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Ombudsman submission to the Review of Police Oversight

On 24 June the Ombudsman provided a submission to Mr Andrew Tink for his Review of Police Oversight in NSW.

Our submission responds to the requirement for Mr Tink to provide advice about ‘options for a single civilian oversight model for police in NSW’. We examine the principles underpinning the current model and how it works in practice. We recommend that any proposed changes should be informed by a proper understanding of the benefits and risks associated with such a change. Our submission highlights the urgent need for new laws to remedy significant gaps in the current arrangements for oversighting police investigations into critical incidents and also explains the need to update complaint handling provisions in the Police Act 1990.

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Call for submissions

We invite you to contribute to our current review about police compliance with the requirement that they state their name and place of duty when exercising certain powers, such as search and arrest.

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Oversight of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 Annual Report 2013-2014

The Ombudsman tabled his office’s third annual report under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 today. The report provides a snapshot of the disclosures made and handled by public authorities this year. It also outlines the work of our office in monitoring the way in which public interest disclosures are being dealt with through our interactions with public authorities, the complaints we handle and the audits we conduct.

The report discusses the growing awareness of the PID Act and the protections it affords for reporters. Despite this, there are challenges and barriers which impede effective internal reporting, which we have explored in this report, such as the management of people involved in the process, and their workplaces, to minimise the disruption and conflict that can result from reporting.

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Our publications

We produce a range of publications including general information for the public, guidelines for agencies and organisations we oversight, discussion papers seeking information from the public, final reports at the conclusion of legislative reviews, annual reports outlining the work we have done during the financial year and special reports to Parliament about public interest issues. Some of our publications are also available in community languages.

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Featured publication

This is the second comprehensive investigation that my office has undertaken into the use of Taser weapons by the New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF). The first investigation was done at a time when Tasers were only used by police officers within specialist units of the NSWPF. Since that report in 2008, Taser weapons have been rolled out for use by all accredited general duties police officers in NSW.

View Taser footage of selected case studies.

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