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You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 July 2010 – 29 June 2011 Standard set for Queensland’s police discipline system — 21.12.2010
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 July 2010 – 29 June 2011 Standard set for Queensland’s police discipline system — 21.12.2010
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 July 2010 – 29 June 2011 Standard set for Queensland’s police discipline system — 21.12.2010

Standard set for Queensland’s police discipline system — 21.12.2010

The Crime and Misconduct Commission has released a package of recommendations designed to strengthen the Queensland Police Service’s discipline system.

The recommendations include providing the Police Commissioner with more power to transfer or dismiss police officers whose conduct does not meet the high standards of integrity and competence expected within the QPS.

The CMC report, Setting the standard: A review of current processes for the management of police discipline and misconduct matters, contains eleven recommendations and follows a request from the Attorney-General to examine the system.

CMC Assistant Commissioner, Misconduct Warren Strange says a state government discussion paper, Integrity and Accountability in Queensland, attracted a significant number of written submissions from the public expressing concerns about the current police discipline processes.

‘On top of these public concerns, several CMC investigations into allegations of inappropriate police conduct revealed some notable deficiencies,’ Mr Strange said.

‘In many instances the discipline system works well; however, some limitations and failings of the system make it vulnerable, at times leading to perverse outcomes. This undermines the objectives of the disciplinary process and confidence in the QPS and its senior officers.’

‘If community confidence in the QPS is to be maintained, then a fair and robust discipline system is essential to ensure police accountability and integrity.’

‘Importantly though, no discipline system, however outstanding, can be effective without the organisational will to make it so.’

‘Underpinning the police discipline system is the need for the QPS to demonstrate it has the will to make it work. The organisation and individual officers must not lose sight of the purpose of the discipline system.’

‘Among the CMC’s recommendations is for the QPS to elevate complaints management to core business and, in doing so, ensure that its Ethical Standards Command (ESC), responsible for dealing with complaints against police, is adequately resourced,’ Mr Strange said.

The CMC has also recommended that the state government amend several pieces of legislation which would strengthen the existing police discipline system.

Under the proposed changes, the Police Commissioner would be given the power to transfer a police officer in the public interest, giving the Commissioner the capacity to maintain organisational efficiency and professional standards. Currently, the Commissioner can’t transfer a non-commissioned officer for managerial purposes.

The CMC has recommended amendments to the Police Service Administration Act 1990 to allow for a ‘Commissioner’s loss of confidence’ (CLOC) provision. This would enable the Police Commissioner to dismiss an officer in whom the Commissioner had lost confidence, without engaging in a protracted disciplinary process. The use of the power would be subject to review by the affected officer.

The CMC has also recommended that the power to suspend disciplinary sanctions is removed.

‘The use of suspended sanctions in the QPS discipline system is problematic as it removes the deterrent effect of the sanction and undermines public confidence in the system and the QPS,’ Mr Strange said.

‘Building public confidence in the QPS’s ability to deal appropriately with police misconduct is one of the purposes of the disciplinary process.’

‘The importance of an effective police disciplinary process is reinforced by the fact that the QPS, the Department of Justice and Attorney-General and the Department of Premier and Cabinet all contributed resources and expertise to the review. Their assistance was of great value.’


For further information contact:

Shelley Thomas, Communications Officer
E: [email protected]
Tel:  3360 6344     Mobile:  0407 373 803     Fax: 3360 6235

Leanne Hardyman, Media Adviser
E: [email protected]
Mobile:  0407 373 803     Fax:  3360 6235

Last updated: 21 May 2013
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