Big rule change for new police recruits
NEW police will be forced into three-year posts after fears were raised the service risks having no one willing to work in regional areas.
The new system, which was implemented by the Queensland Police Service following concerns raised by the union, will mean recruits - previously given their initial posting for 12 months - will now be told the location for their first three years of service.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said the problem with regional postings was so bad officers in outlying areas were taking rank reductions to move back to the big smoke.
There has also been a reluctance by police to take the rural posts.
The Courier-Mail has been told up to 50 first-year police officers this year have stated they don't wish to work in regional and remote locations for their second year of work, which is in contrast to just a handful in previous years.
"Working in rural and remote Queensland can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a member's career, but it can be incredibly difficult to return to the southeast corner or the coast once tenure is completed," Mr Leavers wrote in the union journal.
"I believe the current transfer system can be unfairly manipulated because there appear to be transfer deals being done … Our members serving in rural and remote areas in Queensland are at a disadvantage, and we urgently need to review the process before we have no one at all willing to head rural and remote."
Mr Leavers said new police needed to have three-year posts so they could take on positions without the fear of having themselves and families moved after 12 months.
Officers were previously given their initial posting for 12 months but they could be moved afterwards.
Under the new system, recruits will be told of their three-year posting upfront and if they reject the location they won't get into the academy, according to police.
"Our members need certainty and they need a proper exit strategy so that when they have done their time they are able to go to a centre of their choosing," Mr Leavers said.
"The system is so unworkable at the moment that some members are accepting rank reductions to move back into major population centres."
A Queensland Police Service spokesman said: "The recruits currently at the Police Academy have already been advised of their postings for their first year and the following two years in adjacent locations that minimise the disruption to their families and their personal lives."