Queensland’s police commissioner says corruption exists but complaints are falling as he reflected on the Fitzgerald inquiry’s 25th anniversary.
Queensland’s police commissioner admits it would be stupid to say corruption in his ranks doesn’t exist any more.
Ian Stewart made the observation to mark the 25th anniversary of corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald releasing his landmark inquiry findings into police and political corruption.
Asked if corruption still existed in the Queensland Police Service he said: “I’d be stupid to say there isn’t”.
“We still have complaints made against police but I’m very grateful for the fact that complaints have been dropping for some time now,” Mr Stewart told Fairfax Radio on Thursday.
“Partly, that’s because of the professionalism of our organisation.
“But there will always be those, even within the organisation, that just don’t play by the rules.”
Mr Fitzgerald’s report, released on July 3, 1989, led to former police commissioner Terry Lewis being convicted and jailed for corruption, along with several serving police officers.
Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen was charged with perjury for evidence given to the inquiry and four government ministers were jailed.
John “Bluey” O’Gorman, who headed the Queensland Police Union during the 1980s, said the Fitzgerald inquiry hurt the reputation of honest serving police.
“Mr Fitzgerald made a mistake, in my view, of condemning the police culture. There was a sub-culture,” Mr O’Gorman told Fairfax Radio.
“If they weren’t found out in that inquiry, they weren’t involved pure and simple.”
Mr O’Gorman said police became less trusting of each other after that inquiry.
“Their eyes were open, their trust was minimised, their faith in their fellow police officer … was not so easily given,” he said.
Mr Fitzgerald has this week agreed to meet Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney in private, following his criticisms of anti-bikie laws and changes to the renamed Crime and Corruption Commission.