Qld. cops told to monitor their language and refrain from calling offenders 'idiots' and 'stupid' etc.
POLICE are being chastised for calling alleged offenders idiots, despite state government road safety campaigns branding drink drivers "bloody idiots" and leadfoots as "stupid".
Two officers from the Brisbane West traffic branch have received "managerial guidance" for their language after traffic offenders complained. In one instance a woman who was not wearing a seatbelt was offended when an officer told her she was "an idiot". Another driver claimed police implied he was a liar when the officer said "I don't like people who lie to me" in relation to a traffic offence.
Senior Sergeant Laurence Rucker, who is seeking election to the Queensland Police Union, said he was also chastised for telling a motorist his excuse for flashing his headlights "was bull----". "The first officer who investigated said it was 'everyday Australian language' but the bosses upheld the complaint and I was ordered to undergo managerial guidance," Sen-Sgt Rucker said.
"Police have got to have a certain standard of conduct but it seems a bit much when government advertising campaigns are using terms like idiot and stupid to promote road safety. If I pull up a person and say `slow down, stupid' I'll be charged."
A Queensland Police Service spokesman confirmed complaints of incivility had been substantiated against officers, leaving them to subject to managerial guidance. “All police are bound by a code of conduct which includes treating all people with respect and dignity,” said the spokesman. “An officer calling someone stupid or an idiot could be classified as a breach of discipline.”
Sen-Sgt Rucker said police should be able to speak to drivers "in their own language". "I speak to them, the same way they talk to me," he said. "But some people get very upset about getting a lecture at the same time as getting a ticket."
In the year to June, 3011 complaints were made against police. Less than 4 per cent of complaints were substantiated.