Police

Our role in the police complaints system includes independently reviewing the way the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) handles complaints about serious misconduct and investigating particular areas of police practice, if it is in the public interest to do so. We check how police handle less serious complaints, and regularly audit the way their complaint-handling processes are working to ensure they are effective and comply with legislative requirements.

We work with police to make sure the complaints system appropriately identifies criminal and serious misconduct and is accessible, credible, flexible and responsive.

Police providing name and place of duty

Police officers are required to provide their name and place of duty when they exercise certain powers such as arrest and search. Changes introduced in November 2014 mean that, even where an officer fails to provide this information, their use of the power will still be valid in most circumstances. The Ombudsman commenced a review of police compliance with this requirement on 1 November 2014. As our review progresses we will produce a fact sheet with further information and seek the views of members of the public, police and community organisations. If you would like to raise any issues relevant to this review you can email us at review@ombo.nsw.gov.au.

Use of the new consorting provisions by NSW Police

One of our roles is to review how new criminal laws are operating. One of these reviews is about new provisions that make it an indictable offence, punishable by up to three years imprisonment, to habitually consort with convicted offenders after being warned by police.

We are seeking your comment in relation to use of these provisions by NSW Police.

Download a fact sheet about our review of the new consorting provisions here.

Download our issues paper here. In it, we outline the main issues emerging from the use of the new consorting provisions in their first 12 months of operation

Submissions are due by 28 February 2014.

Please send them to review@ombo.nsw.gov.au.

At the end of the review we will report our findings to the Attorney General and to the Commissioner of Police. The Attorney General will table our report in Parliament as soon as practicable after he receives it.

Investigation into allegations concerning officers of the NSW Police Force, NSW Crime Commission and Police Integrity Commission.

The Ombudsman has received and has been referred a significant number of complaints about the conduct of officers of the NSW Police Force, the NSW Crime Commission and the Police Integrity Commission in relation to a number of investigations, including Operations Mascot, Florida and associated matters. These complaints make allegations about a wide range of serious misconduct that has occurred over a significant period of time.

The Ombudsman has decided that it is in the public interest to directly and independently investigate these allegations. The investigation is to be identified as ‘Operation Prospect’.

Click here to access a fact sheet about Operation Prospect, or contact us at prospect@ombo.nsw.gov.au or by telephone 02 9286 1015.

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