|Queensland Police Service|
|Motto||With honour we serve |
"Firmness with Courtesy" until 1990
|Formed||1 January 1864|
|Operations jurisdiction||Queensland, Australia|
|Queensland Police jurisdiction|
|Size||1,727,000 square kilometres (667,000 sq mi)|
|Legal jurisdiction||As per operations jurisdiction|
|Governing body||Queensland Government|
|Headquarters||200 Roma Street, Brisbane, Qld 4000 |
|Police officers||11,880 (June 2017)|
|Staff members||3,599 (June 2017)|
|Stations||335 (May 2020)|
The Queensland Police Service (QPS) is the principal law enforcement agency responsible for policing the Australian state of Queensland. In 1990, the Queensland Police Force was officially renamed the Queensland Police Service and the old motto of "Firmness with Courtesy" was changed to "With Honour We Serve". The headquarters of the Queensland Police Service is located at 200 Roma Street, Brisbane.
The current Commissioner is Katarina Carroll. The Commissioner reports to the Minister for Police, presently the Hon. Mark Ryan .
Main article: History of the Queensland Police
Queensland came into existence as a colony of the British Empire on 1 December 1859. The region was previously under the jurisdiction of the New South Wales governance with towns policed by small forces controlled by the local magistracy.The Police Act of 1838 (2 Vic. no. 2) which officially codified a variety of common behaviours as criminal and regulated the police response to them, continued as the template for policing. On 13 January 1860, Edric Norfolk Vaux Morisset was appointed the Inspector-General of the Queensland Police. Queensland was divided into 17 districts, each with its own police force headed by a Chief Constable under authority of a local magistrate. The position of Inspector-General was abolished soon after it was established, in July 1860, and most of the operations of the police until 1863 reverted to the control of local police magistrates and justices.
The Queensland Police underwent a major reform in 1864 and the newly re-organised force commenced operations with approximately 143 employees under the command the first Commissioner of Police, David Thompson Seymour. The service had four divisions: Metropolitan Police, Rural Police, Water Police, and Native Police. At the turn of the century there were 845 men and 135 Aboriginal trackers at 256 stations in Queensland.
In 1904 the Queensland Police started to use fingerprinting in investigations. In the 1912 Brisbane general strike the Queensland Police were used to suppress striking workers. The first female police officers, Ellen O'Donnell and Zara Dare, were inducted in March 1931 to assist in inquiries involving female suspects and prisoners. Following World War II a number of technological innovations were adopted including radio for communication within Queensland and between state departments. By 1950 the Service had a staff of 2,030 police officers, 10 women police and 30 trackers. In February 1951, a central communication room was established at the Criminal Investigation Branch in Brisbane.
On 14 May 1963, the Juvenile Aid Bureau was established. In 1965 female officers were given the same powers as male officers. The Queensland Police Academy at Oxley, Brisbane, was completed in 1972. Bicycles were phased out in 1975 and more cars and motorcycles were put into service. The Air Wing also became operational in 1975 following the purchase of two single-engine aircraft.
The decade was a turbulent period in Queensland's political history. Allegations of high-level corruption in both the Queensland Police and State Government led to a judicial inquiry presided over by Tony Fitzgerald. The Fitzgerald Inquiry which ran from July 1987 to July 1989 led to charges being laid against many long-serving police, including Jack Herbert, Licensing Branch Sergeant Harry Burgess, Assistant Commissioner Graeme Parker and Commissioner Terry Lewis. Lewis was jailed and served ten and a half years.
The Fitzgerald Inquiry also led to a perjury trial against former Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, which ended with a hung jury. The Director of Public Prosecutions elected not to pursue a retrial due to Bjelke-Petersen's age and health. It was later revealed that the jury foreman for the trial was a member of the Young Nationals and identified with the "friends of Joh" movement.
The Criminal Justice Commission was established in 1989 by the Queensland Criminal Justice Act 1989, following widespread corruption amongst high-level Queensland politicians and police officers being uncovered in the Fitzgerald Inquiry. It has since merged in 2002 with the Queensland Crime Commission to form the Crime and Misconduct Commission. The Criminal Justice Commission was responsible for significant research into the Queensland Police Service.
A new computerised message switching system was put into use throughout Queensland in 1980. At the time it was one of the most effective police communication systems in Australia.
The Police Powers and Procedures Act 1997 was passed by the Queensland Government on 1 July 1997 and took effect 6 April 1998. Law enforcement equipment introduced in the 1990s include oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray, the Smith & Wesson revolver firearm and later the Glock semi-automatic pistol, the long 26" baton to the 21" extendable baton, and linked to hinged handcuffs in 1998, and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) laser-based detection devices and an Integrated Traffic Camera System in 1999 to enforce traffic speed limits.
The Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 came into force in July 2000 which consolidated the majority of police powers into one Act. The Queensland Police contributed to the national CrimTrac system and the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS), established in 2000. The Crime and Misconduct Act 2001 commenced 1 January 2002 and redefined the responsibilities of the Service and the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) with respect to the management of complaints. The CMC also has a witness protection function. The CMC has investigative powers, not ordinarily available to the Queensland Police, for the purposes of enabling the commission to effectively investigate particular cases of major crime. The CMC also has the power to investigate cases of misconduct in the Queensland public sector, particularly the more serious cases of misconduct. In 2013, the CMC became the Crime and Corruption Commission.
In 2002 there were 8,367 police officers (20.2% female) and 2,925 staff members at 321 stations, 40 Police Beat shopfronts and 21 Neighbourhood Police Beats throughout the state. By 2004 the Service had grown to 9,003 police officers (21.8% female) and 2,994 other staff members. As at 30 June 2016 there were 11,971 police officers (26.3% female) and 2,794 other staff members.
The Taser conducted electrical weapon (CEW) was trialled by some officers in 2006 and was eventually issued in 2009. In mid-2007, approximately 5,000 officers participated in the Pride in Policing march through Brisbane.
In 2013 following a change in government, another government department named the Public Safety Business Agency was created. This was following a recommendation of the Keelty review into police and community safety operations. Human resources, information technology and other divisions were transferred from the Service and other departments to the new agency. In mid-2016, some services were moved back to the Service. Eight geographic regions (Far Northern, Northern, Central, North Coast, Metropolitan North, Metropolitan South, Southern, and South Eastern) was reduced to five (Northern, Central, Southern, Brisbane, South Eastern). Some statewide functions and administrative divisions were also adjusted.
Following the G20 political forum, the Service created its third unit citation. The other two Queensland Honours citations were the 'flood and cyclone' (2011) and the 'QP150' (2014) for the Service's sesquicentennial year.
The Queensland Police marked 150 years of service to the State of Queensland on 1 January 2014.
In 2015 the Commissioner approved officers and staff members to march in the Brisbane Pride Festival as part of showing organisational diversity, and accessibility of policing services to the LGBTI communities.
The Queensland Police Special Bureau was formed on 30 July 1940 and renamed Special Branch on 7 April 1948. It was criticised for being used for political purposes by the Bjelke-Petersen government in the 1970s and 1980s, such as enforcing laws against protests (sometimes outnumbering the protesters or using provocateurs to incite violence so the protesters could be arrested) and investigating and harassing political opponents. It was disbanded in 1989 following a recommendation by the Fitzgerald Inquiry into police corruption. Special Branch records were shredded.
In 1991, an arrest was recorded by journalist Chris Reason on live TV. In the video, a plain clothes officer and other officers are seen restraining a man and putting him in the back of a car. The man was reportedly an international criminal from Europe but it was later found to be some one else. This was an embarrassment for the QPS and it came to be known as "Democracy Manifest".
In 1994 six police officers, becoming known as the "Pinkenba Six", took three Aboriginal boys from Fortitude Valley and left them at Pinkenba as an unofficial way to punish the boys for suspected offences. The police officers were charged with abduction but were subsequently acquitted in court; the police service put them on twelve months probation for their errors of judgement.
The Service has been accused of institutional racism after its fierce support of Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley who stood trial for the 2004 assault and manslaughter of Mulrunji Doomadgee. Senior Sergeant Hurley was initially subject of a Coronial Inquest by Coroner Christine Clements where he was found to have a case to answer despite conflicting medical evidence. The Director of Public Prosecutions Leanne Clare refused to place Senior Sergeant Hurley on trial for lack of evidence. After reviewing the evidence the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) also found that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute for wrongdoing. The Queensland Attorney General Kerry Shine ordered a review despite advice from the State Solicitor-General Walter Sofronoff QC highlighting the lack of evidence. A review by New South Wales Former Chief Justice Sir Laurence Street found there was a case to answer. Senior Sergeant Hurley was found not guilty by a jury in the Townsville Supreme Court and the findings of the Coronial Inquest were subsequently overturned by the Queensland District Court. The District Court ruled that Coroner's finding "...was against the weight of the evidence".
Also in 2006 and 2008 footage was caught of police beating homeless men after they were pinned to the ground. It came a year after a report by organisations including the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) and community groups such as the Red Cross, which detailed widespread harassment by police of the socially vulnerable. Approximately 75% of interviewees made such claims, but the report was ignored by the government. Police Minister Judy Spence said of the report "At a cursory glance, it looks like a compendium of views from nameless, homeless people,".
In 2008, the CMC investigated an officer after he used a Taser on a teenage girl at South Bank, but recommended the officer only receive "managerial guidance". The incident was also against police policy to use tasers on minors. Police later charged the girl with breaching a move on order, but the case was thrown out with the magistrate criticising police's over-reaction. A subsequent inquiry by the CMC into the use of the TASER by the Queensland Police Service found there was no systemic abuse of the device by officers, despite the chairman saying the incident "showed a concerning pattern within QPS towards the handling of policing incidents". CCTV video footage was released, delayed by possible civil action, showing the girl lashing out and kicking the officer, knocking the Taser out of his holster before he used it as she was held on the ground by two security guards.
In June 2009 a man died after allegedly being tasered by Queensland police 28 times. The policeman in question claimed the deceased was tasered a much lower number of times, suggesting the device was making erroneous readings. The coronial inquest later found this not to be the case, and that the officer tasered the man 28 times for up to five seconds at a time.
In early 2010, searches were made by the CMC (Crime and Misconduct Commission) on police stations in Queensland. The results of the searches and interrogations of police officers are being kept confidential, but come less than a year after a CMC report claiming:
The CMC report focused on police corruption, and not police brutality that accounted for ten times as many complaints in Surfers Paradise - 130 reports to 13 in the 18 months to March 2010.
Between 1991 and 2013 there were eight geographic regions (Far Northern, Northern, Central, North Coast, Metropolitan North, Metropolitan South, Southern, and South Eastern), three commands (State Crime Operations, Operations Support, and Ethical Standards), and four divisions (Human Resources, Finance, Administration, and Information Management).
As of 2017, there are five police regions and eight commands in the State of Queensland, each under command of an assistant commissioner:
These regions are further divided into districts and further still into divisions. Separately, a new government department, Public Safety Business Agency took over the portfolios of human resources, finance, administration, education and training, and information technology).
See also: Australian police ranks
The Queensland Police Service has two classes of uniformed personnel: police officers ('sworn' and 'unsworn'),[a] and staff members (public servants or 'civilian': police liaison officers, watchhouse officers, and pipes and drums musicians). Both classes wear the same blue uniform with shoulder patches, however:
As of 2015 all rank insignia changed to an 'ink blue' background with insignia embroidered in white. There has been the addition of a 'recognition of service' horizontal bar between rank insignia and the words 'Queensland Police' for officers who have been on rank for a particular length of time. This 'recognition of service' is only for the ranks from senior constable to senior sergeant.
Ranks of the Queensland Police Service are as follows:
Rank insignia is worn only by uniformed officers. Prior to mid-2009, only officers at the rank of inspector and above (commissioned officers) had the words 'Queensland Police' embroidered on their epaulettes, however new uniform mandates saw the introduction of the words 'Queensland Police' on all epaulettes issued to police officers after this date. The epaulettes of commissioned officers are significantly larger than the epaulettes of lesser ranks. Different paypoints apply within the same rank relative to years of service. Officers relieving at a higher rank temporarily wear the epaulettes of the higher rank.
Police officers and other members may be eligible to wear Queensland and Australian honours.
Officers must serve a minimum of three years in general duties before being permitted to serve in specialist areas such as:
The following list chronologically records those who have held the post of Commissioner of the Queensland Police Service.
|Photo||Name||Post-nominals||Term began||Term ended||Notes|
|David Thompson Seymour||1864||1895||Commissioner Seymour established the detective force in 1864, one of the many reforms he undertook in his thirty-one years as Commissioner. He travelled extensively to the far reaches of the state and brought the concerns of his men to the Government. He was in charge of the Native Police throughout his tenure, a period in which around 40,000 Aboriginal people were estimated to be killed by this force. In 1879, some of these troopers were sent to Victoria to participate in the location of the Kelly gang. On retiring in 1895, Commissioner Seymour had increased police numbers from 275 to 907.|
|William Parry-Okeden||1895||1905||Commissioner Parry-Okeden was responsible for many reforms during his ten-year tenure. He reorganised the force into seven districts, initiated the grades of Constable 1/c and Chief Inspector, oversaw the formation of the Criminal Investigation Branch, devised more appropriate country uniforms, introduced the use of police bicycles and established the Fingerprint Bureau.|
|William Geoffrey Cahill||1905||1916||Commissioner Cahill supervised a period of expansion and introduced reforms including free uniforms and a better pension scheme, as well as improved arms and ammunition. He established a police horse breeding site and improved training conditions, modernised the Criminal Investigation Branch and pushed for the closer supervision of liquor licensing and gambling.|
|Frederic Charles Urquhart||1917||1921||Frederic Urquhart was the first sworn police officer to rise the rank of Commissioner. His tenure was punctuated by the flow-on effects of the First World War and subsequent industrial unrest. He pushed the Government for a closer approximation between police pay and the rates of industrial wages to slow the loss of men to other occupations. He oversaw the establishment of the Border Patrol during the 1919 Influenza Epidemic and was injured during police action against the 'Red Flag' rioters in Brisbane in the same year.|
|Patrick Short||1921||1925||Patrick Short was the first native born Queenslander to reach the rank of Commissioner. During his tenure he condensed the number of police districts from twelve to ten and oversaw changes to the 'Police Act' in regard to improving police pensions and family allowances. In 1924 Commissioner Short witnessed legislation which provided a system of appeal against promotions to members of the Queensland Police Union up to and including the rank of Senior Sergeant.|
|William Harold Ryan||1925||1934||Commissioner Ryan's tenure included a push for pay increases for all police officers. He established night duty bicycle patrols in the Metropolitan District and bought two motorised prison vans to replace the horse drawn 'Black Maria'. In 1931 Mr Ryan sanctioned the recruitment of the first two policewomen. He embraced motorisation of the force and at the end of his tenure there were thirteen motorcycles and three vehicles available for use across the state.|
|Cecil James Carroll||1934||1949||Commissioner Carroll introduced many reforms including qualifying examinations for promotion, an improved training system for recruits and a new Cadet system of admission. He approved the extensive renovation of police buildings and the opening of the Queensland Police Garage and the Police Welfare Club. Mr Carroll oversaw the establishment of a wireless radio station, the installation of radio receivers in police cars, the introduction of the 'modus operandi' recording system, the single fingerprint system, the Scientific Section and the Traffic Squad.|
|John Smith||1949||1954||Commissioner Smith oversaw the creation of the position of Deputy Commissioner and on 29 November 1951 appointed Chief Inspector Glynn as the state's first Deputy Commissioner. He represented Australia at the general assembly of the International Criminal Police Commission in Norway in 1953 and the arrangements for the visit of Her Majesty, the Queen, and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1954.|
|Patrick Glynn||1955||1957||Before Glynn became Commissioner his commitment to the Queensland Police was evident in suggestions made to improve operations of the Criminal Investigation Branch. Improvements to zoning, wireless patrol, and 'murder bags' (equipment used to secure evidence) were considered, with continued development on these aspects taking place today. Glynn also organised and took charge of a 'Detective College' for the specific training of Detectives during his tenure.|
|Thomas William Harrold||1957||1957||Prior to taking on the role of Commissioner, Mr Harold headed up the Crime Investigation Branch. During World War II he was in charge of the Metropolitan Air Raids Precaution and later directed security for Queensland's hosting of the Royal Tour in 1954. Commissioner Harold, as President of the Queensland Police-Citizens Youth Welfare Association, worked energetically for the advancement of the association. On retirement he continued to serve as Director of the QPCYWA until his death in 1961.|
|Frank Bischof||1958||1969||Commissioner Bischof appeared frequently at public functions throughout the countryside, encouraging the community to support and co-operate with police activities. He became well known for his interest in the welfare of children, particularly through the expansion of youth clubs, which led to him being named Queensland's first 'Father of the Year' in 1959, although he was childless. Mr Bischof was responsible for the formation of the Queensland Police Pipe Band in 1958, established the Police Public Relations Bureau in 1959, the Warrant Bureau in 1963 and the Crime Prevention Bureau in 1968.|
|Norm Bauer||1969||1970||Commissioner Bauer's began his administration in the middle of the political and public debate about the random use of breathalysers, with the Government being accused of using the police simply as revenue collectors. Bauer took up the request of Callaghan, the Police Union secretary, for an extra 400 police so that Queensland's size, distances and dispersal of population could be adequately serviced. In 1970, Bauer oversaw the purchase of land at Chelmer and the development of the Queensland Police College for in-service training.|
|Ray Whitrod||1970||1976||Commissioner Whitrod called for a greater professionalisation and modernization of the Force and for promotion based on merit, not seniority and a preference for policemen with higher educational standards. During his tenure as Commissioner he was responsible for the formation of the Crime Intelligence Unit, the Police Air Wing becoming operational, the commencement of construction of a new Police Headquarters building in Makerston Street, and the commencement of construction of the Driver Training Wing at Mt Cotton.|
|Sir Terence Murray Lewis||1976||1987||During his tenure, Commissioner Terry Lewis was responsible for opening the Police Museum to the public, the overhaul and expansion of the training regime that included the introduction of the new eighteen month Cadet training course. On 21 September 1987 he was stood down on full pay by the then Police Minister Bill Gunn and Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen. On 19 April 1989, by virtue of the Commissioner of Police (Vacation of Office) Act, the office of Commissioner of Police was declared vacant and from that date the Commissioner of Police (then Sir Terence Murray Lewis) ceased to be a member of the Police Force. In 1991 Mr Lewis was convicted on fifteen counts of corruption and one count of forgery and was sentenced to a total of twenty-five years in prison. Lewis was subsequently stripped of his knighthood, OBE and QPM in 1993.|
|Ron Redmond||1987||1989||Deputy Commissioner Redmond took over as Acting Commissioner after the Police Minister directed Terry Lewis to step down as Police Commissioner on 21 September 1987. Redmond guided the destiny of the Queensland Police through two of the most turbulent years in its history.|
|Noel Newnham||1989||1992||Commissioner Newnham was contracted as recommended by corruption commissioner Mr Tony Fitzgerald QC, to enact the Fitzgerald Inquiry recommendations. Mr Newnham advocated community policing and decentralisation of the Service. Under this model the headquarters echelon determined and disseminated values, policy, principles and broad objectives that gave regional commanders a greater deal of discretion in deciding on particular programs suited to their geographical area. Mr Newnham oversaw the appointment of the first female commissioned officers, the creation of Queensland Crime Stoppers Unit in 1989 and implemented a new two year Police Recruit Program and professional development program for the entire Service in 1990.|
|Jim O'Sullivan||1992||2000||Commissioner O'Sullivan's substantial record of achievement had a far reaching impact on the policy and operational direction of policing in Queensland. Mr O'Sullivan oversaw the introduction of the 'Police Beat Project' piloted in Toowoomba in 1993. He launched the 'Identify It' property marking project in 1995. Mr O'Sullivan believed public confidence could be achieved by directing more resources towards operational policing needs and by improving the professional image through developing professional policing competencies.|
|Bob Atkinson||2000||2012||In 2002 Commissioner Atkinson presided over security arrangements and the successful hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Coolum. He continually focused on community safety and providing a professional police service to protect the people of Queensland and their property. Atkinson is credited with reducing both the crime rate and road toll during his tenure.|
Standard equipment issued and worn on duty belt or load bearing vest by a uniformed police officer:
Officers, if necessary, can access the Remington Patrolman R4 carbine service rifle if qualified.
Supplier of belt and pouches is TripleB Leathercraft and Tote Systems.
Other equipment provided to officers include:
Officers around the state now have an option of an equipment vest (Load bearing vest) which is designed to transfer the weight from the hips to the torso. The vest holds the radio, handcuffs and OC spray. Originally this was a general accoutrement vest (GAV) which were extremely unpopular and rarely used, and in the 2010s, the load bearing vest (LBV) which is worn by most operational officers.
Body worn video technology was introduced following a trial in 2015.
In the 1980s to 2010s, the Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon and Toyota Aurion made up most of the fleet of both general duties and highway patrol operations. In more recent years however, with the ceasing of production of these locally produced models, makes such as the Hyundai Sonata have been used as general duties vehicles, while the Subaru Levorg and Kia Stinger have been employed for use as highway patrol vehicles. Hyundai iLoads and modified Isuzu D-Maxs are used as transport vehicles.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has become the primary general duties vehicles in metropolitan areas, replacing the remaining Holden Commodores, as well as older Hyundai Sonatas.
The SERT (Special Emergency Response Team) unit also has two specialised armoured vehicles, Lenco BearCats, at its disposal for use in riot control and other potentially dangerous situations throughout the Brisbane/South Eastern and Northern police regions, with one vehicle stationed in Brisbane and Cairns each.
From 1996 to 2015, nominated vehicles were fitted with other 200 in-car computers supplied by the state transport department, the Mobile Integrated Network Data Access (MINDA) units. From April 2012, automatic number plate recognition technology was fitted to road policing unit vehicles, follow earlier trials. Queensland Police has received its first police helicopter, based on the Gold Coast in 2012. The helicopter was used for a six-month trial period. The highly anticipated $1.6 million Bell 206 Long Ranger has already been hailed a success, assisting police in 24 different dispatches in its first three days of operation, and will be used extensively during major events such as Schoolies Week and the Gold Coast 600. The helicopter is fitted out with state-of-the-art equipment such as infrared and thermal imaging cameras, and other equipment based on the NSW Police Force helicopters. A second helicopter a BO 105 was introduced by July 2014 in time for the G20 summit in November, responsible for patrolling Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. The helicopters have Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) and Searchlight (TRAKKA beam) capabilities. In a first for an Australian police department, Queensland Police have purchased numerous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs; i.e. drones) which have already been used for surveillance purposes in numerous situations where sending in officers is deemed too risky such as during sieges or hostage rescue operations. They can also be used to aerially examine crime scenes.
Queensland Water Police operate three purpose-designed 23 m patrol vessels and numerous smaller rigid-hulled inflatable boats.