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Author Topic: Vic police sacked, quit over harassment  (Read 297 times)

Prickle

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Vic police sacked, quit over harassment
« on: September 27, 2017, 07:30:03 PM »

Vic police sacked, quit over harassment

Up to 100 cases of sexual discrimination and harassment against Victorian police continue to be investigated as the force tries to clean up its workplace culture.

Twenty-six Victoria Police officers have been sacked or left the force since investigations started in 2015, with three fired, while the rest resigned, retired or took a disability pension.

The figures were revealed on Monday as Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton repeated his apology to victims and acknowledged that while there had been progress, more work was needed.

"There's still a long way to go for Victoria Police," he told reporters.

"We're still seeing harm perpetrated in the workforce and we're still seeing considerable resistance to change."

The numbers emerged as the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission issued the results of an audit into harassment and discrimination against women in the force, following up on an initial review in December 2015.

While the news is disturbing, Victoria's Acting Premier Jacinta Allan pointed to moves to stamp out unacceptable behaviour.

"These sorts of organisational cultural practices don't change overnight," she said.

The 2015 review found a pervasive culture of sex discrimination and sexual harassment within the force that left many women feeling harmed and excluded, the commission's Kristen Hilton said.

A police taskforce - codenamed Salus - set up to investigate predatory behaviour by officers, looked into 184 incidents over the past 18 months.

"Concerningly ... almost two-thirds of those are from harm that took place after our first report was released," Mr Ashton said.

"So it's a positive that women are more likely to come forward and report harassment.

"But (it's) unfortunate, in our view, and sad, that these investigations have to take place at all."

Of the 240-odd investigations since Taskforce Salus began in January 2015, between 80 and 100 are ongoing.

The alleged offences range from disciplinary offences to rape.

Many female officers still didn't feel comfortable reporting discrimination, harassment or assault, Mr Ashton said.

"I again apologise on behalf of our organisation to all those who have experienced it. My message is that this will not be tolerated."

Since the report, Victoria Police has established a workplace harm unit to encourage victims to come forward.

It is still working through a recommended redress scheme for victims.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/vic-cops-quit-rather-than-face-discipline/news-story/8853c53d6bf1f3bfdf556165f3eb4ef7
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