Sunday, April 11, 2010

Police who don't want to be police

QUEENSLAND police officers are changing out of their uniforms for fear of being targeted while off duty on Brisbane trains.

According to an anonymous letter to the Queensland Police Union Journal, one officer complained that high-ranking officers were concerned uniformed police were hiding under plain shirts and jackets to avoid attention. "Many of our members travel on public transport and often make use of a cover shirt in order to prevent harassment and possibly being assaulted by some of the undesirable passengers," the letter says.

"I am also fully aware of the reason police wearing uniform on public transport is to provide a high visibility, however, with due respect to those who hold plain clothes positions and also utilise public transport, one has to question the validity of the high-visibility concept. "Members work their required hours and as such should then be afforded the opportunity to travel home without having some grub, who probably doesn't have a ticket, give them a hard time."

Police travel free on TransLink public transport by showing their badge, whether in uniform or plain clothes, on and off duty.

A Queensland Rail spokesman said passengers benefited from police travelling on trains. "In our experience, the presence of uniformed officers on QR services helps to reduce the incidence of antisocial behaviour," he said.

"Off-duty and plain clothes officers also assist transit officers with curbing antisocial behaviour, and have demonstrated their willingness and ability to identify and curb antisocial behaviour before it escalates. "QR appreciates the assistance."

According to the TransLink policy, police travelling free are to stand to allow fare-paying passengers to have a seat when services are busy.



Anonymous said...


briantllb said...

I used to travel on the Citytrains in Brisbane every day for several years and never had a problem with the kind of cretins we get today. Uniformed police on the trains may have contributed to this or not I don't know there werent many on the trains I traveled on probably because they would have been on duty or already at home by the time I was travelling. I also believe thet a policce officer has just as much right to travel without being harassed by some drugged up thug as everyone else and if they feel more comfortable in civilian clothing then good on 'em we know that if it kicks off they will intervene joining the police is not so much a job to most police officers as a vocation and i believe that the old saying about a police officer never being really off duty is true more often than not and they will do whatever is necessary to protect the public on or off duty.