Calls to base anti-corruption officers in regional Qld

A LEADING criminologist has called for Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission officers to be based in regional Queensland - including Toowoomba and Rockhampton.

University of Sunshine Coast criminology professor Timothy Prenzler on Monday told the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee a regionalised approach to the CCC could help battle corruption outside Brisbane.

Prof Prenzler said putting CCC officers in major regional centres would help expand the commission's capabilities.

"I can envision the commission having officers in Toowoomba, the Gold Coast, Cairns, perhaps Townsville or Rockhampton," he said.

He said regionalising the CCC could help people outside Brisbane report suspected corruption.

"Residents could walk in and make complaints," he said, pointing to similar corruption bodies internationally.

Labor MP and committee acting chair Peter Russo warned placing CCC officers in the regions could be expensive and suggested training court clerks to take CCC complaints.

Prof Prenzler said although he believed CCC officers should be placed in major regional centres he agreed in other towns court officers could help take complaints.

The parliamentary committee also heard submissions over the CCC's balance between fighting corruption and organised crime.

Prof Prenzler said he believed the commission should be split into separate crime and corruption focused groups.

In contrast Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said much of the commission's crime fighting responsibility should be returned to the police service.

Mr Leavers questioned the CCC's investigative ability and claimed it was trying to expand its power base.

"The CCC is on a quest for a naked grab for power and we should be afraid," he said.

He said police should have run the Gold Coast Titans alleged drug ring investigation.

- APN NEWSDESK



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