Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Queensland police misconduct files reveal corruption, favouristism, sexual misconduct

A POLICE officer said he would let a woman off for mail theft if she had sex with him, another three officers were caught stealing while on duty and 10 more were nabbed for drink-driving - including one on the way to work, fraud and misconduct investigations have revealed.

More than 20 Queensland police officers have quit in the past 18 months after being investigated over serious incidents ranging from corruption and favouritism, sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviour.

However, most of those investigations were subsequently dropped because they were no longer employed by Queensland Police Service, documents obtained by The Courier-Mail under Right to Information have revealed.

Other misconduct investigations that were substantiated included one where a police officer demanded a woman he was investigating for mail theft "show him her breasts", then proceeded to sexually assault her.

The (police officer) told her he had "bent a few rules", that he would "take care of a few charges and not prosecute her", documents reveal.

There are thousands of code of conduct complaints against police officers each year but a Queensland Police Service spokesman said only a "small fraction" were substantiated following investigations.

Other internal investigations into officers include:

* "Maintaining a relationship" with a career criminal and driving him away from a crime scene following an assault.

* Child pornography found on home computer.

* Pole dancing with a pool cue on top of a pool table and then inappropriately touching another officer in view CCTV cameras.

* Keeping nine guns under bed.

* Accessing police files for personal use.

Most officers caught drink-driving remained on the police force but lost their driving licences for a period of time after the matters were heard in court.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said it was not surprising in a workforce of 15,000 people.

"The important issue is that these people have been identified and have either been dismissed, resigned or have been provided with managerial guidance to address their behavior so that they continue to maintain the high standards of the Queensland Police Service," he said.

"The police union does not support any person who deliberately engages in criminal, corrupt or illegal behavior but sometimes people genuinely make mistakes and we will always support those police involved," Mr Leavers said.


CORRUPTION AND FAVOURITISM: The officer demanded a woman he was investigating for mail theft to "show him her breasts and sexually assaulted her". He took her for a drive in a police vehicle, "removed his penis from his pants and demanded oral sex". He later telephoned the woman he was investigating seeking phone sex and told her he'd "bent a few rules" to take care of the charges against her and see that she wasn't prosecuted. The investigation was substantiated and the officer resigned.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT: Taskforce Argos found images of child exploitation material on the officer's home hard drive. He had been accessing the material over a number of years. The officer resigned and court action was taken.

CORRUPTION AND FAVOURITISM: An officer maintained a relationship with a career criminal who was under witness protection, even being prepared to drive him away from the scene of an assault before police arrived. Officer resigned and the investigation did not reach a conclusion.

CORRUPTION AND FAVOURITISM: The officer took a body to the undertaker where his wife worked. He resigned from QPS and the investigation did not reach a conclusion.

INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR: The off-duty officer was on top of a pool table and "pole dancing" with a pool cue. She approached a woman, placed her arm around her shoulders and neck, squeezing tight. There was CCTV footage of the incident and the officer resigned and the investigation did not reach a conclusion.

PUBLIC NUISANCE: The officer's brother failed to leave a licensed premises, was arrested and taken to the police station following a joint drinking session. The off-duty officer then banged on the station's front door loudly, yelled abuse at police and was drunk. His brother was released and went back to the hotel to join the officer after being refused entry. When police arrived, the officer was involved in a fight at the hotel. When his police colleagues tried to intervene, the officer pushed them away, swore and abused them. He was taken away by a friend before he was arrested. The officer resigned.

INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR: Officer picked up intoxicated youths who he knew as part of "Adopt-a-cop" and drove them around for hours and let them sleep at his home. He was provided with "managerial guidance".

EXCESSIVE FORCE/ASSAULT OFF DUTY: The complainant alleges the officer punched him in the face when an argument broke out during a drinking session. The officer has since died.

COVERING UP INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT: Officer lied about a speeding fine after being caught doing 91km/h in a 70km/h zone. He falsified a report claiming he was "speeding to intercept a white van following too close to another vehicle". The officer now admits he did not intercept the vehicle and at the time he had "accumulated near maximum points on his drivers licence".

STEALING: An officer used a police car to transport fence panels he stole while on night patrol. They were later erected in his own front garden. He was helped by another officer. One of them resigned - also suspected of stealing shed panels - and both were ordered to undertake 120 hours of community service and pay restitution.

STEALING: An officer was in possession of a ute that had been reported stolen and the insurance claim had settled. The officer resigned and was fined $1000 and given a 12 month good behaviour bond.

STEALING: An officer attended a break and enter at a private business and convinced the owner that an industrial-grade high-pressure cleaner would be seized as evidence and then destroyed. In actual fact, the officer took the cleaner home. He was also accused of stealing paint tins from the scene of a fire. The officer resigned and the investigation did not reach a conclusion.


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