Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart says rape charges against two central Queensland officers have hurt the public’s trust in the service.
Rape charges against two Queensland police officers may prompt a review into the force’s recruitment processes.
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart says the incident is concerning but will help the service to “take action” to examine how it recruits and trains officers.
He also says investigations into the alleged sex attack will examine whether the incident is isolated or indicative of a more serious problem in the force.
The two officers, aged 28 and 29, are accused of raping a woman while on duty in Mackay on Sunday.
Both have been suspended from the service amid a full criminal investigation and their alleged victim is receiving support.
They were granted conditional bail when they faced the Mackay Magistrates Court on Friday.
Mr Stewart says the allegations, while not proved, have hurt the community’s trust in the service even though the vast majority of police did a great job.
“We work in a society where the consent and support of the community is paramount,” he told reporters in Brisbane on Friday.
“Whilst certainly there is the aspect of the rights of the accused to the presumption of innocence, it’s certainly disappointing that conduct like this would even be contemplated in such a situation.”
The officers, who both have fewer than five years policing experience, are each charged with five counts of rape and one count each of assault with intent to commit rape and deprivation of liberty.
Mr Stewart said the officers were served suspension papers when they were charged.
They have been given two weeks to show cause why they should continue to be on full pay while suspended, he said.
The officers did not enter a plea when they faced court on Friday morning.
Magistrate Damien Dwyer granted the pair bail on the condition they report directly to the Superintendent of the Mackay Police District and don’t make contact with any of the 38 witnesses.
Mr Stewart said the officers were charged as the result of a police investigation, led by the Ethical Standards Command.
The probe was launched as soon as the woman made the complaint on Monday.
Support services had started for the victim, Mr Stewart said.
The case has been adjourned until May 9.
Mr Stewart said he understood the officers had not resigned from the service.