Carrie Bickmore grills female police chief over Queensland force’s appalling culture

Tense moment Carrie Bickmore grills female police chief over Aussie state’s appalling culture of racism, bullying and sexual misconduct

  • Queensland Police chief Katarina Carroll came under pressure on The Project 
  • She defended her leadership of the force after a damning report was released
  • Scathing report found that ‘failure of leadership’ allowed appalling culture

Carrie Bickmore grilled an Australian police boss over her state’s appalling culture of bullying and sexual misconduct in a tense interview. 

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll pleaded for people to have faith in her and her officers despite a damning report that revealed huge issues in the force.

The inquiry into Queensland police responses to domestic violence previously heard that 1,676 complaints of sexist, racist, misogynistic and homophobic behaviour were made against officers from 2020 to 2022.

On Monday, a scathing report found that ‘failure of leadership’ allowed a culture of sexism, racism, fear and silence to take hold unchecked within the Queensland police service.

Now, appearing on The Project, the state’s top came under intense scrutiny, with Bickmore asking: ‘This report is about widespread systemic problems, but you’ve previously said these are isolated cases. Are you in denial?’ 

Carrie Bickmore grilled Queensland Police commissioner Katarina Carroll over force's appalling culture of bullying and sexual misconduct within the ranks

Carrie Bickmore grilled Queensland Police commissioner Katarina Carroll over force’s appalling culture of bullying and sexual misconduct within the ranks

Commissioner Carroll replied: ‘No, definitely not. I have said that we have issues in the organisation. We haven’t swept it under the carpet. 

‘You know, I’ve read the report or was in the commission of inquiry. I know of those issues. And for me as the head of the organisation they are very, very difficult to listen to. 

‘It’s very, very tough to admit that we have people like this in the organisation and that is what reform is all about.’

Commissioner Carroll has been backed to restructure the force after a Commission of Inquiry panned her leadership for an ‘inadequate’ and ‘inconsistent’ policing of domestic violence.

Judge Deborah Richards’ report said a ‘culture of fear and silence’ had fostered an ‘unchecked’ culture of sexism, racism and misogamy in the Queensland Police Service.

The report found an ‘unchecked’ culture of sexism, racism and misogyny in the QPS, coupled with a lack of resources, led to inconsistent and inadequate domestic violence responses, which left victims unprotected and perpetrators emboldened.

The situation had been allowed to continue over many years due to ‘a failure of leadership’, the report said.

The government accepts the 78 recommendations to restructure the QPS ‘in principle’, but has backed Ms Carroll.

Commissioner Carroll has been backed to restructure the force after a Commission of Inquiry panned her leadership for an 'inadequate' and 'inconsistent' policing of domestic violence

Commissioner Carroll has been backed to restructure the force after a Commission of Inquiry panned her leadership for an ‘inadequate’ and ‘inconsistent’ policing of domestic violence

Commissioner Carroll says every case will be reviewed where a QPS perpetrator of bullying, harassment, abuse or assault hasn’t been properly disciplined. 

She also told The Project: ‘I think that we all need to be held accountable. I need to be held accountable.’ 

‘When I look back at the reform journey, you look at yourself, you look at the things that you’ve done. 

‘You looked at the decisions that you’ve made, and in hindsight, you should have made other decisions but that makes you a better leader for the future. And I believe everyone, even leadership, comes to this with the right intent, without malice to try and do the right thing.’

The report, released on Monday, found an 'unchecked' culture of sexism, racism and misogyny in the QPS

The report, released on Monday, found an ‘unchecked’ culture of sexism, racism and misogyny in the QPS 

Earlier this month, shocking audio emerged of police and watch house officers allegedly involved in discussions containing racist slurs and offensive jokes towards Indigenous Australians.

Brisbane Watch House officer Steven Marshall broke his silence with damning allegations about his colleagues and Queensland Police officers as a series of recordings were publicly released for the first time. 

The whistleblower has been left deeply disturbed by countless conversations in his presence regarding people of colour detained at the facility, including Indigenous Australians and other ethnic nationalities.

In one of the recordings obtained by The Guardian, one black detainee is referred to as ‘a gorilla in the mist’ as jokes are made about a female Indigenous detainee who ‘won’t give you a f***ing blowjob’ while walking her to her cell.

Officers can be heard mocking ‘a black fella speaking Italian’ in another disturbing expletive-filled audio recording.

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