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You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 August 2008 – 23 June 2009 Southbank Taser incident prompts CMC concerns — 04.03.2009
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 August 2008 – 23 June 2009 Southbank Taser incident prompts CMC concerns — 04.03.2009
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 August 2008 – 23 June 2009 Southbank Taser incident prompts CMC concerns — 04.03.2009

Southbank Taser incident prompts CMC concerns — 04.03.2009

The Crime and Misconduct Commission has warned the Queensland Police Service must learn from its mistakes in policing or risk jeopardising the service’s professionalism.

CMC Chairperson Robert Needham’s comments follow concerns about the way the QPS handled an incident in which a 16-year-old girl was tasered by a police officer at Southbank in April last year.

Mr Needham has urged Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson to send a strong message to all police that they must objectively assess and learn from policing incidents.

‘The Southbank incident displayed very poor policing by the officer involved and showed a concerning pattern within QPS towards the handling of policing incidents.

‘The CMC made it clear to the QPS that, as the Southbank matter occurred very early in the QPS taser trial and any injuries in this case were minimal, if misuse of the taser was found disciplinary action would not be called for.’

‘Instead the Commission expected the QPS to use the incident as a learning opportunity for the officer involved and for taser training generally, but there is no evidence to show this has occurred. ’

‘My observations of QPS failure to learn from mistakes are not limited to this case,’ Mr Needham said.

‘The entire process of reviewing policing incidents should be aimed at improving the QPS level of service to the community.’

The CMC has recommended that the police officer receive managerial guidance over his actions after forming the view that he showed very poor policing:

  • Poor exercise of discretion in requiring the youths to move on, in circumstances where they were waiting for an ambulance to treat their ill and unconscious friend
  • Poor communication, in that, contrary to obligations under the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act the police officer failed to advise the youths of the consequences of disobeying a move-on direction
  • Using the taser contrary to the QPS policy where the girl could have been restrained less forcefully and where the police officer admitted that he knew she could be a juvenile
  • Use of excessive force

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Last updated: 18 January 2012

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