Ralph Hess holds a police letter.
Ralph Hess holds a police letter. Nat Bromhead

Police delete child photos

THE QUEENSLAND Police Service has deleted the pictures it took of six Maryborough children — the youngest aged seven — after their outraged father contacted The Chronicle.

Tinana man Ralph Hess was fuming after Bargara police took mugshots of his children without his permission, after 19-year-old Jason was pulled up for having too many people in his car.

Mr Hess was told the photos could not be deleted from the database because they were considered “intelligence gathering”, even though the two youngest children were under the age of criminal responsibility.

When contacted by the Chronicle, a QPS spokesman said the pictures of the Hess children would be kept on file to support the prosecution case that they overloaded the car.

The spokesman said the police officer was honest and lawful in taking their photos, and no apology would be issued.

But Mr Hess said Jason did not contest the ticket and had paid the summons immediately, meaning the case would not proceed to court.

The morning the Chronicle story went to print, Mr Hess said he had a phone call from a Bundaberg region police spokesman, offering a verbal apology.

“He apologised and said it was inappropriate,” Mr Hess said.

He asked for a written apology, and instead received a two-sentence letter advising him the photos had been deleted.

“I still believe the legislation needs to be changed, and I have written to the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties,” he said.

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