Police Accountability

We provide free and confidential legal advice about police powers to people across NSW.

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About this service

We provide free and confidential legal advice about police powers, access to police records, and police complaints. We are the only specialised police accountability practice in NSW.

We also provide advice on decision-making by government agencies and complaints processes administered by government.

We can advise you about issues including:

  • Police harassment
  • General searches
  • Strip searches
  • Arrests
  • Excessive force
  • Failure to investigate
  • Fines, including COVID-19 fines
  • Access to police records

We offer representation in matters involving serious complaints about the police. 

Please note: RLC does not advise on most criminal matters.

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Who can access this service?

This free statewide service can be accessed by people living anywhere in NSW. Learn more about accessing our services.

  • You must live in NSW
  • The incident must have occurred less than 6 years ago.

How to contact us

If you need an interpreter, call us using the free Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.

Complete online form call 02 9698 7277

If we are able to advise you, we will arrange for a solicitor to call you back. If we are not able to assist you we may refer you to other services and resources, including those listed below.

Other important contacts

Appreciate [RLC’s] advocacy role as you feel so alone up against police.

How we can help: James' story

In August 2021, James was running by himself in a park 2 km from his home, not in a COVID-19  'area of concern'. James sat down after his run to make a phone call.

Three officers entered the park. One officer apprached James and asked: ‘Can you tell me why you are sitting here by yourself?’  James told the officers he didn't think he was doing anything wrong.

The police asked James for his ID. He didn’t have a physical licence but was able to show a digital copy. The police told James they were issuing him a fine, and gave him a move-on direction to leave the park.

James received a $1,000 fine and lodged a review request with Revenue NSW, but was told the fine still stood. James has elected to take the matter to court. RLC does not believe James did anything unlawful and has provided James with further assistance regarding Court representation.

Self-help information

Templates and resources to help you prepare your police complaint.

Information about your rights and what to do you are approached by the police, or asked to undergo a search.

Information to assist you in requesting access to information held by NSW Police.

Frequently asked questions about strip searches.

A webinar presented by Redfern Legal Centre, National Justice Project, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning and Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT).

Your review rights and payment options

Law reform updates

Girl crowd surfing at music festival
News

RLC and Slater and Gordon Lawyers have issued a class action proceeding for people who have been unlawfully searched by NSW Police at all music festivals in NSW since 22 July 2016.

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Strawberry Hills NSW 2012