Photo: Darren England/AAP
The Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Responses to Domestic Violence has extended the deadline for its final report after receiving a spate of new filings, QPS Commissioner Katarina Carroll said.
Carroll appeared on August 18 and was grilled about police culture and comments from senior officials.
Deputy Commissioner Paul Taylor announced his immediate resignation after the inquest heard he had called his girlfriend a “vagina whisperer” at a police conference.
The inquest also found that another senior official had been promoted despite allegedly shouting, “Did she shut her legs?” at the master of ceremonies at a police event after the latter spoke about a “rough promotion procedure” citing a laceration to the face. had joked.
Since Carroll’s testimony, the commission has received more than 130 additional submissions — many from police officers. The reporting period was then extended from October 4 to November 14 to accommodate the influx.
The extension will allow the investigation “to conduct a thorough review of the additional filings and request additional information from the QPS,” the commission said.
Carroll and other witnesses may be called upon to testify at additional hearings after the new September 5 deadline.
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“The Commission has requested further material from the QPS on a number of issues and this material will also influence the decision on whether further public hearings are required,” the commission said.
State Attorney General Shannon Fentiman said she understands the need for the extension.
“I have every confidence that Judge Richards will make some very strong recommendations on how we can ensure that women, no matter where they are in Queensland, get the support they need,” she told reporters on Friday.
This week, the Courier-Mail reported that the inquiry had requested disciplinary files from senior police officers.
The commission said it “did not and will not comment on the details of what has been requested by the QPS”.
The investigation revealed last month that Carroll had initially declined an invitation to appear, prompting the commission to ask whether she needed to issue a subpoena.
The news sparked a backlash from activists, who said their reluctance was “not good looks”.
The public hearings began on July 11 and were scheduled to conclude on August 9 before the commission called an additional session to allow Carroll to testify.
The independent commission of inquiry was recommended by the state’s Task Force on Women’s Safety and Justice following submissions from victims detailing alleged police failures.
The taskforce said “cultural issues within the QPS persist and appear to be widespread,” despite the “best efforts” of top leadership and officers trained to deal with domestic violence.
Over five weeks of public hearings, dozens of witnesses were heard as part of the investigation, including current and former police officers, service providers and attorneys.
One official broke down in tears at the hearings as he described hearing officials calling domestic violence “foreplay”, rape “surprise sex” and saying the victims were “too ugly to be raped”.
Indigenous women are among those most affected by police inaction, according to the research, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people regularly being misidentified as perpetrators of domestic violence rather than seen as “ideal victims”.