A statement from Commissioner Katarina Carroll
Pictured above: QPS Commissioner Katarina Carroll
The Queensland Police Service (QPS) welcomes today’s release of the Commission of Inquiry’s report into the QPS’ culture and its effect on how we respond to domestic and family violence. The report is a very difficult read and presents many examples where we should have done better for our community and our own people. I acknowledge these issues and how they have affected the way we interact with the most vulnerable people in our community. For those who have experienced this, I am deeply sorry. There have been some examples of racism, misogyny and sexist behaviour which is not acceptable in our community – and even less acceptable from our police. Our police are our community, but we will rightly be held to a higher standard. This has been an incredibly difficult time for the good people in our organisation. There are 17,500 members of the QPS, and I stand by the thousands of officers in my organisation who make a difference each and every day in the lives of those they interact with. To our police who do their best for their communities every day – through these recommendations and nation-leading reforms, you will be even better supported to respond to domestic and family violence. The Government’s announcement of an initial $100 million of extra funding will help ensure we have the resourcing and assistance we need to improve our responses. Reform is difficult and takes a long time, but this will accelerate it. The initial additional resourcing will see funding provided for, among other things, strengthening the resourcing of our Domestic and Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Command, rolling out additional permanent and dedicated DFV Coordinators, embedding DFV support workers in police stations, establishing additional DFV Vulnerable Persons Units with embedded DFV support workers, and rolling out Victim Liaison Officers, DFV Liaison Officers, and Cultural Liaison Officers across the State. From the Commission of Inquiry, we also learned of times where a key part of our disciplinary system – the Local Managerial Resolution (LMR) – has not been effective. We are now aware of incidents where it had little influence on changing behaviours of individuals and maintaining the high standard of conduct that I expect of those within the organisation. As the Commissioner, this ultimately stops with me. I will not accept bad behaviour or stand by those who do not meet the standard expected of them. We have already made changes within our LMR system to ensure we can hold members accountable for their actions. As I have said a number of times, a line in the sand has been drawn. I have always been intent on enacting strong reform and today, I have a renewed focus on what needs to be done to restore trust and create a workplace where people can have their voices heard. The recommendations are an opportunity for us to learn, grow and do better. Today, I have spoken to the Premier who has expressed her confidence in me to lead this reform. I am 100 per cent committed to seeing this reform through, working through these recommendations, and delivering on the intent of the outcomes of this report. I have a strong history in reform and already we have begun this journey to enhance the QPS. A Special Coordinator for Police Reform will be established to lead and manage the various reform and transformational programs, and Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski has been appointed to this role. I have engaged Julie McKay and her specialist team from PricewaterhouseCoopers to support us in this work. Next week I will join with more than 100 senior leaders from across the QPS to set my expectations of how we will enhance our organisation. We have good leaders at all levels of the organisation who are committed to improving the QPS. With the release of this report, I expect more questions to be raised and approaches to be made to the media. The cases that are known to us are either already being finalised or under investigation. To maintain the integrity of our system, we will not comment on individual cases. This is so those who are part of the complaint are afforded privacy and natural justice and so those within our organisation can be confident to come forward. I encourage individuals to either contact us or the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) to have their claims investigated. Police are called to relationships in crisis, at a time when help and support is needed most. Each one of us takes an oath to protect and serve our community. Today we will do better than we did yesterday and tomorrow we will do better than we did today.