Female cop recruiting ‘irregularities’ spark CCC probe
AN INVESTIGATION into alleged female recruiting "irregularities" in the Queensland Police Service is under way, in a bombshell for the organisation which strived for gender equality.
The Courier-Mail has been told physical standards and psychological assessment aspects of the recruiting process are under investigation after the claims.
The allegations are understood to relate to a period between 2016 and 2018, after the service introduced a 50-50 gender recruitment target.
The Crime and Corruption Commission and QPS are investigating the allegations.
To get into the service, recruits undergo physical tests, psychological and medical assessments, pass cognitive and reasoning ability assessments and are interviewed by a panel of officers.
Among the physical standards required to enter the service, the QPS has a beep test with minimum entry and exit levels at the academy.
When asked if irregularities had been discovered with the female recruiting process, a QPS spokesman confirmed a review into recruiting processes took place last year.
"As a result, allegations of irregularities associated with some past police recruiting processes were identified," the spokesman said.
"These allegations are now subject to investigation by the Crime and Corruption Commission and QPS Ethical Standards Command.
"In the meantime, the QPS has put mechanisms in place to ensure confidence in more recent and ongoing recruiting processes."
In 2016, then-Commissioner Ian Stewart told HR sections of QPS to aim for a 50-50 recruitment target.
At the start of 2017, the ratio of officers and recruits in the QPS was about 26.5-73.5.
In September, 2017, Mr Stewart said it was becoming difficult to reach the 50-50 recruitment goal but ordered standards not be lowered.
"We are not moving any standards. We know that we have large numbers of female recruits that do meet that standard, so what we're trying to do is encourage more women to come in the front end so we have a larger pool," he said at the time.
Between the 2016-17 and 2019-20 financial years, 558 women and 653 men have been sworn in.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said the union had always insisted on "clear, transparent, and merit- based recruit selection".
"The best people for the job should always be chosen rather than people being chosen because of quotas," he said.
"As long as all recruits selected on merit meet the minimum standard and competency, a person's gender is irrelevant."