Police cut-backs may force merger

UPDATE 7.40PM: Police Commissioner Ian Stewart confirmed late this afternoon in a media statement that there would be no net reduction in police numbers across Queensland as a result of the current review and proposed restructure of the Queensland Police Service.

"I can confirm the issue of redundancies for some commissioned officers has been considered however should the redundancies be approved an equivalent number of lower rank positions will be created to ensure no net loss of police officers in Queensland," Commissioner Stewart said.

"The QPS is also on track to deliver on the commitment to 1,100 extra officers over the next four years.

"I expect to announce full details of the review internally and externally in the near future once the consultation process is complete."

EARLIER: TOOWOOMBA'S police command centre may be disbanded and swallowed by the greater Brisbane region if a plan to axe one-third of the state's highest-ranked officers goes ahead.

Speculation about the future of policing in Toowoomba has erupted following an internal review that found about 150 officers ranked inspector or higher were not needed in Queensland's force.

Top police remain tight-lipped about the arrangements, but Macdonald Law principal Shane Macdonald says the fall-out could be disastrous.

"My understanding is that they're going to merge the regions with the whole southern district joining an expanded greater Brisbane region," he said.

"It means less actual senior police will be here in Toowoomba."

Mr Macdonald pointed to a Crime and Misconduct Commission investigation into police corruption on the Gold Coast, Operation Tesco, which found a lack of top cops contributed to the problem.

"One of the big things they raised was that there were not enough senior officers there to either be models for junior officers or keep them on the straight and narrow or to monitor them," he said.

"It basically said they needed more supervisory police, rather than less."


A map of the current Queensland Police Service's southern region.
A map of the current Queensland Police Service's southern region.

The Queensland Police southern region already encompasses a huge area taking in Charleville, Roma, Dalby, Warwick, Ipswich and Toowoomba districts.

"Work by the review team is ongoing but a new proposed structure is close to completion. It is anticipated that the outcomes of the review will be announced internally and publicly this month," police said in a media statement.

"On at least two occasions in the past four months, the Queensland Police Service has confirmed to all members that up to 212 staff positions will be made redundant by June 30, 2013.

"The Commissioner has not made any decision on the outcomes of the review."

Topics:  campbell newman police qps southern region toowoomba

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