The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC) will today hold public hearings in relation to the use of ‘bail compliance checks’ by NSW police officers in Newcastle in 2014.
PIAC has been acting for the people who were the subject of these ‘bail compliance checks’. One of them was on bail and living with his partner (our second client).
Police records show that in a three-month period, police came to their home on at least 51 occasions between 9pm and 3:00am without any suspicion that our client was in breach of his bail conditions. On a number of occasions, the police visited twice in one night and on one occasion they visited three times. Crucially, NSW Police did not have a Court order for an enforcement condition to undertake these home visits.
‘These checks can be intrusive, distressing and very disruptive to family life,’ said PIAC CEO, Jonathon Hunyor.
‘Excessive checking by the police can leave people feeling humiliated, disempowered and disengaged with the justice system. It is particularly concerning where this is done without a court order.’
‘We understand the practice is not isolated and affects many young people and their families. In our view, it is inconsistent with the regime established by the Bail Act that seeks to balance police powers with the privacy and liberty of citizens.’
‘We welcome the LECC’s investigation and hope it leads to changes in police practices.’
Media contact: PIAC Media and Communications Manager, Gemma Pearce – 0478 739 280