The Courier-Mail

Bashing decision ‘a total cop-out’

- GREG STOLZ JEREMY PIERCE

THE failure to discipline a Gold Coast police officer who resigned after the notorious Surfers Paradise police station bashing has been attacked as a “cop-out” by a former internal investigat­or.

Terry Goldsworth­y, an exEthical Standards Command investigat­or and detective inspector, was speaking after the Crime and Corruption Commission largely backed the police service’s handling of the bashing case.

Only one of the four officers involved in the assault on handcuffed young chef Noa Begic in the Surfers Paradise police station basement in January 2012 was sanctioned. He was sacked but his dismissal was wholly suspended.

Another officer resigned before disciplina­ry action could be launched. In a statement on the scandal on Tuesday, the CCC said that by resigning, the officer “removed himself from the disciplina­ry process”.

But Dr Goldsworth­y, now a Bond University criminolog­ist, said the Queensland Police Service had “post-separation” powers to discipline officers after they have left the service.

The powers were used to retrospect­ively sack a Gold Coast officer charged with drug possession during the 2009 Operation Tesco probe into police misconduct on the Glitter Strip.

“To say you can’t discipline an officer because he or she has resigned is a complete copout – the provisions and the precedent are there,’’ Dr Goldsworth­y said.

He said retrospect­ive sanctions would remain on a former officer’s employment record and could prevent them from gaining work in another government department.

The CCC backed the QPS decision not to charge the officers but said it had concerns with the police discipline system, particular­ly the “prevalence” of suspended sanctions.

Incoming CCC chairman Alan MacSporran QC will be asked to look at the issue when he starts next week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia