Cop bungles led attackers to victims

POLICE Minister Mark Ryan has sent a "please explain" to the Queensland Police Service, after a series of administrative bungles led domestic violence abusers to their victims.

An urgent directive has been sent through Queensland police ranks, urging officers not to document the home addresses of victims, after two incidents in recent months.

Last year, the Child Safety Department also came under fire after they sent paperwork to a violent man that named the school the children attended, the name and organisation of their counsellor, and the local sports they played.

Police Minister Mark Ryan
Police Minister Mark Ryan

The children's mother - who has twice been the victim of administrative stuff-ups - has told of how it scarred her children for life.

Most recently, the new addresses of two victims were recorded in police court documents, which were given to the offenders as part of the court process.

As a result, the minister sought a written explanation from QPS.

"Please advise of immediate measures taken to ensure the addresses of the aggrieved … are not provided to the respondent," Mr Ryan wrote to the Commissioner's Office on January 9.

In a three-page response, released under Right to Information, Acting Assistant Commissioner Craig Huxley said: "The QPS has commenced statewide messaging to remind police of the current policy in considering confidentiality and safety, particularly where an aggrieved person has requested their personal details not be disclosed."

The addresses of two victims were revealed to offenders in police court documents.
The addresses of two victims were revealed to offenders in police court documents.

A Bundaberg woman - who twice had her life upturned after administrative errors by Child Safety and Legal Aid - said her children were yet to recover.

"We lost everything. I've got emotionally unstable children, with more trauma thrown on top of that," she said.

"What angers me the most is not the effect it had on me, but the effect it had on my kids. They're in their fifth school now. As soon as I had to move the schools again they're losing friends, they're losing stability."

Police figures show there were 25,678 reported domestic violence order breaches in Queensland last financial year.

In his response to Mr Ryan, Acting Assistant Commissioner Huxley said the service was "developing potential strategies to address these issues, including working with partner agencies through a joint agency working group to look at a whole-of-government best practice model."

The service has also put forward a list of strategies - including an internal workshop - to avoid the situation occurring again, as well as a recommendation to fix a computer glitch that automatically places the victim's address on police court documents.

Email Chris Clarke

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