Ian Stewart

Inducted June 2011

Nominated by Lorraine Mazerolle, University of Queensland


Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ian Stewart is in charge of Specialist Operations. He is responsible for the provision of specialist police services including Security Planning and Coordination, State Crime Operations and Operations Support and is also responsible for overviewing the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) Police group, Ethical Standards Command, Media and Public Affairs Branch, and Office of the QPS Solicitor. The Queensland Police Service comprises over 10,000 sworn police officers, making it one of the largest police services in Australia. After the Commissioner of Police, DC Stewart is the most senior police executive in the QPS. There is just one other Deputy Commissioner (Ross Barnett).

In addition to his accomplishments in research and evaluation, DC Ian Stewart was the state disaster coordinator for the natural disasters that devastated the state of Queensland from December 2010 to January 2011.  In this role, DC Stewart oversaw the coordinated response by Queensland emergency services to the destruction that left three quarters of the state of Queensland declared a national disaster, including over 70 townships and 200,000 people.  DC Stewart brought an evidence based approach to the QPS response to these disasters, informed by his role on the National Counter Terrorism Committee (NCTC).  As a result of these roles, DC Ian Stewart advocates for standards to be developed from the evidence of best practice to better prepare, prevent, respond and recover from disasters in the future, driving his philosophy of evidence-based practice.

Evidence-Based Research and Practice:

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ian Stewart is a widely recognized police leader in Australia who has created capacity in the Australian environment for conducting rigorous evaluation of innovative new police practices. DC Stewart’s organizational command was responsible for implementation of the Queensland Community Engagement Trial (QCET).  QCET was a partnership between the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Professor Lorraine Mazerolle’s CEPS team at the University of Queensland. It is the world’s first randomised field trial investigating the effects of legitimacy policing where, under randomized field trial conditions, we assessed the impact of police-citizen encounters on citizen perceptions of police. The experimental intervention operationalized the four principals of procedural justice (neutrality in decision making, trustworthy motives, citizen participation and dignity and respect on citizen attitudes toward police). The main outcome measures included citizen perceptions of police across six outcome measures: Satisfaction, Fairness, Respect, Trust, Confidence and Compliance.  Results of QCET show that incorporating elements of procedural justice into a short police citizen encounter can influence, in a positive way, citizen perceptions of police legitimacy.

Ian Stewart has been, for many years, instrumental in fostering the partnership between the QPS and Professor Lorraine Mazerolle’s research team within the Australian Research Councils Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (ARC CEPS).  Thanks to DC Stewart, the relationship between the ARC CEPS and the QPS has enabled Professor Mazerolle and her team unprecedented access to partner with police and conduct a wide range of high quality evaluations of police operations. New RCTS launched with the support of DC Stewart include: the ABILITY trial — an RCT of police partnerships with education to reduce truancy — and the FES (Family Engagement Strategy) trial — an RCT of police engagement to test an innovative approach toward how police can better engage with troublesome families.

In addition to the QCET Trial, Deputy Commissioner Ian Stewart has a 20 year record of supporting, implementing and ensuring evidence based practice within the QPS.  There are a number of activities that have been undertaken under the command of DC Ian Stewart including the Competency Acquisition Program, for which he was awarded the 1994 Queensland state training award.  This Competency Acquisition Program, used subject matter experts to develop evidence based programs for learning.  At the inception of this program, DC Ian Stewart was the superintendant in charge of the Inspectorate and Evaluation branch of the QPS.  In this role, he was instrumental in bringing a data driven, quality assurance approach to operations within the QPS.  In many respects, DC Stewart implemented an early version of what is now known as CompSTAT or Operational Performance Reviews in Queensland.  One of the many applications of this evidence based and data driven approach to quality assurance was the application of this CompSTAT-like program of data collection in the domestic violence setting.  By incorporating what we know about domestic violence from the many randomized field trials conducted by Professor Larry Sherman and his colleagues, DC Stewart ensured that approaches used to police domestic violence undertaken by the QPS were informed by evidence based knowledge.