Capacity concerns about NSW Police oversight body
The NSW police oversight body, the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (the LECC) has released its first public report since it commenced operations.
The report contains some alarming findings that raise questions about whether the LECC in its current formulation has the capacity to properly oversee the conduct of the NSW police force (NSWPF).
Out of 376 finalised complaints, only one was referred back to NSWPF for further investigation. The LECC also acknowledged that there were 51 matters that warranted further investigation by the integrity team but that due to a lack of resources, those matters were not investigated.
It also appears that the NSWPF were not previously disclosing all litigation against the State of NSW, despite allegations of misconduct in litigation amounting to “complaints”. It should not be at the discretion of the police whether serious matters are disclosed to the LECC.
We are concerned about the LECC’s inability to compel the NSWPF to take particular action in relation to a complaint. Although in one instance the LECC requested the NSWPF review its decision in relation to a complaint, the NSWPF did not change its decision. This demonstrates that the LECC lacks the necessary powers to provide effective oversight of the NSWPF.
Redfern Legal Centre has consistently maintained the position that the NSWPF should not be responsible for investigating their own misconduct. Given the findings of the LECC report, it appears that many potential misconduct matters will go undetected and undeterred.
Download the LECC report here