Report finds police ‘brotherhood’ preys on own

SOME 40% of female officers have complained of sexual harassment by their colleagues in a survey of 5000 Victorian police.

In addressing the findings of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission report on Wednesday, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton apologised to staff and vowed to recommend all 20 of the report's recommendations.

The report said there was chronic under-reporting of incidents as staff were too scared about harming their careers and bullying in the workplace.

Mr Ashton said he had found the report to be deeply disturbing.

"There were some ugly stories in those reports," he said. "Some of our people told us some terrible experiences. They had undergone discrimination. They'd undergone harassment, they'd undergone predatory behaviour and this includes general exclusionary behaviour, right through to criminal offending."

Report recommendations include compensation, recruiting more women and fast-tracking females to supervisory roles, a new complaints system and reform of the disciplinary system.

The report said about 33% of women in the community and 25% of women in the Australian Defence Force had experienced sexual harrassment.


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