According to a government survey, nearly a third of Victoria Police members have witnessed bullying in the workplace and one-fifth have experienced it first-hand!
A fifth of Victoria Police members have experienced bullying in the workplace
A fifth of police bullied at work
June 21, 2012
The Age – Victoria
by Dan Oakes and Reid Sexton
Nearly a third of Victoria Police members have witnessed bullying in the workplace and one-fifth have experienced it first-hand, according to a government survey.
The figures, provided to The Age, mean about 1250 of the 4200 police staff who completed the survey have seen bullying behaviour, while nearly 900 say they have been bullied.
The survey was sent to 14,000 people.
”We always encourage people to try to resolve the conflict at a local level,” Mr Cartwright said. ”So if people have problems in the workplace, the first thing they need to do is talk to each other about it.
”We’ve also tried to say that if they can’t talk to the person directly, they need to talk to someone close to the workplace, so you go to a second-level supervisor if it’s your supervisor you’re in conflict with. So a lot of the matters are minor and are resolved in that manner.”
Mr Cartwright said the survey’s bullying statistics did not compare favourably with other public service departments but policing was a high-stress occupation, which created greater potential for conflict. He did not believe Victoria Police had a ”systemic” problem.
”The other side of the coin is that police should have good people skills, it’s a basic skill of policing,” he said. ”So we really should be able to minimise cases where there is bullying in the workplace.”
Police union secretary Greg Davies cautioned that it was sometimes difficult to define bullying.
”While it can be difficult at times to differentiate between a lawful instruction or order within a body like a police force and workplace bullying, clearly it is more prevalent than we would like to see,” Mr Davies said. The findings came as the Office of Police Integrity reported that many police appeared unlikely to report wrongdoing by colleagues.
However, the OPI also found significant numbers of police did speak up, that police representatives said whistleblowing was becoming more common and that negative perceptions of police culture might be unfair.
Sourced and kindly shared by co-author Trinny
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