PIACs submission to the Review of Police Oversight in NSW Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
PIAC has welcomed the independent review of the oversight mechanisms for the NSW Police Force, being conducted by Mr Andrew Tink AM. Tink will consider whether a single civilian oversight body is needed for the NSW Police Force. In this submission, PIAC argues that the current oversight mechanisms have failed to ensure that investigation into critical incidents involving police, including where a member of the public is killed or seriously injured, is timely, transparent and effective. The current system, whereby police investigate their own, is fundamentally flawed and allows a perception of bias to manifest in the eyes of police complainants, family members of those killed during a police operation, as well as the public in general. PIAC recommends that an independent policing body should be established, encompassing critical incident investigation, robust oversight of the police complaints system and the ability to conduct own motion systemic reviews of policing practice.
PIAC believes this change is vital to ensure police are held accountable for their actions, thereby ensuring community confidence in the police officers which protect their communities. If such reform is not recommended, in the alternative PIAC recommends that the power of critical incident investigation be given to the NSW Ombudsman or the Police Integrity Commission.