Police Departments Place Budget Ahead Of Duty

Newspaper Reports revealing the police department policy that Money is more important than Duty

  1. Police Budget Cuts Let Crims Go Free (18/1/2004)
  2. No Police Cash To Hunt Intruders (6/4/2000)

Police budget cuts let crims go free
by Darrell Giles The Sunday Mail 18 January, 2004

Police say serious crimes such as armed robbery and violent assault are not being investigated properly because of budget cuts.

A survey of the state's police force found one in four officers said they knew of a serious criminal matter — an indictable offence — which had not been followed up because of financial restrictions.

Three out of four police said lack of money from the State Government was "directly impeding" their ability to do the job.

The findings were in a survey, conducted by the Queensland Police Union last month, which drew more than 2300 responses.

Police Union president Gary Wilkinson said members' responses revealed a service in crisis.

"Of major concern is that serious crimes are not being properly progressed and that officers believe their safety is being put at risk because 'of statewide budget cuts," he said.

Some of the most alarming findings from police at the coal-face included:

Union officials and Police Minister Tony McGrady have long been at loggerheads, with Mr Wilkinson describing Mr McGrady this week as the "worst police minister we have ever had".

There was almost unanimous backing from police officers: 97% said Mr McGrady was "not supportive" of police and he did not understand issues facing them.

Police criticised the Government's "tough on crime, tough on the cause of crime" slogan, with 97% describing it as an "empty political slogan with little foundation in fact".

No Police Cash To Hunt Intruders
by Tony Keim The Courier-Mail Wednesday, April 6th 2000

A COMMISSIONED police officer refused to approve overtime last week for officers to go to the assistance of a resident who had an intruder in his house, the police union said yesterday.

Queensland Police Union general-secretary Merv Bainbridge said it was no secret police regions were broke and without resources to ensure public safety.

Logan and Gold Coast police are the latest in a string of regions to voice concerns about dwindling funds having an adverse impact on police operations.

Officers from Logan said yesterday a commissioned officer had refused the overtime for officers to attend the incident with a home intruder.

The officers said all overtime was suspended and could be authorised only by police inspectors or an assistant commissioner.

"We have regularly been told not to attend priority jobs, including occasions where a person's safety is at great risk at the hand of a criminal," a Logan police officer said.

Gold Coast police said that because of staff rostering shortfalls, they were left hamstrung by rigid rostering and overtime constraints, allowing criminals to escape detection.

Officers are also outraged after an armed burglar slipped through police hands because senior management refused to authorise $120 in overtime to call in a dog squad officer.

Police said they cornered the man in bushland at Pimpama on Good Friday, but he escaped detection as approval was sought to call in back-up officers.

A spokesman for Police Minister Tom Barton yesterday rejected the claims, saying no proof was provided to back allegations put forward by the union and officers.

"If the union and police officers want action over the claims they need to supply evidence," Mr Barton's spokesman said.

Mr Bainbridge said police officers were waging a losing battle in their fight against crime.

"Members are sick of fighting crime with one hand tied behind their backs," he said. "The massive funding shortfall is now well known around criminal circles and it is only a matter of time before a member of the police service or the public loses their life."

The Courier-Mail has received many calls and memos from serving police officers in recent months complaining how financial constraints prevented them from executing their duties.

Allegations levelled by police include:

Opposition police spokesman Mike Horan said the Government's constant claims the massive police budget crisis was a "media beat-up" were false.

Mr Horan said his office was besieged by police voicing concerns about the ridiculous constraints placed on them to "save a few lousy dollars".