More evidence that many of the Qld. police are just hoons -- even in an "elite" squad
Police union pleads for them not to be fired and says Australians will understand why officers played up on a bucks night
THE Queensland Police Union has called for a reprieve for officers involved in a buck's night nude run. The police service's ethical standards command is investigating a report from a woman who witnessed two men run naked around a bus stopped at traffic lights in Brisbane's east on Sunday. When police checked the bus's registration, they realised it was an unmarked police vehicle. The officers on board were from an elite squad, and were celebrating a buck's night.
Deputy Commissioner Ian Stewart said yesterday that other officers on board the bus may have been naked.
Both the nude run and the use of two police vehicles is being investigated, and the officers could face criminal charges, as well as disciplinary action ranging from a caution to sacking.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said on Tuesday that sacking the officers would be "over the top". The officers conceded their actions were stupid, but didn't deserve dismissal, Mr Leavers said. "Of course it's embarrassing and they will face some internal discipline issues, however sacking them would not only have a massive affect on them and their families, it would also deprive the QPS of officers who are trained to the very highest of standards," he said in a statement.
"The officers involved were part of a specialist squad which requires extremely rigorous training and skills. "Because of the specialised nature of their work and the fact that these officers are usually on call 24 hours a day, these officers do not normally drink alcohol. "Their actions on Sunday are completely out of character and they are very remorseful."
Mr Leavers said most people would recognise that people acted out of character on buck's nights. "I think that many Australians can relate to things that can occur on buck's or hen's celebrations," he said.
Police Minister Neil Roberts and Commissioner Bob Atkinson are expected to give a media conference at 10am (AEST).
Update about the police hoons:
A POLICE bus carrying at least five naked SERT officers stopped at least four times as it drove across Brisbane to allow passengers to make nude runs outside.
An embarrassed Police Commisssioner Bob Atkinson today admitted the police minivan was carrying at least five naked officers and said the vehicle stopped at least four times for those on board to make nude runs outside it. The officers involved are members of the Special Emergency Response Team, who cost $50,000 each to train (in addition to their regular police training).
One of those stops was at a Capalaba intersection where a woman motorist saw nude men running around the bus and phoned police - who were very surprised to discover that a police vehicle was involved.
Commissioner Atkinson said the last three months had been terrible for the police service, and he could offer no excuses. He promised the matters would be fully investigated.
The practice of passengers running around vehicles parked at intersections is known as the Chinese fire drill.
Earlier today, the state's Police Union dismissed calls for the sacking of the off-duty officers as too high a price to pay. Callers to talkback radio have demanded the police be fired for the buck's party stunt at Capalaba on the southside on Sunday afternoon.
Apologies to any non-Australian readers: "Hoon" is an Australian slang term that is virtually untranslatable into standard English. It implies a combination of stupidity, self-indulgence, exhibitionism and disregard for the law. Street racers are hoons
Update 2: Naked police officers stood down
FIVE Queensland police officers allegedly involved in naked romps through Brisbane on Sunday have been stood down. The Ethical Standards Command will investigate reports of the highly-trained Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) officers allegedly running naked around a police vehicle while stopped at several sets of traffic lights in Brisbane during a buck's party, which had also involved a river cruise with strippers.
The latest scandal for the Queensland police came to light after a member of the public reported an incident of naked men running around a small bus at traffic lights. A number plate check revealed it was a police vehicle, apparently authorised for use by a police sergeant.
A sergeant from the Metropolitan North district, an acting sergeant from Operational Support Command and three senior constables from Operational Support Command will work in Brisbane-based non-operational roles outside the command while the investigation is finalised. The stand downs will not affect the operational readiness of specialist police services, police said in a media statement. The state's Crime and Misconduct Commission has been advised and will overview the investigation.
On Tuesday, Commissioner Bob Atkinson said the police service was taking the incidents seriously. "This has been the worst couple of months for us that I can recall for many years,'' he said. "It's a nightmare in a sense that you just hope there's nothing else coming.'' [The more they are given slaps on the wrist for bad behaviour, the more there WILL be something else coming -- JR]
The officers have the backing of the Queensland Police Union, which says the naked romps are not a sackable offence.