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Byron Shire
April 16, 2021

Gold Coast police culture to be reviewed

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A review will examine Gold Coast police culture after a series of bashing and harassment complaints.

But senior police say the review, which began on Monday and follows the 2012 bashing of a handcuffed man by officers at Surfers Paradise police station, doesn’t mean there’s a problem.

‘We believe our staff do an outstanding job in a very complex and high-pressure working environment, but there is always room for improvement,’ Acting Assistant Commissioner Steve Hollands has told The Courier-Mail.

‘This is the sort of thing that any business might do from time to time. If there are any adverse findings they will be appropriately handled.’

Acting Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Craig Hanlon will head the review, assisted by independent consultant Mischa Fahl.

Police union representative Phil Notaro has backed the probe, saying: “It’s not a witchhunt.”

Gold Coast police sergeant Rick Flori, who blew the whistle on colleagues involved in the 2012 bashing of a handcuffed man at the Surfers Paradise police station, is currently facing a criminal misconduct charge.

Flori was charged after he allegedly leaked footage of the assault, but the officers caught on camera bashing the man were never charged.

Flori’s case has been taken up by Queensland Council for Civil Liberties (CCC) vice president Terry O’Gorman.

He says the Crime and Corruption Commission has indicated it will investigate his public interest complaint.

But he says the CCC must also better explain why it decided not to prosecute the officers, apparently on the grounds the victim did not want to make a complaint.

Whether the victim, who is understood to have received a payout from police, made a complaint or not is irrelevant, Mr O’Gorman says.

 

 


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