Sunday, November 14, 2010
Senior Queensland police officers should get back on the beat, says report
QUEENSLAND'S top police have been told to get out from behind the comfort of their desks and back on the beat with front-line officers. A confidential report handed to Queensland's senior officers says everyone from the commissioner down should be leading by example and joining crews on patrols.
The commissioner would only do a shift a year, but inspectors, superintendents and other senior officers would sign up for a shift a month on the front line.
The report, obtained by The Sunday Mail under Right to Information laws, was handed to Commissioner Bob Atkinson at the height of the Operation Tesco corruption debate earlier this year. It says regularly putting senior officers with junior police would stop the "slippery slope" to corruption and abuse of power.
The report team, which included former ethical standards command boss and now Central Region Assistant Commissioner Alan Davey, said police chiefs need to "walk the talk" for their juniors. "It is recommended that non-commissioned officers undertake more general duties and patrols, particularly at night, to provide judgment and leadership to junior officers," the report said.
Mr Davey said his region's senior officers were already hitting the beat, with inspectors and superintendents spending more time with front-line police, particularly on late-night shifts beyond their traditional office hours. The former ethical standards commander said young officers appreciated having "wiser heads" around.
Already adopted from the report is a hit list of indicators of possible corruption, including sloppy dressing, tardiness and excessive drinking, which police managers in the state's Central Region have been told to look out for.
Corrupt police are made, not born, the report says, warning that serious corruption starts with small infringements such as free drinks that, unchecked, can grow into major crimes such as drug dealing.
Another report, the CMC's annual survey of police ethics released this week, found a growing trend among recruits not to report their colleagues for corrupt behaviour such as excessive force to move a person on or doing registration checks to get the address of a good-looking woman.
The CMC said Queensland police are more ethical than they were 15 years ago, with the majority viewing improper behaviour as serious and inexcusable and a growing number of police willing to report matters to senior officers.