Monday, May 20, 2024

Tasmania Police abuse complaints data released

New data released today by Tasmania Police shows the organisation has investigated 22 child sexual abuse complaints against officers since 2000 – 14 of which involved police who were serving at the time of the alleged abuse.

The complaints include allegations of sexual intercourse with a young person, and the production of child exploitation material by Tasmanian Police officers.

“The outcomes of these matters were provided to the Commission of Inquiry, however, to ensure transparency and accountability, this report provides further detail on the complaints and outcomes,” Tasmania Police said in a statement following the release of the complaints report.

“The CoI did not request any further information however in order to ensure transparency and accountability, this report proactively provides further detail on the complaints and outcomes.”

Each complaint or information received has been thoroughly reviewed post Commission of Inquiry, said Tasmania Police Deputy Commissioner Jonathan Higgins.

Tasmania Police Deputy Commissioner Jonathan Higgins.

“The Tasmanian community has high expectations of its policing service, and we are entrusted with significant powers to perform our duties to keep people safe,” the Deputy Commissioner said.

“When a member of the community has a complaint, it is important that the process is clear and the community is kept informed about the outcome.

“We are committed to delivering a service in line with our Values of Accountability, Integrity, Respect and Support. The recent Tasmania Police Community Survey results told us we need be more accountable – and we are listening.”

Of the 22 complaints, eight involved current serving members, of which three were investigated and dismissed by police without referral to the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The DPP chose not to proceed with a further four, and another was deemed a misidentification.

Police investigated a total of six matters without referring them to the DPP, due to insufficient evidence, false complaint, or because the victim withdrew the complaint.

Between 2000 and 2022, four police officers were found guilty of child sexual offences. None remain employed by Tasmania Police.

“When a complaint is made, either by a member of the community or raised internally by another police officer, the community must have confidence that these matters are investigated appropriately and outcomes are publicly available,” said Deputy Commissioner Higgins.

The second release – Professional Standards Complaints and Outcomes 2023 report – details the type of complaint, findings and outcomes of Level 2 and 3 complaints made against police in 2023.

Tasmania Police has also recently publicly released:

The Professional Standards report is available to read here: https://www.police.tas.gov.au/information-disclosure/

The Commission of Inquiry report is available to read here: https://www.police.tas.gov.au/commission-of-inquiry/

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