Class action resolves: wrongfully imprisoned children to be compensated by NSW Police

Class action team
The PIAC/ Maurice Blackburn class action than. (Photo: Gemma Pearce)

PIAC and Maurice Blackburn, who are jointly acting in a class action on behalf of young people allegedly wrongfully arrested by police, are pleased that a settlement has been reached in the case between the parties.

The settlement is subject to final Court approval and paves the way for the young people affected to be properly compensated.

The settlement on behalf of the young people, who were allegedly wrongfully imprisoned by NSW police as a result of problems with the NSW Police database, is at least $1.85 million. 

The case commenced in 2011 after PIAC became aware that children and young people were being wrongfully detained as a result of inaccurate or out-of-date information on the NSW Police computer system known as COPS (Computer Operational Policing System).

It was brought in order to achieve justice for the victims and to highlight the inaccuracies in this computer system.

‘Depriving a person of their liberty causes serious harm, especially to a young person. This case has re-affirmed this very important principle,’ said Edward Santow, PIAC’s CEO.

‘One of our 14-year-old clients was arrested, handcuffed and strip-searched on three separate occasions over a two-week period. He was held in custody overnight each time. 

‘We call on the NSW Government to fix any remaining problems with COPS so that no-one else is arrested based on incorrect information,’ Mr Santow said.

An article was published about the case in the Sydney Morning Herald on 4 August 2015.

Any young person not already registered will need to register by 9 October 2015 to be eligible for compensation.  We encourage young people not already registered to contact PIAC on (02) 8898 6500.  More information and the Registration form can be found here:

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