Police  Commissioner Ian Stewart after two police officers were charged with rape.
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart after two police officers were charged with rape.

Police chief disappointed in alleged actions of two officers

QUEENSLAND'S police chief says he is "disappointed" in the alleged actions of two police officers and has asked the Mackay community to have faith in remaining officers policing the area.

Police commissioner Ian Stewart said the two constables were suspended on full pay the moment they were charged with rape, assault with intent to rape and depriving a woman of her liberty in Mackay on Sunday morning.

He said the officers, who were on general duties when rape was alleged, would soon have to "show cause" for why the Queensland Police Service should continue to pay them.

When asked whether the constables, who have been officers for less than five years, would be shown the door before being convicted of the offences, Mr Stewart said that would be considered.

"It's a case by case arrangement," he said.

Mr Stewart would not discuss any details related to the case itself, saying the matter was before the courts and he feared the victim could be identified.

"An extensive and comprehensive criminal investigation is underway which will focus on all aspects of this incident," he said.

Mr Stewart said dealing with these allegations was a huge blow to the police force in Queensland and would impact on trust from the community.

"We work in a society where the consent and support of a community is paramount," he said.

"While 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.

"Even the raising of these allegations is disappointing because it does impact on the trust the community has with us.

"Obviously this will have a significant impact, because it occurred in Mackay, on the officers who still have to go out and provide policing services to the community.

"I would ask the people of Mackay to please understand that and to await the outcome of the court matters."

Mr Stewart said the QPS ensured the woman involved had access to counselling services and any other support she needed.

He said this alleged incident would prompt QPS to assess its already stringent recruiting and training processes, including psychological testing of all applicants.

Mr Stewart said he was always conscious of whether such alleged incidents were "an aberration due to the actions of one or two" or whether there was a more serious problem in the organisation.

The 29-year-old and 28-year-old constables, who cannot be named under Queensland law, have been released on bail to reappear in Mackay Magistrates Court on May 9.

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