Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll has admitted that the lack of resources allocated to a dedicated domestic and family violence command is a “not a good look”.
Ms Carroll made the admission during an inquiry into the Queensland Police Service’s (QPS) response to domestic and family violence at Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday.
The Domestic Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Command was established after the death of grandmother Doreen Langham at the hands of her ex-partner in February 2021.
There are just 16 permanent staff dedicated to the command – 11 less than the media and communications team.
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said her priority in responding to domestic violence was more frontline forces. NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled Credit: News Corp Australia
“That is not a good look,” Ms Carroll said.
The command has significantly less resources than others in the same portfolio, with 786 officers dedicated to crime and counter terrorism and 418 dedicated to crime and intelligence.
“My priority has been to put as many boots on the ground as possible,” Ms Carroll said, referring to frontline police who work on domestic and family violence cases every day.
A training manual being prepared by the command to assist frontline forces with DV cases has been delayed and is not expected to be completed until October 2022 – more than 18 months after the command was established.
“Yes, it does cause me concern,” Ms Carroll said.
“I didn’t know that there was extensive delays.”
Doreen Langham (right) died in a house fire lit by her ex-partner in February 2021. Supplied Credit: Supplied
When asked if she would now address the resourcing issues within the DVF Command, Ms Carroll said, “definitely”.
Ms Carroll’s comments come after she earlier said an inquiry wasn’t warranted, saying it was expensive and unnecessary.
“It’s extraordinarily costly and we are already undertaking most of the recommendations that have been nominated in the report,” she said at the time.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called the inquiry in May after retired Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce justice Margaret McMurdo recommended it examine the “widespread cultural issues” relating to how officers investigate complaints.
More than 75 people, including current and former officers and DV service providers, have given evidence in Brisbane and around regional Queensland.
Police have admitted their colleagues have gone to great lengths to avoid domestic violence jobs, including turning women away at the counter and even lying about the severity of a complaint to their superiors.
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