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Cops fix domestic violence computer flaw

A Sunshine Coast domestic violence survivor went into hiding after a Queensland Police Service computer system flaw resulted in her address being sent to her alleged abuser.
A Sunshine Coast domestic violence survivor went into hiding after a Queensland Police Service computer system flaw resulted in her address being sent to her alleged abuser. Patrick Woods

QUEENSLAND Police Service has fixed a computer system flaw that resulted in a high-risk domestic violence victim's address being sent to her accused rapist.

QPS confirmed on Thursday that an autofill function on a police DVO form failed to recognise victim and perpetrator red flags in the force's computer system.

When a Caboolture constable filled out a form related to the accused rapist and torturer, the system automatically added the alleged victim's address to the document.

Copies of the document were sent to the woman and her former husband.

The man has been committed to stand trial on rape, assault and other charges related to alleged offences in the Gympie-Sunshine Coast regions in 2015.

When she realised her husband had her address, the woman went into hiding, sleeping rough in tents, caravans and on couches for more than three months.

She also had to give up her job as she held grave fears for her life and that of her children.

"This was not a simple mistake - this was provision of my home address to someone I was in hiding from, someone who has threatened my life on numerous occasions," the woman told NewsRegional on Wednesday.

QPS said the officer involved did not realise what had happened and "there was no malice intended".

"The QPS acknowledges that this has been a distressing situation and was determined to ensure it does not happen again," police media spokesperson said.

"As a result, an immediate statewide notification was issued to all police officers making them aware of the auto-population function and requested that officers manually override the address field while an IT solution was found.

"A review of the software also identified that the auto-population function did not recognise the warning flag."

The spokesperson said the program had now been fixed.

"The program has now been rewritten to allow officers to acknowledge the warning flag and the autofill program is disabled.

"The QPS is confident this will prevent a similar disclosure in the future."

- NewsRegional

*For 24-hour support in Queensland phone DVConnect on 1800 811 811, MensLine on 1800 600 636 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

Topics:  computer crime domestic violence family queensland police woman

News Corp Australia

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