Police chief to issue first show-clause notices

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll will keep her job and oversee reform within the QPS.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll will keep her job and oversee reform within the QPS. Photo: AAP

The first Queensland police officer will be issued a show-cause notice for misconduct as the state’s top cop begins extensive reforms of the force.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll has been backed to restructure the force after a Commission of Inquiry panned her leadership for an “inadequate” and “inconsistent” policing of domestic violence.

Judge Deborah Richards’ report said a “culture of fear and silence” had fostered an “unchecked” culture of sexism, racism and misogyny in the Queensland Police Service.

Ms Carroll says every case will be reviewed where a QPS perpetrator of bullying, harassment, abuse or assault hasn’t been properly disciplined.

She plans to issue a show-cause notice this week to a police officer asking them to explain why they shouldn’t be sacked and has warned she will issue more.

“I gave a commitment that I would go back and look at all matters where I felt there was an unsatisfactory outcome and look into them,” the comissioner told reporters on Tuesday.

“There will be one this week and over the next few weeks there will be others.”


Police Minister Mark Ryan said he supported testing a show-cause process under current laws, but was open to giving Ms Carroll more powers to sack officers for misconduct.

“Of course, if there are shortcomings, the government’s always open to having those conversations,” he said.

‘Unchecked’ culture of sexism, racism, misogyny

The report, released on Monday, found an “unchecked” culture of sexism, racism and misogyny in the QPS, coupled with a lack of resources, led to inconsistent and inadequate domestic violence responses, which left victims unprotected and perpetrators emboldened.

The situation had been allowed to continue over many years due to “a failure of leadership”, the report said.

The government accepts the 78 recommendations to restructure the QPS “in principle”, but has backed Ms Carroll.

“So this is a broader thing than a particular individual, this is about system change and we all need to do it together,” Mr Ryan told ABC Radio National.

“We all need to accept the standard, set the tone and be the example.”

COVID-19 hindered reform plans

Earlier on Tuesday, the commissioner blamed COVID-19 for hindering her reform plans since she took over in 2019, saying this time it will be different.

“We had to stop, we had to start, we had to stop and start and this really inhibited some of the reforms,” she told ABC Radio.

“But as I said … with the recommendations and with the substantial money and resources coming with it, I am very confident that this report will be expedited.”

Judge Richards’ report also found the QPS hadn’t trained officers properly or provided enough resources for domestic violence policing.

Government pledged $300 million to tackle DV

The government has pledged $100 million for 300 domestic violence case workers, 30 domestic violence liaison officers, 30 cultural liaison officers and 10 special prosecutors in response to the recommendations.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski has been appointed as special co-ordinator to enact the reforms, while former Queensland agent-general Linda Apelt will monitor the process for the next three months.

The report called for a new unit in the Crime and Corruption Commission to probe all police complaints and for an independent commissioner to review complaints of domestic violence victims.

There were 129 domestic violence killings by former or current intimate partners or family members between 2016 and 2022, according to the Domestic and Family Violence Death Review and Advisory Board.


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