Senior Constable Neil Punchard must be dismissed from the Queensland Police Service

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Victims of Domestic Violence, any kind of violence, need to know they can seek help from the police. They need to know that they will be heard and protected and that they will not be further abused by the police themselves.  The case of Senior Constable Neil Punchard has demonstrated why so many do not trust the police to keep them safe.

In 2013 and 2014 Senior Constable Neil Punchard of the Queensland Police Service accessed confidential police databases on nine occasions to give his friend, who was accused of domestic violence, information about his ex-wife. In addition to sending information including this woman’s address, text messages from Neil Punchard to this friend reveal an appalling attitude towards this woman. 

These texts include:

"...just tell her you know where she lives and leave it at that. Lol. She will flip."

"I await the email and her reply. Lol. She will f...ing explode. Lmao” 

He also reportedly coached the man on legal tactics in the family court and offered to give the other police officers a “heads up” if he was the subject of a complaint – ABC news 

"If she gets the police, tell them to contact me or give me their names and I will contact them," he said.

"I won't hinder the investigation, but I will give them a heads up on what has happened."

"F*** the b**** over legally", "Make her shit herself" and "I know you're screaming inside to let loose on her".

"Just send her an email saying: 'I won't ask you your address any more as I know where you are now … if you won't comply with court orders, I will have to take matters into my own hands' — she will f***ing explode. Lmao."

“The police will contact you if they want to speak to you … then you give them my name. That is your get-out-of-jail-free card,” Punchard wrote.

“I have completed an email draft to send to the bitch that will hopefully make her shit herself, so I want to go over it with you before I send it to you,” he said in another message.

Moreover, he put the ex-wife and her children in danger to by supplying the perpetrator with these details. Punchard's friend later threatened to kill his former wife and strap bombs to their children.

Punchard was stood down from official duty in December 2018, but he still worked for the Queensland Police Service with limited duties. It wasn’t until 2019 he was formally suspended, on full pay.

In October 2019 Punchard pleaded guilty to the crimes, after initially trying to get the case thrown out. His punishment was a mere two months suspended prison sentence for this. Insignificant as this sentence was, this week the sentence was changed, the penalties set aside, community service given and no conviction recorded.

Now it is uncertain whether Punchard will even be sacked from his job in the Queensland Police Service. A job he both does not deserve and which could put others at risk if he remains in it. His ongoing employment through Queensland Police Service is a stain on all the good Police Officers who are trying to help people day in day out, and it creates further mistrust between the public and the Police.

We the undersigned ask for Senior Constable Neil Punchard to be fired from the Queensland Police Service. He is guilty of taking private information from their secure and privileged database, and providing it to another person, putting a woman and her children at risk of harassment, violence and even death. These actions are beyond sufficient grounds for dismissal from the police force. 

References

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/01/queensland-police-officer-who-leaked-address-of-domestic-violence-victim-has-conviction-overturned

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-18/stewart-backs-away-visit-domestic-violence-police-leak-victim/9666478

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-14/queensland-police-officer-neil-punchard-sentenced/11598696

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/14/queensland-police-officer-pleads-guilty-leaking-womans-details-violent-ex-husband

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/14/queensland-police-officer-pleads-guilty-leaking-womans-details-violent-ex-husband