Queensland’s premier says she is “disgusted” by reports that female police recruits were referred to as “fresh meat” and told to expect to be “hit on” by their colleagues during their training.
Female officers have been separated into women-only training sessions and warned about receiving sexual advances from their male colleagues, according to the Courier Mail. While they were cautioned about their male colleagues, they were not informed how to report sexual harassment, the publication reported.
Annastacia Palaszczuk acknowledged “deep-seated” cultural issues in the state’s police force but said these problems are “not unique” to the service.
“I also believe that some of these cultural issues are across other professions and other walks of life in our state as well,” Palaszczuk said Thursday.
“I think there’s a big duty and responsibility for cultural change to happen across the board. Whether that’s about the treatment of women but also racist comments as well.”
The commission of inquiry into police responses to domestic violence heard last week that officers had routinely received little to no consequences for sexually assaulting and harassing their colleagues and making racist and misogynistic comments.
In one case, a promotion was given to a senior officer who was previously found by an internal inquiry to have engaged in sexist behaviour and systemic bullying over 13 years, including calling a colleague “Osama” and “towelhead”, the inquiry heard.
Another senior constable faced no consequences for routinely targeting junior female officers, including threatening to break into one woman’s home and rape her after she rebuffed his sexual advances, the inquiry was told.
The state’s police commissioner, Katarina Carroll, conceded that the current police disciplinary system was “broken”.
She said that a “local management resolution” – which involves a remedial conversation with a more senior officer – had been used frequently and “inappropriately” to deal with serious and repeat offenders.
On Wednesday the state’s police minister, Mark Ryan, said the force’s disciplinary system had “failed” some officers who’ve been subjected to sexual assaults by their colleagues.
“I’m particularly appalled by the behaviour of police officers harassing or abusing their colleagues … those people need to be called out and there need to be consequences for that action.
“Victims need to know and have confidence in the system, that [the] discipline framework will support them but also their workplace will support them.”
Credits: The Guardian