The Critical Reflection Of The Fitzgerald Era (Inquiry) And How It Has Impacted On Women In Policing Today
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Discrimination and injustice is still prevalent when considering gender equality around the world, however the amount of women, particularly in Queensland policing roles has increased, post Fitzgerald Inquiry (Oxfam 2005; Wimshirst 1995, 3; Prenzler and Drew 2013, 460). According to the Queensland Police Service (QPS, 2014), equal opportunity and employment is what reflects the service as well as their values for diversity. Until the mid 1980s, those who served for the QPS were predominantly males however the implementation of equity legislation formed from the Fitzgerald inquiry introduced more women than ever before into policing roles. The target was set so that at least 20% of intakes in policing roles were women (Wimshirst 1995, 2). This was a dramatic change from the original 5-12% intake (Fleming and Lafferty 2012, 6). According to Prenzler, Fleming and King (2010, 585) the consecutive inquiries into police corruption and misconduct marginally improve the status of women in policing. This is due to two inquiries concluding that an increase of women employment led to a decrease of corruption levels, (Fleming and Lafferty 2003, as cited in Prenzler, Fleming and King 2010, 585). Additionally, women were known to be important factors in the transformation of the Queensland police service’s culture, specifically eradicating a ‘police code’ that kept misconduct and corruption by guilty police officers hidden (Fleming and Laverty 2003, 41; Prenzler, Fleming and King 2010, 585). The Australian Federal Police (AFP, 2014) believes that all employers whether male or female bring a variety of experience and knowledge which is why they are focused on maintaining a diverse workforce.
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