on air now

Police sexual harassment: Disciplinary action taken in response to fewer than 40 per cent of allegations

A report last week revealed one-in-four female police officers, and ten per cent of male police, have experienced sexual harassment at work.

Since 2014 there have been 551 investigations into allegations of sexual harassment within the force.

Of those investigations, only around 8 per cent have resulted in a police member leaving the force.

Six members have been dismissed and there have been 48 employment separations, and 42 resignations.

Russell Barrett, Assistant Commissioner of Professional Standards Command at Victoria Police, said the low dismissal rate doesn’t mean the allegations aren’t being taken seriously.

“It’s not that we don’t believe the people who are coming forward,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“The evidence often doesn’t amount to a place where we can mount a prosecution.”

Mr Barrett said since July 2017 almost 40 per cent of sexual harassment allegations have resulted in a disciplinary hearing, a workplace guidance admonishment, or other action.

Since 2014 there have also been 15 allegations of police harassment made by members of the public which have been heard before the courts.

Mr Barrett said he hopes people will feel more confident coming forward to Victoria Police about sexual harassment.

“I feel there’s more confidence in people coming forward to Victoria Police,” he said.

“I hope we’re starting to reflect what the community expects. That’s what we want to do.

“It gives people confidence to step forward.”

Press PLAY below for more.

Half of women PSOs, one-in-four female police officers sexually harassed at work

SLY | The creepy cops behind Victoria Police’s sexual harassment problem