Friday, January 15, 2010

Police officer stood down

But after two years the reason why is still a secret, it seems

A QUEENSLAND police officer has been stood down after a two-year investigation into on and off-duty behaviour.

The Queensland Police Service confirmed a constable from Central Region has been stood down from operational duties including the failure to obey a direction and the possible misuse of a police vehicle.

The 36-year-old officer was the subject of ongoing internal investigation that has now been finalised.

It is now being undertaken by the region, with oversight from the Ethical Standards Command and the Crime and Misconduct Commission.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Queensland police evading their reponsibilities for injuries they cause

CIVIL courts in Queensland appear destined to decide parameters for the duty of care owed by government to frontline emergency personnel injured in the line of duty following action taken by former Toowoomba police officer Sue Stalling.

Ms Stalling, 49, was retired medically unfit on December 4 after 12 years in the Queensland Police Service. On March 8, 2007, while engaged in firearm training, she was thrown to the floor by a colleague. Her hamstring was ruptured below the right buttock.

The injury required surgery to correct, but Ms Stalling now has limited mobility, cannot sit for long periods and is unable to run.

Her health problems were exacerbated when she was diagnosed on May 29, 2008, with oesophagus cancer, the treatment of which also required surgery.

Ms Stalling said she was forced to have extended periods away from work to recover, but had been left with a psychological problem arising from the training incident. Her main complaint was that she wanted a gradual return to her former position as a constable at the Toowoomba watch-house, but that was not offered. Instead she was given a job looking after the main counter, dealing with the public.

That required her repeatedly standing and sitting. "I was just asking for a position where I wasn't in pain," Ms Stalling said.

"On one occasion I was told to come back to work on Christmas Eve despite my doctor at the time issuing a certificate to say I was not to work.

"I am not going public about this for any gain for myself, but I want known the way I was treated so that no other police officer is treated in the same uncaring manner.

"Since my injury I have had a number of police contact me and tell me how they were treated in a similar way to what I have been, and they were forced out, too.

"The Queensland Police Service will do anything to help an officer if the blame for the injury can be attributed to something, or someone, outside, but if there is some responsibility to be taken because the cause of the injury was internal to the service, they do all within their power to evade their responsibilities."

Deputy Commissioner Kathy Rynders yesterday said there was a thorough investigation of the complaints lodged by Ms Stalling regarding her treatment by managers overseeing her rehabilitation and her return to work. "The service has a structured and well-defined rehabilitation policy which seeks to return injured members to meaningful and productive duties wherever possible," Ms Rynders said.

"The civilianisation of the service over recent years has meant that many non-operational positions which were available for police are now filled by non-sworn personnel. "Unfortunately, we were not able to identify such a position in this instance."

Ms Stalling yesterday said her legal representatives had prepared a claim against the police service in regard to the injury she received at training and the subsequent stress she has undergone and she expected it to be lodged soon.

Coverup for crooked Queensland cops: No review after innocent man served four years for robbery

Queensland is the only State that has had to put a chief of police in jail

THE State Government has abandoned a review into the wrongful conviction and jailing of a north Queensland man for armed robbery. Terry Irving served more than half of an eight-year sentence for a hold-up at a Cairns bank in 1993. Then 39, the concreter protested his innocence, claiming a case of mistaken identity and a suspect investigation. The High Court quashed the conviction in 1997, saying it had "grave misgivings about the circumstances of this case", and cited concerns about the police evidence. Documents obtained by Mr Irving's legal team under Freedom of Information legislation revealed 19 instances where evidence had been falsified or withheld.

Mr Irving was hoping for a full inquiry, apology or compensation, which could have topped $1 million. But any favourable outcome was knocked on the head last week when Attorney-General Cameron Dick reneged on a previous government deal. Former Attorney-General Kerry Shine agreed in September 2007 to an independent review. He said he was impressed by evidence Mr Irving had presented to him at a Community Cabinet meeting in Bowen in June 2007.

In February 2008, Mr Shine appointed retired Supreme Court judge Martin Moynihan to review the case. But Mr Moynihan was then given another government assignment: a review of the criminal justice system. That task was completed by January 2009 and Mr Moynihan was expected to finish the Irving review by July. Then last month Mr Moynihan was appointed to replace Robert Needham as chairman of the Crime and Misconduct Commission for the next two years.

Mr Dick told Mr Irving's legal aid lawyer, Michael O'Keeffe, last week the Government had decided to abandon the judicial review. Mr Dick rejected a plea for an ex gratia payment and said Mr Irving would have to sue the Government if he wanted compensation. Mr Dick claimed that Mr Moynihan was not appointed to review the case and a review was never established. That is in direct contrast to comments made by Mr Shine to The Sunday Mail last year.

"The best way for Mr Irving to test evidence and call witnesses is for him to pursue the civil proceedings against the state that he started 10 years ago," Mr Dick said.

Mr O'Keeffe slammed the decision. "The appointment of a judicial review was a most serious matter and was taken by Kerry Shine only after the closest personal scrutiny of the actual evidence in Irving's case by Mr Shine himself. It was not done lightly at all," he said. "The abandonment of that review by Mr Dick without reasons and in such a cavalier, almost throwaway, manner must be deeply disturbing for most right-minded Queenslanders."

Mr Irving said he would still seek restitution for the almost five years he spent in prison after being wrongly convicted.