Date published: 23 June 2011

CMC Chairperson Martin Moynihan AO QC today handed to state parliament a report of an investigation into allegations of police misconduct on the Gold Coast.

The CMC investigated allegations that certain Gold Coast police officers were using and supplying illicit drugs, supplying confidential information to assist criminal associates and receiving benefits for providing this information.

‘While Operation Tesco did not find evidence of widespread corruption, it uncovered longstanding problems with police behaviour which remained unchecked by supervisors and led to an erosion of policing standards,’ Mr Moynihan said.

‘This investigation is a good example of where the CMC and the QPS worked together to resolve identified issues,’ Mr Moynihan said.

The CMC found an environment where there was a reluctance to report suspected police misconduct, drug and alcohol abuse by some police, a pre-occupation with ‘blue light taxis’ and police-only discounts and improper disclosure of confidential police information to assist criminal associates.

‘The QPS, in consultation with the CMC, has implemented a number of new strategies which aim to improve policing not only on the Gold Coast but across Queensland.

‘The most significant result to emerge from Operation Tesco is the development by the QPS of its policies on declarable associations and gifts and gratuities.

‘A policy to manage the risks inherent in some inappropriate associations between police officers and individuals is long overdue. This is a step forward for Queensland policing.

‘This new policy may have the most influence in preventing a recurrence of the type of conduct investigated in Operation Tesco.

‘Operation Tesco was also a catalyst for the QPS taking a comprehensive stance on the sensitive issue about police receiving gifts and other benefits because of their employment.

‘I commend the police service for being so swift in its response; however, the CMC has identified some areas of high risk where there is more work to be done.

‘One area that requires further consideration is the police service’s recruitment strategy and a need to focus on improving its initial screening practices.

‘Operation Tesco also revealed the use of illicit drugs by one officer in particular and put a spotlight on the potential for abuse of steroids by other officers.

‘There can be no tolerance of illicit drug use by police officers. The CMC will remain actively interested in the area of illicit drug use and make drug-related police misconduct investigations a priority.

‘But the onus is also on the police service to consider proactive and reactive strategies to reduce the risks of drug and alcohol abuse by its officers,’ Mr Moynihan said.

Read the report in full: Operation Tesco: report of an investigation into allegations of police misconduct on the Gold Coast.

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