The violent incident that still haunts Qld’s top cop


Katarina Carroll says she wants tackling domestic violence head-on to be her legacy as Queensland's first female Commissioner.

Shocked by the number of repeat offenders and increases of domestic violence occurrences, she said the situation in Queensland was unacceptable.

In an exclusive interview with The Courier-Mail Ms Carroll said she remembered turning up to an incident earlier in her career that she could not forget.

"She had been so brutally bashed that she had blood gushing from her everywhere and weeping almost in a corner not to be hurt," Ms Carroll said.

"That's the physical scars, I think we've become better in recognising that's just one aspect of it; it's emotional, it's the coercion, the control, that is devastating as well.

"I look throughout my life, I've known of it. Personal friends of mine, family, have known of it and actually called it out and said you need to stop doing this."

Ms Carroll said the community needed to act and not be a bystander and her goal was to prevent further deaths.


Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll. Picture: AAPimage/David Clark
Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll. Picture: AAPimage/David Clark


"We shouldn't have the scourge that we have in society," she said.

"I as a Commissioner, one of my legacies, I want to be that I have tackled this head-on and had some positive impact in our community on domestic violence.

"If we have strategies where the victims can honestly say I feel so much safer, the service and other agencies have assisted me in this difficult situation, they're two success stories.

"I want to be known as a person who has actually opened the conversation up, worked with other agencies to introduce those strategies and made sure that our women and our children, or anyone, involved in domestic violence is safe."

The environment of domestic violence, especially for women and children, was a tragedy and involved coercion and control and financial, emotional and psychological factors.

"They tell their women what they can't and can wear, who you can and can't talk to, where you can and can't go out," Ms Carroll said.

"In fact we know of incidents where women are given a certain amount of spending money even though they work, this is all you are allowed to spend."

Asked if some of the people were incurable Ms Carroll responded: "I would say some, it's very very difficult to do anything with them. I know certainly in others there has been success where we can follow up and refer them to alcohol support, mental health support, counselling support, financial counselling support."

The Commissioner had one message for the repeat DV offenders.

"You are going to be held to account, you are going to be monitored," she said.

"And we will be knocking on your door to make sure you are held to account. I think we have an obligation for the safety of our community, particularly the women and children in the household to make sure they are as safe as possible."


Originally published as The violent incident that still haunts Qld's top cop