Cops accused of stinging motorists to fill quotas
SENIOR police have been accused of setting quotas to sting Gold Coast motorists, sweeping a domestic violence claim under the carpet because it involved one of their own, and systemic bullying.
The explosive claims were heard in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission in Brisbane yesterday where an experienced Broadbeach officer accused superiors of working as a "gang" to bully him.
Senior Constable James Treanor claims the Queensland Police Service and four senior officers bullied him over seven years and held back his career due to "frivolous" claims.
The police service denies the allegations and says their actions were part of normal managements processes.
Allegations in the commission yesterday included:
* A sergeant at the Broadbeach station directed officers to issue at least seven traffic infringement notices per officer per shift, and at least 20 random breath tests. Sen Const Treanor said he was chastised after he, as a union representative, reminded officers of Commissioner Ian Stewart's position that there were no quotas and "any manager imposing quotas on police officers would be dealt with".
* A woman withdrew a domestic violence claim against a senior police officer due to "lack of support" after other senior police intervened.
* Sen Const Treanor was stood down after confronting Assistant Commissioner Brian Wilkins at a mental health breakfast and swearing in a car park. Sen Const Treanor described the incident as an example of senior police coming together as a gang.
The commission inquiry comes a month after Queensland Police set up Taskforce Juniper, specifically designed to target bullying and harassment within their ranks.
In mid-2017, 15 Gold Coast officers were referred by the Crime and Corruption Commission to the Ethical Standards unit for investigation for alleged misconduct and bullying.
Documents filed with the commission allege a woman tried to take out a domestic violence order in January last year against her former husband, who was a senior officer.
It is alleged another senior officer told the woman he had spoken to the ex-husband and that there was no basis for a domestic violence order.
Instead, the woman went to Beenleigh courts and an order was granted, it is alleged.
Four months later in May, the woman went to the Southport police station and accused her former husband of breaching the domestic violence order. In September, she was contacted by another senior officer and told there had been no breach of the order, it is alleged.
She then received a letter from the Police Commissioner stating the matter had been investigated. However, she claims she had never spoken to the lead investigator mentioned in the letter.
A month later, in October, the domestic violence order was lifted after the woman withdrew her complaint. "One of the factors that weigh heavily in my decision not to proceed with the trial was the lack of support I'd received from the police service, and despondency in the ability to have an order encouraged," the woman alleged in documents filed to the commission.
Sen Const Treanor alleged the incident was systemic of senior officers covering up for each other and working as a "gang".
The alleged bullying came to a head at a mental health breakfast this month when Sen Const Treanor said he asked to speak with Assistant Commissioner Brian Wilkins.
Sen Const Treanor alleges he was told he was a "smart arse" and to go away.
He went to the car park and began to swear, prompting a complaint which led to him being stood down, he told the commission yesterday.
"This is another instance of them coming together as a gang and creating a situation which is untenable for me," Sen Const Treanor said.
Sen Const Treanor told the commission he was stripped of his gun and badge, and was not allowed to wear the police uniform.
He works at the Southport Police Station property office and must be supervised at all times.
Assistant Commissioner Wilkins declined to comment on the incident in the car park as it was before the Ethical Standards Commission.
A Queensland Police Services spokesman declined to comment on the allegations as the matter was still before the commission.
The commission was adjourned until next month so Sen Const Treanor could gather more information.