DV victim floored by cops’ ‘insulting’ compo offer

 

A GOLD Coast mum forced to move home after her address was leaked to her abusive ex-partner by a Queensland cop says she is 'insulted' by a compensation offer presented by the state.

The woman, who cannot be identified, was horrified to learn her address had been accessed on the official Queensland Police Service computer database and later forwarded to her ex in 2015.

The officer responsible, Neil Punchard, has since been handed a suspended jail sentence after facing criminal charges, but has appealed the decision.

He has been suspended from his job as a police officer while the appeal process is carried out, but the woman says she and her family have been subjected to 'four years of hell' as they seek compensation from the QPS.

Queensland Police Senior Constable Neil Punchard leaves the Magistrates Court in Brisbane last year. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt
Queensland Police Senior Constable Neil Punchard leaves the Magistrates Court in Brisbane last year. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt

In December, the QPS issued an extraordinary media statement saying that after several rounds of hearings and appeals in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, there would be no further appeals and the woman would be paid compensation 'as soon as possible'.

However, more than a month later, the woman said she was disgusted to receive an offer of $70,985 - less than a quarter of the $335,000 being sought.

"They have insulted us," said the woman, who has already provided evidence to a Crime and Corruption Commission probe in to data breaches of sensitive and confidential information.

"The offer is less than what the officer involved has earned while he has been sitting on full pay waiting for his appeal.

The Gold Coast mum has been left ‘insulted by the QPS compensation offer (generic picture).
The Gold Coast mum has been left ‘insulted by the QPS compensation offer (generic picture).

"This isn't just about me anymore, I am fighting for all the vulnerable women and children who have been through this.

"QPRIME (the QPS database) should not be used as a Yellow Pages by police officers."

Use of the QPRIME database has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years with an officer fined $4000 after looking up the details of netball star Laura Geitz while a former bikini model had her records accessed by officers more than 1400 times.

Last month, the QPS took the extraordinary step of issuing an unprompted statement declaring a compensation package would be arranged 'as soon as possible'.

"The QPS will co-operate with its insurers and Crown law to resolve the outstanding issue of compensation as soon as possible," the statement read.

Former bikini model Renee Eaves had her QPRIME file accessed more than 1400 times.
Former bikini model Renee Eaves had her QPRIME file accessed more than 1400 times.

"The QPS acknowledges that the unlawful or improper use of information can have significant consequences and impacts for those individuals whose privacy have been breached, and expresses sincere regret."

This week a QPS spokesperson told The Courier-Mail they were hopeful the matter would be resolved shortly.

"Negotiations have commenced with the complainant and the QPS hopes to resolve this matter in the near future," the spokesperson said.



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