Baird government to improve police oversight

Published: 4 Oct 2016

The Baird Government will streamline oversight of the NSW Police Force, NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Stuart Ayres announced today.

“Every day, police face difficult choices and challenging circumstances where they must often make quick decisions with serious consequences,” Mr Baird said.

“We trust the police with protecting public safety and upholding the rule of law, and they do an outstanding job.

“However, the current system for reviewing complaints against police officers is complex and unsatisfactory, with overlapping responsibilities, duplication and a lack of clarity over responsibility for police oversight.”

If re-elected, the NSW Liberals & Nationals will appoint former Shadow Attorney-General Andrew Tink, supported by existing police oversight and integrity agencies, to examine the following:

  • Options for establishing a single civilian oversight model for police in NSW;
  • Clarifying gaps in the current police oversight system and identifying measures to improve efficiency and effectiveness of oversight;
  • Identifying and addressing functional overlap between respective oversight bodies; and
  • Consideration of best practice models from around the world, including the UK Independent Police Complaints Commission

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals will consult with existing police oversight and integrity agencies, law enforcement agencies and experts in the community on these matters,” Mr Ayres said.

“The changes will focus on eliminating unnecessary duplication of roles, increasing transparency, and ensuring that there is appropriate accountability for the powers and discretion exercised by police.”

The review is expected to be completed by August 2015.

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