Police brutality and excess is nothing new, and has come to the fore in the recent case in Sydney’s West. Read our article on what you can do if you are affected. Please feel free to share.
What is Police Misconduct?
Police misconduct occurs when a police officer uses their position of power to act improperly or illegally. Example of misconduct include, but are not limited to:
- Excessive use of force;
- Unlawful arrests;
- False imprisonment;
- Failing to act or investigate;
- Racial discrimination.
What can you do?
If you or someone you know has been a victim of police misconduct, there are avenues available to you.
At the time of the event, ensure that you ask for the name and station of the police officers involved, pursuant to s 202 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW).
Complaints about NSWPF to LECC could be made anonymously if you do not feel comfortable lodging the complaint.
1. Speak to your local police station to try and solve the less serious complaints such as rudeness or poor customer service.
2. Complain to the Commissioner of Police:
- To lodge a formal complaint to the Commissioner, you must do so in writing.
- You can lodge the complaint online, or you can complete the Complaint form, and email the complaint to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Lodge a complaint with LECC:
- The Law Enforcement Conduct Commission provides independent oversight of the NSW Police Force.
- To make a formal complaint to LECC, you lodge the complaint online.
- LECC however, only deals with serious misconduct or serious maladministration.
- To see what you can and can’t report to LECC, check out their website on www.lecc.nsw.gov.au.
4. Make a civil claim against the NSWPF:
- When acting outside their powers, it may be possible to bring civil proceeding against the police.
- To help you decide whether this avenue is best for your circumstances, contact us on (02) 9018 1067.
What Information Should You Provide?
- Your name and contact details.
- Detailed description of the event including date, time and location.
- Names of people involved such as witnesses and contact details.
- Names of NSW Police Force Officers.
- Any other relevant information.
It is also important to note, that it is an offence under s 167A of the Police Act 1990 (NSW) to knowingly make a false complaint or to give false or misleading information during the investigation of a complaint and is punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment.