Queesnsland Police graduation.
5th April 2023
This question is not an allegation and is posed in response to an article that appeared in the Guardian on the 12th of May 2021 under the headline ‘Queensland police discriminated against 200 potential male recruits in favour of women’ and sent to the CAA by a concerned reader of our recent article ‘Police staffing faces a perfect storm’.
Whether this has applied in Victoria, we do not know, but anecdotal information has been consistent that male recruit applicants are routinely discarded without giving a reason. They have apparently not been advised of any deficiencies so that they can address them, which seems unfair.
Moreover, the number and ratio of Police Training squads is no firm indication as to whether there is discrimination because we do not know if all the female recruits have been selected on merit and the males used to fill up the numbers.
This leads to the suspicion that an ‘aspirational ‘(euphemism for discrimination) gender quoter system may be being applied in Victoria.
The Guardian article reports on the findings of the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission which said, ‘…the state police service’s 50/50 recruitment strategy resulted in discriminatory practices being used against male candidates.’
As a result of the findings, three QPS employees responsible for the practice have been suspended, and a fourth had already left the service.
Interestingly the role of those suspended QPS employees and their rank were not disclosed. However, the Corruption Commission was clear on where the problems lay, senior command.
We would like to be reassured that this process has not been in action in Victoria because if it has, then it is inevitable that the position will be challenged at some stage.
Building transperancy in to the system is essential.
If it is in operation, either officially or otherwise, it is in direct contravention of the Equal Opportunities Act 1995 Section 16, which prohibits discrimination on a number of Attributes – amongst the list of attributes is gender and race, along with a number of others.
Equal Opportunities Act 1995
Part 4—When is discrimination prohibited?
Division 1—Discrimination in Employment
16 Discrimination against job applicants
An employer must not discriminate against a person—
(a) in determining who should be offered employment; or
(b) in the terms on which employment is offered to the person; or
(c) by refusing or deliberately omitting to offer employment to the person; or
(d) by denying the person access to a guidance program, an apprenticeship training program or other occupational training or retraining program.
Alarmingly, potential recruits in Victoria spend nearly a thousand dollars preparing for their assessment.
Spending that sort of money, it is reasonable that the applicants can be confident the selection process is fair and legal. With the cost, apart from being a clear disincentive, it eliminates many potential recruits who are financially disadvantaged.
We struggle to find any other career stream where applicants have to cover the costs of the employer in their assessment.
Being poor is not an egregious attribute. Arguably, people in this cohort may be better equipped for a Policing role with their life experiences with perhaps compassion and understanding. It also disadvantages specific ethnic and other sectors of the community.
The discrimination against this group shrinks the potential recruiting pool.
There is no doubt about this biased recruitment methodology in my mind. I attended a graduation ceremony of a friends daughter back in Nixons day. The speech she made on that day,referring to the unusual number of females in the squad, was that it was her intention whilst in Command to one day see a 50/50 ratio in the Force. I might add that numerous people I spoke to on that day were likewise astonished to hear this statement.