“As the Ombudsman for SA, I do not agree with the Police Ombudsman’s arrangement of having complaints about police misconduct investigated by police officers,” Mr Lines said.
“As a matter of principle, an independent complaint handling agency needs to have the ability to independently investigate complaints and have full control over the findings and conclusions.
“I understand that the absence of investigators within Police Ombudsman is partly by design and largely in response to inadequate funding.”
The State Ombudsman can investigate complaints about Government departments and councils but not the police, courts or ministers.
In a submission to the ICAC review of the handling of complaints against police and public administration, Mr Lines said no other state had a separate police ombudsman.
Mr Lines said one solution to the lack of in-house investigators would be to abolish the Police Ombudsman’s office and for ICAC to oversee police misconduct investigations.
“The investigation of police misconduct has an anti-corruption flavour to it as it relates to the ethics and honesty of law enforcement personnel,” Mr Lines said.
“It would still be appropriate for SA Police in most instances to deal with office misconduct ... but ICAC should be the authority to which complaints may be escalated with the expectation that they would be investigated independently by ICAC’s own investigators.
“Once a complaint is being dealt with by ICAC, the Commissioner of Police should be subject to the ICAC’s findings and recommendations and not have a power of veto.
“Any control that the commissioner has over an ICAC investigation and outcome will undermine the independence of the investigation and public confidence in the process.”
Currently, the police commissioner has the power to oppose the Police Ombudsman’s recommendations about disciplinary proceedings and request they be changed or have the matter decided by the Police Minister.
ICAC commissioner Bruce Lander is finalising dates for his first public hearings that will be held as part of the review later this month.
adelaidenow.com.au 8 Apr 2015
Australia's police 'force' is literally corrupt to the core, where the is more crime and coverup committed than actual 'good' deeds.
Australia's police are corporatised entities operating for profit via extortion and coercion for corporations, and NOT the general populous as they are supposed. to.
The duty of a police man/woman is to preserve the peace / life and property.
Instead they are police 'officers' subservient to corporations issuing (unlawful) 'fines'.