Monday, December 3, 2012
Shady police officers caught on the wrong side of the law in Queensland
A POLICE officer caught smuggling drugs from New Zealand and another who molested a boy are among a dozen police officers found on the wrong side of the law in Queensland in the past year.
The Courier-Mail can reveal that nine of the officers found guilty of crimes - which also included assault, excessive force, drink-driving and inappropriate behaviour - since July 1, 2011, are still working for the Queensland Police Service.
None was sacked, but the drug smuggler, pedophile and an officer who stole weed killer from a shop all quit, while another was suspended and two others were stood down from operational duties pending internal investigations.
Documents obtained under the Right to Information Act show an additional 16 officers suspected of official misconduct resigned before investigations were complete.
Those allegations related primarily to assault and excessive force with a weapon, corruption favouritism, victimisation and harassment and inappropriate behaviour.
* Allegedly running a side business and getting a prisoner to help move house.
* Using police position to intimidate a vet into providing free treatment.
* Arresting and cuffing a man who was then punched "repeatedly in the face" and "smashed his head into a police van and kicked him in the back".
Most resignations meant that internal investigations were dropped, but Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett said management would consider keeping them open when dismissal and demotion were a possible outcome and there weren't any criminal charges.
He said since 2010, QPS had only twice continued investigating police who had resigned - once for an officer who acted inappropriately and the other involving an officer accused of drug offences.
"In an organisation of over 10,600 officers, inevitably there are going to be issues from time to time," Deputy Commissioner Barnett said. "But I think the number of officers who come to attention for serious misconduct is very small."
He said the review into police discipline was stalled pending the outcome of the review into the Crime and Misconduct Commission.
"Everyone . . . who's in this area is keen that allegations of misconduct or criminal conduct are dealt with as soon as possible," he said.