Restructuring for Queensland Police

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart

Commissioner Ian Stewart’s media conference this morning. Queensland Police Video

Commissioner of Queensland Police, Ian Stewart
Commissioner of Queensland Police, Ian Stewart

Commissioner Ian Stewart today announced a new structure for the Queensland Police Service.
Commissioner Stewart said the changes were aimed at improving frontline policing services to the community.
“This new structure will put more police officers on the frontline and allow decisions to be made more quickly at the coal face,” Commissioner Stewart said.
“The QPS has had the same basic structure for 20 years while the business of policing has become increasingly complex. To meet these demands we require better use of technology, officers’ time and resources across all facets of policing, from general duties to the most complex cyber-crime.
“The new structure will help the QPS become more mobile, flexible and responsive with resources being moved quickly to problem places or cases.  Members of the public should notice a difference over the next 12 months as more police move to the front line.
“The changes to the structure are largely about removing layers of management and bureaucracy, and making better use of our assets.”
Commissioner Stewart said up to 110 commissioned officers and up to 212 staff members would be offered redundancies as part of the changes.
“The commissioned officers will be replaced by officers of a lower rank and an additional 50 sworn positions will be moved to the front line sooner than planned.
“Unfortunately we will lose some good people. We will acknowledge their contribution to the people of Queensland but we must go through some pain to make sure we get as many people on the frontline as we can.
“This will improve community safety and the safety of officers as there will be more police supporting each other where it counts.”
Commissioner Stewart said the Service would liaise with the relevant unions and affected members to ensure fairness and that all necessary support would be provided as a result of any changes.
“Fairness and merit will be the hallmarks of the processes we use to assist any member who may face redundancy or a move to another location or task.
“The proposed structure maintains the existing strengths of the QPS, including regionalised service delivery which builds strong links between officers and the communities they serve. The new structure will maintain and enhance the strong links between local government and police particularly in terms of disaster management.”
Central specialist support will remain for one-off or developing events, specialised crime problems or disasters.
A new structure provides a role for four Deputy Commissioners who will report directly to the Commissioner.  The four roles will be:

  • Regional operations – the core of general duties service delivery at the local level;
  • Specialist operations – there is an increasing need for police to have specialist skills and operational capability to meet new types of crime and to respond to community, road safety and legal expectations.  These specialist areas include technology facilitated crime, major event management, specialist emergency response and forensic services;
  • Strategy, policy and performance – which provide the building blocks of how police services will be delivered, managed, measured and reformed.  This area has the capacity to reduce red tape and drive significant productivity improvements; and
  • Corporate support – required to support a 24/7 service delivery environment with redundancy for catastrophic events such as natural disasters.

A reduction in management structures will occur with the current eight regions being reduced to five and 31 Districts being reduced to 15.
Three Assistant Commissioners will be removed from regional offices.  At this stage it is likely that Cairns, Maroochydore, and Mt Gravatt will no longer have regional offices located there.  However, Chief Superintendents or Superintendents will remain in these locations and an Assistant Commissioner will remain in charge of a larger overarching region.
“These changes are aimed at reducing bureaucracy and delivering a more efficient policing service to the community,” Commissioner Stewart said.
“Ties to local communities are critical if the QPS is to be effective.  The Deputy Commissioners and I intend making personal contact with as many key stakeholders as we can to explain the benefits of the proposed restructure, to ensure all stakeholders know who the key senior officer is to support their needs, and to ensure open lines of communication through the change process,” Commissioner Stewart said.
Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett, who will lead the implementation process, said the new structure was designed to help officers on the beat stop crime and improve safety for the whole community.
“Contacting police will become easier over time and we will improve how we respond to the community.”
A new Road Policing Command will drive safety on our roads and target criminals using the road network.  A new Community Contact Command will be responsible for traditional media, call taking, social media, e-reporting, and links to support services and community policing programs (e.g. Neighbourhood Watch and Crime Stoppers) as well as Communication Centres.
An Intelligence, Counter Terrorism and Major Events Command will be created to have a statewide approach to problem identification and better use of the collective knowledge of the law enforcement community.