Hush on al­leged po­lice thiev­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SA­MAN­THA HEALY sa­man­tha. healy@ news. com. au

THE state cor­rup­tion watchdog is con­tin­u­ing its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a se­nior Townsville po­lice of­fi­cer ac­cused of steal­ing $ 28,000 from a char­ity.

The high- rank­ing of­fi­cer al­legedly spent the char­ity’s money on ac­com­mo­da­tion, gam­bling on poker ma­chines and ser­vic­ing his boat over a four- year pe­riod.

The mat­ter first came to light in Au­gust last year, with the Queens­land Po­lice Ser­vice Eth­i­cal Stan­dards Com­mand ( ESC) com­plet­ing its own in­ves­ti­ga­tion late last year.

At the time, the ESC con­firmed it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the “char­ity fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of an of­fi­cer based at the QPS North­ern Re­gion”.

The mat­ter was then re­ferred to the Crime and Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion for re­view, with the watchdog tak­ing over the in­ves­ti­ga­tion in Novem­ber last year.

The ESC re­fused to com­ment on whether the se­nior of­fi­cer was still on the books.

But sources told the Bul­letin the vet­eran had been “moved around” since the al­leged of­fend­ing came to light.

It is un­der­stood QPS has not is­sued un­prompted media state­ments re­gard­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­spite regularly post­ing in­for­ma­tion about al­leged of­fend­ing by other po­lice.

Re­cently, the QPS re­vealed that two North­ern Re­gion

Some­times

these mat­ters take time to in­ves­ti­gate

PAUL TAY­LOR

con­sta­bles had been stood down from of­fi­cial polic­ing du­ties fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions they had used ex­ces­sive force and failed to treat a mem­ber of the public with dig­nity and re­spect.

The two of­fi­cers were from Townsville and were the sub­jects of a dis­ci­plinary in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but the al­le­ga­tions had not yet been sub­stan­ti­ated.

North­ern Re­gion Act­ing As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Paul Tay­lor said the se­nior of­fi­cer had been taken off of­fi­cial du­ties.

“The CCC has car­riage of it ( the al­leged theft). Some­times these mat­ters take time to in­ves­ti­gate,” he said.

But for­mer North­ern Ter­ri­tory po­lice of­fi­cer Steven Isles, whose fa­ther was in­ves­ti­gated and cleared of wrong­do­ing, crit­i­cised the “cone of si­lence” sur­round­ing the se­nior of­fi­cer.

His fa­ther Se­nior Sergeant Mick Isles van­ished, and pre­sumedly took his own life, in 2009 just days af­ter be­ing cleared of any wrong­do­ing.

“You have a se­nior rank­ing of­fi­cer, in a po­si­tion of trust, who has al­legedly stolen money from a char­ity,” Mr Isles said. “The code of se­crecy says the media is al­lowed to ask ques­tions but no one is obliged to an­swer them.”

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