Coronial Inquest: Policewoman Suffering From PTSD Killed Herself After Affair With Senior Officer

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A New South Wales policewoman took her own life after having an affair with a senior officer, an inquest has heard.

The married mother of two, who can only be known as Officer A, took her life on July 3, 2013.

At the time she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

The affair with the senior officer, who was a long-standing friend of her husband, was only discovered during a coronial investigation into her death.

In findings released on Friday, Deputy State Coroner Hugh Dillon said she also had inappropriate relationships with two other senior officers who were her direct supervisors.

He also found there was a culture of “ribald banter” in the office where she worked.

The coroner said affairs were common in the police force and recommended major changes to the force’s conflict of interest policy to include “ongoing intimate relationships”.

The inquest heard that Officer A had attempted suicide once before, but the NSW police service did not investigate the incident. Mr Dillon said this failure to investigate was extraordinary and a “significant systems failure”.

In a statement, the NSW Police Force said the coroner’s recommendations would “certainly contribute to any improvements currently being considered”.

“The NSW Police Force has made significant advances over many years now to minimise the psychological impact of policing duties on our officers, who frequently undertake stressful and difficult work,” the statement said.

“NSW Police has been improving its practices and procedures, and where they can be further improved to mitigate against these impacts, they will be.

“NSW Police believes officers who suffer any type of injury should be provided with all the necessary support and encouragement to return them to their workplace. Those who cannot can exit with dignity.”

Read more at ABC.

 

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