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Independent Review into Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Predatory Behaviour in South Australia Police

The review

The Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) of South Australia was commissioned by South Australia Police (SAPOL) to undertake a review about the nature and the extent of sex discrimination, sexual harassment and predatory behaviour in SAPOL and make recommendations to address it.

All current SAPOL staff, including sworn and non-sworn employees, volunteers and those who had left SAPOL in the last 12 months, were invited to take part in the review. They were asked to give their views on good practices as well as issues or concerns about what they had seen, heard or experienced.

The EOC received survey responses from almost 2000 people and conducted 53 face-to-face interviews.

The results

The review found that sex discrimination and sexual harassment of women – and anyone else that doesn’t fit the white macho male stereotype - is commonplace in SAPOL, including amongst supervisors and managers.

Sex discrimination

  • 45 percent of those surveyed reported they had personally experienced sex discrimination
  • Women were more likely to be discriminated against
  • Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual women and men were also more likely to experience sex discrimination.

Sexual harassment

  • Women are more likely to experience sexual harassment in SAPOL
  • 21 percent of women indicated they had experienced this in the last five years
  • 8 per cent of men indicated they had experienced this in the last five years.

Predatory behaviour

Predatory behaviour is defined as sexual harassment that is perpetrated by someone in authority or influence over the victim.

  • Results showed that predatory behavior is 21 percent higher in SAPOL than in the general workforce.


The EOC has made 38 recommendations which, if implemented in full, will help evolve a culture in which gender equality is simply part of how SAPOL business is done and ensure that when people make a complaint about harassment or discrimination, their voice will be heard loud and clear.

The EOC will independently monitor and report on SAPOL’s progress over three years.

Independent Review - summary and recommendations (PDF 6MB)

Independent Review - full report (PDF 4MB)

Monitoring SAPOL's progress

The EOC has been commissioned by SAPOL to provide independent oversight of their progress in the implementation of the recommendations, and to measure the impact of the changes on the culture of the workplace. The EOC is aiming to produce regular reports that are informative and constructive for SAPOL's cultural change project.

This report, Progress Report 1 - Implementation of Recommendations and Foundations for Cultural Change January 2018, is the first of six and provides an overview of SAPOL's progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the EOC's Independent Review to date. It also provides a greater depth of analysis in regard to the extent that SAPOL has set a foundation for positive cultural change.

Progress Report 1 - Implementation of Recommendations and Foundations for Cultural Change January 2018 (PDF, 1MB)

Media Release 31/01/2018

Making a complaint of sex discrimination or sexual harassment

If you think you have been unlawfully discriminated against, sexually harassed or victimised you may be able to lodge a complaint under the South Australian Equal Opportunity Act.

To find out if your complaint is covered by the Equal Opportunity Act, see When is discrimination against the law? or contact us and talk to one of our staff. We can arrange interpreters if required.

Our service is free and impartial.

Tel. 08 8207 1977 or 1800 188 163 (Country callers) or 08 8207 1911 (TTY) or email eoc@agd.sa.gov.au.

In an emergency always dial ‘000’

Get support

Should you require information or assistance, please contact the appropriate support service.

Media Release

Media Release 12/12/2016

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