RLC in the Media: Public Demands Accountability for Police Officers

The mid-1990s Royal Commission into the NSW Police Service uncovered evidence of entrenched corruption, which included state law enforcement officers selling heroin out the back of police stations. But, according to RLC senior police accountability solicitor Samantha Lee, it might be time for another investigation into the NSW Police Force. 


Paul Gregoire reports for Sydney Criminal Lawyers


“It’s time to think about whether another Royal Commission is needed in NSW to look at how much the powers are going beyond the legislative framework and the cultural demise of the police force in NSW over the last few years,” Lee told Sydney Criminal Lawyers.


The solicitor further asserts that what’s been happening in this regard constitutes a “bleeding out” of police powers, specifically in terms of strip searches, drug dog use, the policing of the pandemic and the now defunct quota system.


Redfern Legal Centre currently has two cases before the Supreme Court. One is a class action challenging the legality of numerous strip searches carried out upon teenagers at festivals, whilst the other is a judicial review of a number of COVID fines handed out over the lockdown period.


“This is causing harm on the ground. And it really does impact most upon those who are most disadvantaged, while those who are already policed are just policed more,” Lee said in relation to the police actions involved in the two cases her community legal centre has before the courts.


“Whether this is coming from the top down or bottom up or in the middle, I’m not sure. But it really does need reeling in.”


Read full article at: Public Demands Accountability for Police Officers (Sydney Criminal Lawyers, 5 August 2022)