An Open Letter to the Premier of Victoria: Investigation of police misconduct

15th November 2019

 

An Open Letter to the Premier of Victoria

Urgent action is required on the Investigation of police corruption and misconduct in Victoria

Dear Premier,

In light of yet more shocking revelations in the national media about the abject failure of the current system of police complaints in Victoria, we believe that action on the investigation and oversight of police corruption and misconduct is urgently required.

The IBAC Committee’s (IBACC) report, ‘Inquiry into the external oversight of police corruption and misconduct in Victoria’, was tabled in the Victorian 58th Parliament on 4 September 2018.[1]

The IBACC inquiry identified concerns regarding the failure of the current complaint system to meet the human rights and justice needs of Victorian citizens, or establish clear accountability outcomes. These concerns remain and have not yet been addressed.

There has been no action from the Victorian Government in the 13 months since the IBACC report was tabled.

As such, the undersigned call upon the Government to urgently bring forward legislation and policy that will fund IBAC sufficiently, create the new Police Corruption and Misconduct Division within IBAC, ensure Victoria Police acts on all recommendations, including those relating to transparency; and legislate to implement these recommendations.

The IBACC report is an important and thorough analysis of police oversight in Victoria that pays careful attention to the experiences of vulnerable Victorians and explored international best practice in this vital area of integrity and anti-corruption reform.

Its ground breaking set of recommendations acknowledged the clear public interest in a complaint system where complaints of serious police misconduct are investigated independently of the police.

In its current form IBAC does not have the powers or resources to properly and independently investigate serious police misconduct.

We call on your government to act urgently and restore the community’s faith in the police accountability system.

We look forward to assisting you in implementing this critically important and historic reform.

Yours sincerely

Serina McDuff

Executive Officer

Federation of Community Legal Centres (Victoria) Inc.

 

Ariel Couchman

Director

Youthlaw

 

 

Anthony Kelly

Executive Officer

Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre

Claudia Fatone

Chief Executive Officer

Fitzroy Legal Service Inc.

 

 

 

Jeremy King

Principal / Accredited Specialist

Robinson Gill Lawyers

Jessie Taylor

President

Liberty Victoria

 

Kaz Gurney

Manager and Principal Lawyer

Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre

Kristen Wallwork,

Executive director

Springvale Monash Legal Service 

 

Dr Mark Zirnsak

Senior Social Justice Advocate
Synod of Victoria and Tasmania

Uniting Church in Australia

 

Associate Professor Leanne Weber

Director

Border Crossing Observatory

Carmel Guerra OAM

Chief Executive Officer

Centre for Multicultural Youth

Clare Sauro

Principal Lawyer

Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre

Nadia Morales & Jessica de Vries

Acting Co-Chief Executive Officers

Inner Melbourne Community Legal

Jazeer Nijamudeen
President
Muslim Legal Network
Ruth Barson

Legal Director

Human Rights Law Centre 

Geraldine Collins

Victorian ALA Committee

Australian Lawyers Alliance

Nerita Waight

Chief Executive Officer

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service

Dr Diana Johns

Senior Lecturer in Criminology,

The University of Melbourne, Co-convener: Justice-involved Young People (JYP) Network

 

Dr Dave McDonald

Lecturer in Criminology,

University of Melbourne

 


[1] Inquiry into the external oversight of police corruption and misconduct in Victoria
, https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/ibacc/article/3802

Age Editorial: Police complaints system in urgent need of improvement, 28 October 2019

“It’s time Mr Andrews listened more carefully to those who are calling for change to a system that should be better.” – The Age

 

‘This isn’t over’: Woman who won police shooting payout demands justice, Cameron Houston and Tom Cowie, The Age, 14 November 2019

“I want to know when IBAC will launch their independent investigation. There is so much more to the incident than the public are aware of.”

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