized dangerous drugs to an estimated street value of $1.544 million;
  • rapidly assisted the QPS in response to spikes in both weapons-related crime and outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) violence, as reflected in six new investigations and 54 days of coercive hearings;
  • in total, held coercive hearings over 145 days in Brisbane, Bundaberg, Mount Isa, Rockhampton and Cairns (a 27 per cent increase on the previous year), calling 132 witnesses to help progress a range of QPS investigations including eight homicides and one attempted homicide, four drug trafficking, four weapons-related, one fraud and two OMCG-related cases;
  • brought the first three criminal paedophilia prosecutions in Queensland under the new Commonwealth Aggravated Networking offence (carrying a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment) against two offenders among a total 11 people charged with 191 offences relating to possessing, distributing and producing child exploitation material;
  • restrained $20.858 million of criminal proceeds (including property valued at $12.039 million of the $16.6 million alleged to have been defrauded from Queensland Health by Hohepa Morehu-Barlow) and returned $7.007 million to the state, exceeding targets of $18 million and $6 million respectively;
  • produced a discussion paper on the means by which internet technologies enable serious criminal activities such as money laundering and drug and weapons trafficking; and
  • provided intelligence to state and national agencies to increase their understanding of the threats posed by the diversion and misuse of prescription drugs such as opioids, and by a range of illicit and licit substances such as steroids and analogue stimulants.

In overseeing and promoting a trustworthy public sector, the Misconduct unit:

  • assessed a record number of complaints (5192), with 88 per cent assessed within one month (exceeding the 85 per cent target);
  • retained 51 serious matters for CMC investigation (23 related to the QPS and 28 ‘other agency’ matters) and retained a further 27 serious matters for cooperative investigation;
  • 73 investigations were completed in 2011-12 (including some matters commenced in previous financial years), with 79 per cent (58 investigations) finalised with a 12-month period, up from 60 per cent the previous year
  • made 182 procedural recommendations for misconduct prevention action, 60 recommendations for disciplinary action and 10 recommendations for criminal charges (arising from investigations retained by the CMC), with the Director of Public Prosecutions additionally giving his consent to bringing a further 62 criminal charges arising from two investigations;
  • finalised 370 reviews of matters devolved to agencies (up from 313 the previous year) within a median of 14 days, well below the 25-day target;
  • established a dedicated program to deal with complaints about local government and government-owned corporations;
  • responded to nine police incidents across the state as part of its oversight function of police-related deaths and ‘significant events’, which in 2011-12 included incidents in police watch-houses, car pursuits, suicides, a siege and police shootings;
  • undertook 31 research, intelligence, capacity building, prevention and monitoring projects;
  • conducted two audits – firstly, into how the public sector (including local government and the QPS) dealt with complaints involving allegations relating to purchasing and procurement and, secondly, how all public sector agencies provide outcome advice to complainants in accordance with statutory obligations;
  • implemented major changes to the structure and working practices of the Misconduct area arising from an internal review, as reported in 2010-11;
  • made additional structural adjustments to accommodate implementation of recommendations arising from the Independent Review of the Queensland Police Complaints, Discipline and Misconduct System (SETS Review), including the trial of an all-civilian investigation team for police-related misconduct;
  • continued a long-term strategy (the Building Integrity Program) of collaborating with major public sector agencies to implement improved integrity systems, providing seven public service departments with evaluation reports in 2011-12;
  • co-hosted the Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference with the Western Australian Corruption and Crime Commission and the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption; and
  • provided information sessions to more than 670 public sector employees on integrity-related topics.

Although not captured in outcome results for Misconduct investigations completed in 2011-12 (as detailed above), a number of high-profile investigations were progressed into some of the state’s most important public institutions: alleged major fraud at Queensland Health, admission irregularities at the University of Queensland, and a referral from the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry.

Also of note, a CMC Crime investigation led to a parallel misconduct investigation into an alleged criminal association between a key drug target and a local government employee.

On the Misconduct side, ongoing public awareness about the CMC’s role, particularly among public sector agencies, contributed to the record tally of 5303 complaints received during the past financial year.

Notably, for the first time, statistical trends pointed to a shift in the balance of misconduct complaints against police. While historically the majority of complaints to the CMC have been police-related, in 2011-12 the breakdown become closer to a 50/50 split relating to police and the remaining public sector.

Of the total 12 559 allegations contained in 5303 complaints received in 2011-12:

  • 49 per cent (6167 allegations) related to police, with the top three categories being assault/excessive force (1453 allegations), official conduct (953 allegations) and demeanour/attitude (689 allegations);
  • 42 per cent (5266 allegations) related to public sector employees, including those in government owned corporations, with the top three categories being official conduct (1185 allegations); assault/excessive force (622 allegations) and misappropriation (557 allegations);
  • eight per cent (1002 allegations) related to those in local government, with the top three categories being corruption and favouritism (280 allegations), official conduct (208 allegations) and use of government resources (90 allegations); and
  • one per cent (124) related to other agencies, mainly involving politicians.

In the two sectors drawing the most misconduct complaints, the CMC conducted 20 investigations into 93 allegations of official misconduct in the public sector, resulting in recommendations for five criminal charges and nine disciplinary charges against six officers; and 43 investigations into 191 allegations of official misconduct by police (including 12 joint investigations), resulting in recommendations for five criminal and 51 disciplinary charges against 26 officers.

Across other functional areas, significant achievements included:

  • the CMC’s witness protection program maintained its record of keeping all witnesses safe and hosted a national witness protection course that benchmarked national standards for witness protection practitioners;
  • the strategic intelligence unit progressed 15 projects (10 related to Crime and five related to Misconduct) and, among other activities, responded to Australian Crime Commission requests for information to help develop a national understanding of priority risks and threats to Australia from identified criminal groups and individuals, illicit commodities and crime types; and
  • the applied research and evaluation unit hosted the Police Integrity Agency Research Forum, published latest reports on the Queensland public’s perceptions of the QPS, public service agencies and local government in key areas such as behavior, corruption and complaints processing, and secured government approval for all recommendations in the CMC’s 2011 public policy reports on the evade police provisions and Taser use by QPS officers, as well as producing discussion papers outlining how internet technologies enable serious criminal activities and on the prevalence and incidence of criminal paedophilia in Australia.

The CMC’s total revenue in 2011-12 was $50.44 million, equating to a one per cent increase on the previous year, with the main source of revenue (97 percent or $49.077 million) coming from the Queensland Government operating grant.

 

Last updated: 24 September 2012

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