Academy police trainers in sex shock
Academy police trainers in sex shock

Five police officers have been forced out of the WA Police Academy for inappropriate behaviour or having sexual relationships with female students.

But senior police denied they had an endemic problem, despite five incidents coming to light between August and January that led to the instructors being dismissed from the facility.

Supt. Craig Donaldson, the academy principal, told Seven News that relationships between trainers and recruits were not tolerated and risked damaging the reputation of the academy, which is recognised internationally as a top-class training institution.

"Obviously, there's a perception that the students have received favourable treatment and as an accredited agency they can't have that," he said.

WA's Police Academy is regarded as one of Australia's most modern and well-equipped, with officers from other jurisdictions and overseas regularly training at the facility.

The fraternisation came to light after a young female recruit complained to academy bosses last year about romantic text messages she received from a male instructor.

That led to the exposure of another four inappropriate sexual relationships between officers and recruits.

Police internal affairs investigators launched an inquiry in February after learning of the text messages and of two male trainers having affairs at different times with another female recruit during her 26-week induction training.

The inquiry uncovered two more cases - one where a trainer had failed to declare a pre-existing relationship with a recruit and another where a relationship was uncovered after a recruit had graduated.

Supt Donaldson told Seven News an audit of those five instructors and students during the inquiry had found no evidence to suggest there was any favouritism or special treatment during the training or assessments.

Internal affairs officers checked back to 2009 but found no evidence of other fraternisation, with those relationships already uncovered regarded as "one-off events between consenting adults".

The average age of new recruits was 27 to 28 and the average ages of the police officers training them were similar, Supt Donaldson said.

But Supt Donaldson said the behaviour was regarded as a breach of trust.

The police officers transferred from the academy were not further disciplined and the female graduates kept their jobs. <div class="endnote">

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The West Australian

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