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Police Union: Affirmative Action May Benefit Indigenous Offenders

The ​head of the Queensland Police Union (QPU) has strongly criticized “inner city latte sippers” who ⁣are pushing initiatives that he believes will give ‌criminals of Aboriginal and Torres ⁢Strait Islander ⁤descent a ⁤”free pass.”

Ian Leaver’s remarks come in the wake of the recent referendum in Queensland, where the ‍majority of voters (68.5 percent) rejected the Indigenous Voice to ⁣Parliament proposal. This initiative aimed⁤ to amend the Australian Constitution to recognize⁤ Indigenous people and establish a ⁣permanent advisory body in Parliament.

Following the referendum’s defeat on⁤ Oct. 14, the Queensland opposition withdrew its support for the Path to ⁣Treaty initiative, which aimed to establish treaties⁢ between the government and local Indigenous communities. These treaties could address‌ issues such as reparations, land ⁣title claims, changes to school⁣ curriculums, and dual naming of⁢ cities and ⁢towns.

Moreover, as part of this​ process, the state ⁢planned to create a “Truth and Treaty Body” to listen ⁣to Indigenous communities’ experiences ⁤of historical colonization and provide recommendations to bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Police Union Head Speaks Out

However, Mr. Leaver has⁣ labeled ⁢this process as “Voice 2.0” and expressed concerns ⁣about ‍its potential to segregate the justice⁤ system.

“This may ‌be uncomfortable to read, and some may become outraged, but the facts are clear: Recent data from⁢ Queensland Corrective Services shows that young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have committed more serious​ crimes⁤ than any other group in⁣ custody,” he ⁤wrote in an article for The⁣ Courier-Mail‌ on Oct. 25.

Ian Leavers, president of the Queensland Police Union, at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Australia on Dec. ⁤21, 2022. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

The QPU president⁤ highlighted⁤ that Indigenous men ​under 24 were 50 percent more likely to be incarcerated than ‍non-Indigenous individuals, while the figure for Indigenous women was 33 percent.

“These are individuals who have been arrested for serious crimes that necessitated immediate incarceration to protect others, or they have been found guilty of‍ dangerous offenses by a court,” Mr. Leavers stated. ​”In fact, they have often been given more leniency ⁢and ⁤non-custodial opportunities ⁢than others.”

According to Mr. Leavers, he ​has visited all of Queensland’s⁣ Indigenous communities​ multiple times, and elders frequently express concerns about the leniency shown to Indigenous offenders in the‌ criminal court system. They argue ⁤that the release⁢ of these offenders‌ back into the community leads ‍to “Hell‍ on⁢ Earth.”

Mr.⁤ Leavers pointed to Victoria’s recently concluded Yoorook Justice Commission, which recommended raising the age of criminal responsibility and granting easier bail for offenders.

“This effectively means‌ that every First ⁣Nations criminal would be granted immediate bail for all offenses except murder and terrorism,” Mr.⁤ Leavers wrote. “In other words, they are essentially offering a free pass to every rapist, domestic violence abuser, habitual home invader, and car thief who identifies as​ Aboriginal.”

He also criticized the commission’s⁢ proposal to establish a Crime and Corruption Division overseen by First Nations ⁣people, with⁤ the power to arrest police officers if ⁢they⁢ are deemed racist ‍based on their version‍ of truth-telling.

“This woke obsession needs to stop immediately, and the government should avoid replicating that kooky Victorian model here as it will divide ‍our state into an‌ irreparable, hateful rabble where neighbors, workmates, and criminals are treated differently based​ solely on race,” Mr. Leavers argued.

He called for the disbandment of the Truth and Treaty ⁢Body and for the redirection of hundreds ‍of millions in taxpayer funds directly into communities.

Queensland Labor Pushes Back

Mr. Leavers’⁤ comments received a strong response from the Labor government,‍ which criticized the Queensland Police Service for issues of racism and sexism.

“At a ‌time when the ​Queensland Police Service is grappling with last year’s⁤ independent review that ⁢exposed serious evidence‌ of racism, ‌sexism, and misogyny, the head of the Police Union​ should be focused on working with his ⁤members to ⁤address ⁢these issues ‍instead of⁣ positioning himself as a​ champion of culture wars ‍in Queensland,” wrote Treaty ​Minister Leanne Enoch on Facebook.

She accused Mr. Leavers of⁣ perpetuating‍ “false stereotypes using factually incorrect​ information” that does not reflect ⁣the reality of Queenslanders’ lives.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey also urged Mr. Leavers ⁤to concentrate on ⁣improving the‌ internal culture of ⁢the police force.

“Leavers’​ fabricated claim that​ acknowledging our complete⁢ history is somehow dishonest needs to be exposed for its disingenuousness. His false allegation that ⁣it will lead to more ⁤crime or lighter sentences‍ is​ a lie,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, ​Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk criticized Mr. Leavers’ comments‌ as divisive and reaffirmed her government’s⁣ support for reconciliation.

“I do not endorse comments ‌that divide our state, especially‌ after the results of the referendum,”⁣ she stated in Parliament. “However, I do support the president of the police union ⁤in terms of providing additional resources to the police, implementing⁤ training, ⁢and ensuring they have what they ​need to perform their duties.

The state ⁤government has acknowledged that without the opposition’s support, the‌ path towards Treaties‍ would be nearly impossible.

To engage in meaningful dialogue and ⁣consultation with Indigenous communities to⁤ ensure their perspectives and voices are heard and respected. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ‌have ⁤a long history‌ of ‍being marginalized and ignored, and it is crucial to actively work towards reconciliation and addressing the systemic barriers they face in the criminal justice system.

Y Body and the abandonment of the proposed initiatives that he believes will give Indigenous criminals a “free pass.” Instead, Mr. Leavers ⁤advocated for​ a focus on law and order, stricter sentencing, and tougher penalties for all criminals regardless of their ethnicity.

In response to Mr. Leavers’ remarks, Indigenous advocacy groups have condemned his ‍statements as racist and divisive. They‍ argue that his views perpetuate harmful stereotypes and fail to address the underlying causes of ⁢Indigenous overrepresentation in the criminal justice system, such as systemic racism, intergenerational trauma, ⁤and socioeconomic disadvantage.

The debate surrounding the recognition of⁢ Indigenous voices and ‍the⁣ establishment of treaties and advisory bodies in ⁤Australia is complex and multifaceted. It raises important questions about justice, equality, and reconciliation. While there are legitimate concerns‌ about the ‌potential consequences and effectiveness of these ‍initiatives, it is crucial to approach the discussion ‍with sensitivity, respect, and an understanding of historical and ongoing injustices faced⁤ by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

It is also essential



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