Review of Division 4, Part 3 of Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002: face coverings and identification report August 2013

ISBN 978-1-925061-00-0
Category Reports and submissions
Publication Date 10 September 2013


In 2013 the Ombudsman completed a review of how police exercised new powers related to face coverings and identification (Division 4, Part 3 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002). Our final report concluded that police used the new power infrequently and, in general, appropriately. On seven of the eight occasions where police recorded using the new power, officers required that a Muslim woman remove her niqab, or face covering, so she could be identified. We recommended that the Attorney General consider amending LEPRA to allow for a female officer to be made available, where practicable, to view a woman’s face in these circumstances.  We also recommended some changes to police policy to better inform officers about good practice when they require that a woman remove her niqab.

A supplement to the final report which provides information regarding laws that police may use in NSW to require identification (see endnote 1 of the report) is also available below.

We also published an Issues paper during the review, which you can download through this link.

  • Revision PDF 1006.9KB
  • Supplement PDF 229.3KB

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