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Banks demand money back from Queensland Polic -

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PETER CAVE: A man credited with helping to launch Queensland's Fitzgerald Inquiry 20 years ago says
people should not be surprised by the new misconduct revelations.

The former Brisbane policeman and New South Wales ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption)
investigator Nigel Powell says incidents of police publicly bashing people were a sign of bigger
problems uncovered by Queensland's crime watchdog.

Those issues range from police offering criminals rewards for confessions through to officers
rewarding themselves with reward money put up by the banks.

Today the banks are demanding their money back.

Annie Guest reports from Brisbane.

ANNIE GUEST: The former detective from Queensland's once notoriously corrupt licensing branch Nigel
Powell says there have been signs of rot in recent times.

NIGEL POWELL: It wasn't surprising. I'm not saying that you know everything's widespread and sort
of drama like that. I'm not saying that.

What I am saying though is that the signs have been there that the bad aspects of police culture
are still there and have been there for some time.

ANNIE GUEST: Speaking on ABC Local Radio he cites well known incidents of uniformed police publicly
bashing homeless people in full view of cameras as evidence.

Other evidence has been uncovered by a two-and-a-half-year investigation by the crime watchdog.

It found criminals paying police, officers arranging sexual liaisons for prisoners to elicit
confessions, police manipulated by a criminal informant - already known as a liar - officers
passing confidential information to informants, and police preventing prison authorities from
monitoring an inmate's calls.

Twenty-five police were implicated in misconduct that also included improperly releasing prisoners
and Armed Robbery Unit officers suspected of raiding funds donated by banks to fight crime.

DAVID BELL: Our view is that this report has cast a very serious pall over the whole scheme.

ANNIE GUEST: David Bell is the chief executive of the Australian Bankers' Association.

DAVID BELL: I shall be writing to the Queensland Police Commissioner seeking a return of our
$10,000 and I intend to provide that $10,000 to Crime Stoppers.

ANNIE GUEST: The Crime and Misconduct Commission suspects officers used the fund for personal
purposes because, of 77 transactions investigated, more than half couldn't be properly accounted
for.

DAVID BELL: I haven't read the report in detail but the bits I have read make me very concerned
about what has happened to the funds that the ABA provided to the Queensland Police under very
specific conditions some 10 years ago.

ANNIE GUEST: Queensland Police have already abandoned the bankers' funds but the Police
Commissioner Bob Atkinson says it could be repaid.

BOB ATKINSON: If they do ask us to do that we'll certainly consider that but they haven't made that
request to date.

ANNIE GUEST: But some who won't be considering repaying any money are the 11 people who quit the
police service before the investigation was finished.

They'll keep their superannuation and presumably any money received from criminals and that
included car finance.

The Police Union's Ian Leavers has backed them.

IAN LEAVERS: If the allegations were true and all the information was true, what the CMC have said,
we would have 20 or 30 police before the courts. In fact we three.

ANNIE GUEST: The union's defence has been criticised by the Commissioner.

BOB ATKINSON: I think the Police Union has to take a stand where there is inappropriate behaviour
and I think they have to take a strong stand they have to support the officers who expose that and
they have to disown the officers who engage in it.

ANNIE GUEST: A recently retired Queensland Police officer agrees. Referring to himself only as
Mark, he told ABC Local Radio he worked in patrols where he saw people doing the wrong thing.

MARK: If you do the wrong thing you should be disciplined and there shouldn't be, you shouldn't be
backed up. There's no grey; there's no grey.

ANNIE GUEST: Of the 25 police implicated by the crime watchdog's report, three have been charged,
11 quit and others disciplined. Eleven are still working.

The Commissioner says he's confident their misdemeanours are limited to errors of judgement in
responding to the misconduct around them.

Bob Atkinson also says he sees no need to offer his resignation. He also has the support of the
State Government.

PETER CAVE: Annie Guest reporting from Brisbane.