Friday, February 27, 2009

Queensland police goons again

A disabled woman with a bandaged hand told how she was bullied and evicted from a train by police who did not believe that she had trouble operating an automatic ticket machine. Stricken with kidney disease and a broken hand, Rosemary Carey, 54, a disability pensioner, struggled up the steep stairs at Brisbane's Indooroopilly station on Saturday night and tried to work the machine with her left hand. When her train to Oxley arrived, she jumped aboard without a ticket.

She said two plain-clothes officers in their 30s threatened to arrest her if did not get off at the next stop, Sherwood. She said the officers were menacing and told her she would have to pay a $200 fine. "I was outraged," she said. "There is nothing threatening about me. ''I'm a frail female in my 50s, five foot two, 45kg wringing wet and suffer from a chronic kidney condition which leaves me with little energy. "Managing the steps at the station, then the steep flight of stairs at the cinema (the lift was out of order) is pretty much mountain climbing for me."

The mother of two said she went to the cinema near Indooroopilly station to see the new Clint Eastwood film, Gran Torino. Because she had broken her hand the previous week, she decided to go by train instead of taking her car. She said the movie finished about 8.45pm. "I'm normally in bed by eight and I was exhausted, " she said. "I get to the unfamiliar ticket machine and as quickly as I can with my left hand, begin to follow the prompts.

"In the midst of this a train pulls in. The next train could be in an hour, I have no idea of the timetable, so I board the train. "I remember a time when a conductor could sell a ticket on the train, or you could give your name and address and pay the fare later. Not now." She said she wept when she was ejected.

"I felt utterly humiliated being put off the train like some criminal or violent hooligan," Ms Carey said. "To make things worse, it was scary sitting at a deserted railway station late on Saturday night, so despite my very limited income, I spent $15 to take a cab home. Now I'm angry that innocent people can be treated like this. "Why can QR afford to pay for plain-clothes police to act as ticket inspectors, yet can't pay the presumably much lower wages of a conductor? "What happens if it's the last train of the night? Who would be responsible if I'd been attacked while waiting on a lonely station? Can't they understand that most of us aren't trying to evade the fare?"

Police Minister Judy Spence has ordered an investigation.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

'Don't call Qld cops in a hurry'

I know from my own experience that they quite often just don't come at all in response to calls

A NSW triple-zero [emergency] operator has accused his Queensland colleagues of providing a 'shocking' service after an attack victim's call went unanswered. The NSW operator recently received a call diverted from Queensland, where a woman said she was being assaulted.

In an email to the Queensland opposition, tabled in the Queensland parliament on Thursday, the operator said he listened to the panicked call for more than three minutes before it dropped out. He said he called the Queensland Police emergency call centre in Brisbane, but the phone rang for more than eight minutes without answer. "It is the running joke in our call centre that you wouldn't call Qld Police if you needed them in a hurry," he wrote. "This delay is also causing inconvenience for the rest of the nation when they call triple-zero as we are unable to answer their calls due to being on hold waiting for Qld Police to answer." He described the Queensland Police operators' service as "shocking" given that calls were supposed to be answered within four seconds.

Queensland Police Minister Judy Spence said the complaint would be investigated. "I have not had feedback from the police that there are particular problems with our triple-zero system. If they are feeling that then I encourage them to come and talk to me about it," Ms Spence told parliament.