A 2016 Equal Opportunity Commission Investigation found South Australia Police (SAPOL) is a sleazy, misogynistic “boy’s club” overrun with sexual harassment and predatory behaviour.
The EOC found the reported incidence of predatory behaviour (i.e. the misuse of authority or influence to exploit others for sexual or other personal gratification) in SAPOL was 21 per cent higher than the general population figure (49 per cent vs 28 per cent).
This means SAPOL cops are a far more likely to be sex predators than the general population.
From this cesspool of sleaze and predation comes the revelation that the buffoons at SAPOL thought it would be a hoot to load an inappropriate image of a female detainee onto a sensitive SA Police mugshot catalogue.
A “major inquiry” (damage control effort) has been launched after an intimate image of a female detainee exposing herself while under arrest at an Adelaide station was uploaded to the catalogue.
In a worrying breach that has exposed force security failures, the suspect was photographed in a state of undress while in custody at the Christies Beach Police Station just before Christmas.
A leaked image shows the middle-aged woman lifting her yellow top and exposing her breasts – touching one – as she scowled for the police camera.
“Furious” senior police have ordered an internal inquiry after questions from The Advertiser while the December 22 image was deleted from the force database five days later.
Internal Investigation Branch detectives are examining the circumstances around the picture, how it was taken, why it was uploaded and if it was subsequently accessed or distributed.
While draconian state laws ban the public disclosure of all internal inquiries, acting Police Commissioner Linda Williams granted rare permission for details to be published.
It is unclear whether the woman did this voluntarily, or if she was ordered to do so by SA’s sleaziest.
But police sources said it was nonetheless a horrifying incident that exposed unacceptable breaches of strict force protocols.
The police code of conduct requires officers to “conduct themselves in a professional manner” (something they routinely fail to do).
It is understood authorities have since visited the station, one of Adelaide’s major precincts that is home to Southern District workers and CIB detectives, in recent days.
It is understood inquiries centre on Police Security Officers.
Police Security Officers help with SA’s “counter terrorism strategies” and “community safety”, the police website claims.
They primarily maintain security of government facilities, public officials and the community with electronic surveillance, mobile patrols and custody duties.
The image, which appears to have been taken near a kitchen and storage area next to a police height chart, was circulated among officers.
Detectives have been unable to contact the detainee but inquiries are “continuing”.
Court records show she is facing dozens of theft-related charges. The woman, who is aged in her 50s, is due back in court later this month.
In a statement issued on behalf of Ms Williams, a police spokesman said the internal investigation was ongoing while “action as appropriate will be taken at its conclusion”.
He said officers, including PSO’s, are legally authorised to take photographs of anyone in custody “for the purpose of identification”.
“(SA Police) has strict requirements relating to the taking of custody photographs,” he said.
“(This includes) which parts of the body are photographed, the conditions in which those photographs are taken, and the subsequent use, storage and security of those photographs.”
“The taking of the relevant image is currently the subject of an investigation by (SA Police’s) Internal Investigation Section.”
“On 27 December 2023, after becoming aware of the existence of the image on the (police) database, Southern District management took action to have the image immediately taken down.”
He said hiring of additional sworn PSO’s, with expanded duties, gives the force “greater flexibility to respond appropriately to community needs” and based on interstate practices.
The deployment of PSO’s into custodial facilities across the metropolitan area started in May last year and has allowed police officers back into frontline roles (such as booking people for travelling several KMs over arbitrary speed limits and recklessly speeding down dangerous sections of road to chase people who briefly toot their horns).
PSO’s receive the same custody management training as police officers and Sergeants and Brevet Sergeants operationally supervise their work.