Improving police oversight

A review of the oversight mechanisms of the NSW Police Force has been announced, in the wake of the parliamentary inquiry into bugging scandal at the highest levels of command in the NSW Police. The review will be headed by former NSW shadow Attorney General Andrew Tink. 

This latest inquiry follows the 2013 review of police critical incidents and the 2009 ten-year review of the police oversight system (see PIAC’s submissions to those reviews here). 

For many years, PIAC has been calling for an independent body to be set up to oversee the NSW Police Force. This is particularly important for critical incidents where a member of the public is injured or killed. It is also vital for the day-to-day complaints that police officers currently investigate themselves. 

The Tink review presents a welcome opportunity to consider how oversight of policing can be reformed. Any oversight body must be properly resourced, structurally independent and cognisant of the difficult circumstances in which police officers work. 

PIAC will be making a written submission and urges others with an interest in policing practice in NSW to do the same. Submissions are due 24th June. Further details of the review can be found here.

Photo: Flickr

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