4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News

4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News
4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News Led by John "Cueball" Mackenzie

10 January 2013


After talking to various sources around town and around the region, we still can't report much on what is actually occurring with the Queensland Police "restructuring".  High levels of secrecy surround the proposals (are they still "proposals" when they're obviously being jammed down our throats?)  Even police on the street seem skittish about commenting - questions posted to CBD constables got expressions of fear and a muttered "no comment" from more than a few.  

One constable who was formerly a policeman in another commonwealth country (we're protecting you, mate) did make some observations which we believe are worth pursing, however and we've included them below. 

1.  Management techniques used in business for cost reduction are inappropriate for Police Departments.  While the key tenant of democracy is EQUALITY, police and the public are inherently unequal.  The police have the ability to compel compliance with their directives, even if they are unfair or illegal.  And to do so they can use coercion, including deadly force.  Police officers need direct, immediate, and continual supervision at a level that allows the immediate supervisor to learn their strengths, weaknesses, and identify the rogue and the dangerous.  

We don't see anything that gets more first-line supervision in place, and in fact the plans to strip mid-level supervisors may be counterproductive.  

In his knee-jerk defence of the plans Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King said on the radio yesterday that "the changes will result in a "flatter management system".  He said this even though he clearly couldn't answer questions about the plan - the "flatter management" argument was obviously sent thru the LNP ranks via talking points.  

But this isn't a business, this is the POLICE.  There is need for HIGHER levels of management, as well as MORE levels of management to watch the others.  The knee-jerk response by King and the LNP is stupidly and dangerously WRONG.  What's being done will WEAKEN internal accountability, result in more corruption, and worse case will result in the death and injury of MORE police officers and MORE of the public.  Those are the facts, not hysteria

King then added the additional factoid:  "more police on the street".  I don't want more police on the street who are unsupervised and poorly trained.  This is false economy.   

2.  Larger management districts with Cairns being run from Townsville is wrong on several levels.  Firstly, the trend around the world in democratic countries is for more LOCAL control and direction of the police, not less.  In the United States, Canada, and other places police are employed and reportable to LOCAL authorities, city councils.  Ever wonder why when issues are deteriorating in the Cairns CBD or other places, the police are unresponsive?  Because their priorities are set from higher-ups not based in Cairns.  If drunks were roaming the CBD of any similar-sized American city on a nightly basis, disrupting restaurants and the public, the Mayor would be on the phone to the Police Chief and immediately priorities would be realigned based on PUBLIC DEMAND. 

But King and the LNP rolled over and let our senior management be moved further away, and in fact inserting another layer of communication between Cairns policing needs and the decision makers.  And what about the Cape?  Most of the communities are accessed by air, from Cairns.  NOT from Townsville.  When incidents in the Cape demand more policing immediately, where are they going to come from?  This is absurd in the extreme.

As we currently operate, the revolving door of police in-and-out of Queensland communities makes the whole system far less productive than when an officer spends his whole career serving the people of one community.  AS IS COMMON AROUND THE WORLD.  A constable recruited from the community has a built-in rapport with his peers, knows the back streets and hiding places, and knows who the bad guys are.  Instead we have constables moved from place to place, along with their management, who use us as a stepping-stool in their careers instead of serving OUR community.  This makes them all beholden to Brisbane, not to us.  A major shortcoming unfixed by Joh Bjelke Newman.

And with local police to ensure civil rights are maintained, American & Canadian states have STATE POLICE, a smaller force with wholly different management that can investigate police corruption, as well as patrolling of state highways and other functions that should NOT be done by local police. 

3.  The lack of transparency in police matters is appalling.  While it has gotten marginally better in Cairns with the LNP, with some better local reporting of crime available from the QPS, the operations of the QPS service itself are becoming MORE secret.  Take the issue of police numbers in Cairns.  This is a "state secret" and even constables on the street are forbidden from talking about it, or speculating on it.  King keeps telling us "we got three more new police",  however these have been new officers who are not 100% productive for 2-3 years.  And we occasionally are told of those leaving when it makes news - the recent reports of two "resignations" for some unnamed sexual issue, as well as the washouts from the new recruits.  We have NO IDEA how many police are in Cairns, or EVER have been in Cairns.  This is a major shortcoming that needs to be fixed.  And in Brisbane and coming soon to Cairns is the replacement of analog police radios with digital.  This keeps the crims from listening in, but it also keeps the press and majority of the non-criminal public from keeping an eye on our neighbourhoods and police.  

4.  Automation and paperwork is a major shortcoming in the QPS that looks to be unaddressed in the restructuring.  They've claimed 200 are being pulled out of the office, but who's then going to do the increased paperwork?  Police all over the state are still preparing crime incident reports like it's 1980 instead of embracing a myriad of 21st Century tools.  The LNP is likely gunshy of repeating the Beattie/Bligh payroll system debacle.  But crime prosecutions rely on voluminous amounts of paperwork.  A restructure without addressing this mess is a road to hell.

What's missing from this restructuring is even more sad.  The big changes that have occurred around the world are the implementation of what's called "Community Policing".  It fills in the gap between Neighbourhood Watch groups and the police on the front line, and makes all of the more effective and pro-active - making the police and the public PARTNERS rather than ADVERSARIES.    

We welcome your comments.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter how the force is structured or how many officers there are the problem is the penalties for offences. As long as we slap offenders with a wet tissue crime will keep getting worse.
The police at the moment do a great job but are not supported by the courts.

Ivor said...

Did I hear Gavin King right, on Maccas radio show (Wed 9th Jan)saying he looked at ways how the Newman Gov't could sack Magistrates and the Judiciary?.
Also today (jan 10TH)Macca was railling about a Muslim wanting harsher penalties introduced in Australia when just moments earlier Macca was demanding similar harsh penalties.

CBD Warrior said...

Wondering why we hadn't heard from HBW on this issue for so long. I see, you were actually researching and thinking about the issue, and have come up with some world-class suggestions. HBW never disappoints.

Vi L. Schumm said...

Anonymous 10:34 The problem is NOT the courts. Judges and magistrates pass sentences in accordance with laws passed by politicians who in turn are elected by the people. If the people truly wanted heavier sentences, they would get them. However, they would also have to pay the higher taxes necessary to operate the prison system. This was demonstrated recently when the O'Farrell Government in NSW came to power promising tougher sentencing and then changed its mind when faced with costs necessary to implement its promise.

In my experience people who blame the courts are the same ones who want lower and lower taxes.

Ultimately, you get what you pay for. If you aren't prepared to pay, don't complain!

Anonymous said...

It's a pity the LNP government couldn't do the same as HBW CBD Warrior but obviously intelligence doesn't rate highly with Can Do and his mates now they are safely ensconced in all the cushy jobs. Only rat cunning and gutless state representatives are necessary to give an additional 30 million he can now slough off and add to his high rise memorial being built in BrisVegas.

Bob R. said...

The LNP seem to be creating a huge bloody shit of a mess in their frenzy to get a surplus budget in as fast a time as is stupidly possible. Someone needs to tell the fuckwits running the State that it doesnt matter if we dont get there by next year, and having a AA rating isn't that bad either. I mean what the fuck do they think they are going to achieve? Sitting back and crowing that they achieved a "surplus" budget when hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders hate their bloody guts?

Anonymous said...

So true Vi! Most folks have no idea how the system works -you vote in every election but you don't always get the outcome you desire -that's Democracy. Those in Govt then make the rules (Laws) that Magistrates and Judges must base their decisions on. The NSW backflip is a perfect example of LNP politics at work. When reality hits they back off and then are forced to explain to Alan Jones and co, why they are "soft on crime". Delicious irony. This is a good story HBW and hopefully voters are now getting a preview of the Mr Rabbot years. All the building blocks of our society are under attack- nurses,ambos and firies, teachers,doctors,public servants and now the Police. The LNP future has become everyone's nightmare.

Anna Namiss said...

Can we add this to the money King has lost for Cairns? An experienced officer is going to be on a higher wage with more disposable income than two constables supporting young families.

Terry Pritchard said...

My son is Cairns born and bred, he wanted to join the police, but at the same time wanted to live in Cairns, and have his kids settled and in school here.

When informed this was not possible, he passed on it, what would have been a good cop was lost to Cairns, and Queensland.

Jethro said...

Some good points there Hillbilly. I recall the riots in Aurukun and Lockhart River in the 1970s and 1980s. After these changes, police backup squads will have to fly there from Townsville not from Cairns. Not a good move. I see where nurses have been out protesting the loss of their jobs and the closures of some hospitals today. Hopefully those naive, trusting simpletons who believed that nurses, doctors and police were safe in their jobs from the LNP, have woken up to the facts. If you are on the government payroll, then your job is not safe, period!

Anonymous said...

Ivor, I don't think King understand the Separation of Powers which operates in a democracy. Then again, he demonstrates a contempt for democracy.

Bus. Op. said...

We've lost more than wages Anna Namiss. We've lost a Regional Police Office.
King has lost us:-
* Entertainment Precinct which included public plaza, extensions to Convention Centre, new performing arts theatre, multi storey car park and museum.
* Funding for CBD revitalisation
* Regional Police Office
We will lose miuch more during his weak and ineffecual representation, that is guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

The events of the past few days clearly indicate that the job losses are still continuing despite Newman's claims before Christmas that they were all over.
This time around, its the nurses, doctors and cops who are getting the chop.

Anonymous said...

Hey Vile Scum what about the magistrate that refused to fine a driver who was caught in a car chase?

T. Asquith said...

I'm no psychologist, but I've always thought that prison and the absolute certainty of being confined to one if convicted of specified crimes IS the deterrent.
If the certainty of incarceration is reduced to only the slightest possibility - with a laughable (non) penalty of community service, probation, etc. the most likely outcome for even habitual and repeat offenders - then crime flourishes.
So, perhaps being tough on crime with realistic custodial sentences doesn't result in a greater prison population and more cost. Perhaps it does the reverse by providing a disincentive for committing the crime in the first place.
Works in Singapore.

Vi L. Schumm said...

Anonymous 22:22 Yes there are occasional cases where you question the magistrates decision, and that is why there are appeal processes for lower court decisions. Governments can also include minimum sentence requirements in specific laws. My point is not to argue for low penalties but that that we can only get a quality justice system if we pay for it.

T. Asquith 22:40 You may be right about the impact of current sentencing, but I would make two points. If Australian governments thought they could save money on the prison system with tougher penalties for crime, I think they would have tried it already.

Secondly, where there are poor social conditions, crime happens irrespective of the penalties. Severe and by today's standard extreme penalties, including execution, were applied in 18th century England, but they did so little to deter crime that they sent shiploads of 'criminals' to Australia.

Vi has mixed feelings about Singapore, which she has visited several times. Arguably crime has been reduced there because of rising living standards as well as tough penalties. And I think few Australians would want the same level of penalties as they have in Singapore. The harsh penalties for crime go hand in hand with a heavy-handed approach to civil liberties.

ruby said...

Good to hear Mackenzie give King a bit of a serve this morning over the inadequate police staffing in the CBD, on his program. King stuttered and backed down. ROFL ROFL

Anonymous said...

Od dear, Mckenzie will get banned from King Facebook if he does anything but stroke his massive over inflated ego. The media is his own advertising medium, nobody is allowed to question him. Deary deary me. McKenzie now you gone and done it.

Destiny Prophet said...

Those of us who lived in Queensland pre-Fitzgerald know what a superb police force we enjoy now compared to back then.

Why stuff up something that works?

The one thing I don't understand is the constant merry-go-round of transfers.

Where I grew up we had the same sergeant for the entire 12 years of my schooling. The town was his home, and his family's home. He had a vested interest in the place being a good town to live in.

The government employs liason officers because they know their communities, but then denies normal police the opportunity and advantage of the same thing.

I've noticed on various forums idiots celebrating the dismissal of fat old cops - older police are not employed to run down bag snatchers - they are employed for their knowledge and experience - just like young fit athletes have older coaches who've already done it all and can mold the raw talent.

Cairns has had some superb older police over recent years - I remember Tim the motor bike cop who sadly died bringing a new bike back from Townsville in about 2004 - he was older, and he was fat - and he was a bloody good cop - knew the town and his job like the back of his hand. Queensland will be poorer for the loss of police like him.

Anonymous said...

Get Used to it DP for we are on a downward slide unless we rid ourselves of this disgusting and useless state gov next election ,as wanking says GAME ON

Anonymous said...

Now everyone should stop attacking poor old Gav King .... of course he will defend the loss of Cairns police to Townsville .... lets remember what he used to say about politicians.....

We all know politicians from both sides are manufactured on conveyor belts and forced to act like performing parrots to spread a unified party message.
10 May 2008

Now that he is one .... he's only doing what we should expect.

T. Asquith said...

Just a couple of comments in reply Vi: Australian Governments - politicians - are not renowned for their long-term thinking, nor for being particularly innovative, especially if it involves political risk.
For example, there is a strong body of evidence that suggests decriminalising drugs would result in less crime committed to feed addiction with no net growth to the drug-taking population. I think we all get that. You could make the stuff available for free and the vast majority of people would still shun it.
But as a policy initiative, it's a no-go zone for parties/politicians who lack the backbone to act outside the square. Our laws on illicit drugs and their users sets us up to fail. An army of law-enforcement agents are getting nowhere, some are even being corrupted by the very system. And today's drug addicts are yesteryears 18th century poor, both groups starving, one for a substance, the other for food.
So there needs to be a two-pronged solution: one for those addicted so that they don't HAVE to commit crime to feed their habit, and significant deterant penalties for those that CHOOSE to commit crime. There is a difference.

Anonymous said...

Read tomorrows Courior Mail it will show wanking and his BF carnt do in their true colours, all i can say is game on

jim-bob jnr said...

A police force with too many injuns and not enough chiefs scares the shit out of me. Remember that Hurley fella? Remember all those deaths in custody? Nuff said. Bad move Newman, bad.

Jethro said...

Destiny Prophet, I recall the cops of pre Fitzgerald days too, in fact even further going back to the black and white cars, the khaki uniforms and the "black Marias" of the early 1970s. The days when a constable was often transferred to one cop stations out in the boondocks and was on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He often only had a non-airconditioned decrepit old landrover for his vehicle, or even when occasion demanded, had to use a cattleman's horse. He had to pick up bodies, wrap them up and transport them himself to the nearest morgue. If there was a vehicle accident, he had to scrape up the smashed bodies from the road and he got no counselling afterwards, nor any special leave. If the boys at the local pub got too excited, there was only himself to settle them down. He had to learn to use his fists in one hell of a hurry. He was often the towns social worker, detective, de facto mayor, towns spokesperson and whatever role ended up his way. When fire or floods came, he was often the sole emergency service. He had an ancient Remington typewriter and he typed his reports two fingered. If he was lucky enough to have a wife accompany him to the godforsaken spot, then he would get her to check his spelling and grammar. His wife or himself also had the job of cooking meals for any prisoner in his lock up, and also keeping it clean.
He was often lonely, friendless and despairing. However he held on and dreamed of one day climbing that greasy pole, maybe becoming a "Super" or somebody.
We have a lot to thank our old cops for. They had it bloody hard.
Here's to you fellas!! You might now be old and fat, but you were real lions once.

Vi L. Schumm said...

Well said T. Asquith. I agree with your comments on drugs and the need for a two-pronged (or more) solution to crime and its causes. Unfortunately, I also have to agree with your assessment that politicians won't implement some of the solutions, although there has been progress on drug regulation in Portugal where it is now a bipartisan approach. Fowler wants to say that he agrees whole-heartedly.

Anon No. 4 said...

The easiest and quickest way to corrupt a police force is to disable it. The next step in the process is to exert political control through fear and coercion. Joh is back!

Anonymous said...

Well said Destiny and Jethro. I have noticed also a contemptuous dismissal of older cops on some facebook sites. There is this callousness coming from a certain section in our society over the Queensland job losses which makes me sick in the guts. They are the same people who decried public servants as "lazy" and "underworked".

ruby said...

Listening to the Mackenzie program today,(Monday) Lots of callers critical of King over the lack of police.

Anonymous said...

Listen on Wednesday when King will be answering calls. He'll realise then what Val Schier has to put up with as Macca will have all the regular angry lunatics lined up, Tenni included.

Destiny Prophet said...

Jethro, absolutely love your comment.

Anonymous said...

Lots of letters criticising King in The Cairns Post lately. The tide is turning with a vengeance.

Seth said...

Good point there, HBW about community policing. We need to develop this aspect I think.

Anonymous said...

Friday a caller told McKenzie that Newman would be in town this week. Mckenzie got all indignant because no one hat told HIM ! Wasn't there some sort of protocol etc. Today I heard on ABC radio that Newman would only appear on commercial radio for an interview and he did so; on Zinc !!!, snubbing Mckenzie and his rotten show. There is also growing tension between King and McKenzie as one election promise after the other is being ditched. No culling of crocs, the crime problem, according to King, is not so bad, etc.etc. King was confronted on ABC this morning about health workers who had lost their jobs and been treated rather shabbily. All he could come up with was ; "ummmm, aahh, ummm, I certainly wasn't aware of that". The man is sounding more and more tired and despondent. The hillbillies are yelling and screaming at him from all sides and are furious that their puppet is nowhere near as right wing as they wanted him to be.

Jethro said...

Destiny, it is pretty disgusting and reprehensible tactics that the LNP are using. Trying to discredit these senior officers so that when they are sacked no-one will feel guilty. Seeney I think it was even held the threat of introducing special legislation to force them to leave if they don't go voluntarily. What bloody disgusting behaviour from a government who know damn well the Police Force cannot retaliate.

Destiny Prophet said...


It doesn't do much for the morale and ambition of talented young police who see that the reward for working hard and moving into a senior position is to be slagged for being old and fat and pushed out.

It's tricky for the union boss too - aligned himself so closely to current government that it's difficult for him to now hold them to account.

Actually I imagine lots of people are regretting their enthusiasm for this lot, and particularly for Newman. I wonder how many LNP people who dutifully lined up to clap and cheer the new Messiah now see they would have won the election anyway, but have to reluctantly swallow his conceit that it was all his doing.