Qld's top cop denies poor culture, secrecy

Stuart Layt and Alexandra Patrikios
AAP
1 / 5

Qld's top cop denies poor culture, secrecy

Qld's top cop denies poor culture, secrecy

Queensland's police commissioner has strenuously denied a culture of secrecy and low staff morale after a senior officer launched a scathing assessment of the force's management.

Senior Sergeant Phil Notaro, who has support from the police union, says the service is failing Queenslanders due to gross mismanagement by the top brass.

He said morale in the service was lower than during the Fitzgerald Inquiry in the late 1980s and it was time the state government opened a wide-ranging inquiry to stop the rot coming from the top.

"All I can say to the people of Queensland is 'sorry'," Sen Sgt Notaro wrote in a Queensland Police Union journal article. "We at the coal face are doing all we can. We at the union are doing all we can. But someone needs to be held accountable

"I think we need an inquiry into mismanagement by the QPS hierarchy. The leaders of the organisation have to be held accountable, because we are failing the people of Queensland."

Commissioner Ian Stewart strongly disagreed with the criticism and said there was no evidence that backed the officer's claims.

"We have an attrition rate of 2.7 per cent, one of the lowest ever, and public satisfaction with our officers is at an all-time high of 90-plus per cent," he said on Friday.

Mr Stewart felt many disgruntled officers were among "frontline leaders" who could best influence morale.

"I think people better work out what they want to do. Do they want to be a part of the solution or do they just want to bitch about the problem," he said.

Sen Sgt Notaro said a restructure of the service had been a dismal failure and had not achieved any of its objectives, with bosses out of touch with the "leaderless" frontline.

The restructure's only success was to save the government money, after more than 100 experienced officers took redundancy packages, he said.

Sen Sgt Notaro also singled out the police pursuit policy as a cause for concern, saying criminals were "laughing" at officers who were too "scared" to do their jobs.

But the commissioner said the policy was designed to protect civilians.

Asked about the stinging criticism, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk dismissed suggestions there was a campaign afoot to destabilise Mr Stewart ahead of the renewal of his contract in October.

"People have legitimate concerns and they can raise those concerns," she said, while strongly praising Mr Stewart's leadership during Cyclone Debbie.