Updates and latest news

  • Remove police from public health responses

    The Police Accountability Project is calling for the immediate withdrawal of police from the public housing estates experiencing the hard COVID lockdown in Flemington and North Melbourne.

    We call on government, DHHS and all agencies to abide by the principle of ‘Do No Harm’ in that all health responses to this pandemic should not cause additional harms.

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  • Systemic racism, violence, and the over-policing of minority groups in Victoria

    Risk-based tactics like pre-emptive breaking up of groups, close monitoring of known offenders, and unjustified police stops all translated into perceptions of unfair targeting by young people interviewed from these communities.

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  • In support of #BLACKLIVESMATTERAUSTRALIA

    The Police Accountability Project, run by the Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre is united in its support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people across the world fighting to dismantle a justice system which is inherently racist and discriminatory.

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  • About the call for COVID-19 Stop data monitoring scheme

    The stories coming through the covidpolicing website only give us snapshots of what is going on, but these sometimes disturbing accounts and the questions they raise have given urgency to the call for a comprehensive police-stop data monitoring scheme. When many thousands of COVID-19 stops are being made by police every day, it is only the police’s own…

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  • ‘Data-driven policing: The hardwiring of discriminatory policing practices across Europe’

    New technologies such as facial recognition, video surveillance systems, body worn cameras, automatic number plate recognition and social media monitoring are used to collect data which is then used to create and analyse trends in crime. These trends become the foundation for policing practices that aim to predict and prevent people who are likely to commit crime and…

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  • IBAC findings fail to build trust and leave many questions unanswered

    The IBAC have released a summary of findings into its inquiry about serious injuries caused by police in a bungled arrest of an innocent man. This followed a raid by the police Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) on the Hares and Hyenas bookshop on 19 May 2019. The findings are not legally binding and do not provide a…

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  • Policing the Pandemic

    As Victoria escalates its crisis response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Victoria Police must ensure its police responses are aligned to the current circumstances and do not infringe upon the health, human rights and dignity of Victorian residents and visitors.

    There is urgent need to reduce the number of people coming into contact with the criminal legal system during this unprecedented…

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  • Australia’s first police complaints chatbot

    Australia’s first police complaints chatbot has been launched by Josef Legal, Robinson Gill and ourselves to help people take the first step of making a formal complaint about police misconduct in Victoria.

    The Police Complaints Chatbot is designed to assist people in Victoria making a complaint to either Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) or Victoria Police regarding alleged police…

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  • Peer Advocacy Team finalists in national anti-racism award

    A team of young advocates against racial profiling by Victoria Police is a finalist in this year’s Racism: It Stops with Me Award – and are about to fly to Sydney for the award ceremony.
    The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), will announce the winners at the National Human Rights Awards at 12 midday to 3.30pm on Friday 13…

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

    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. As such, the range of community and legal organisations undersigned call upon the Government urgently bring…

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  • Release the findings of Brett Guerin investigation: Our statement IBAC’s Operation Turon

    The Police Accountability Project calls for the release of Operation Turon findings that expose potential leadership failures within Victoria Police.

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  • Independence critical in death-in-custody investigations

    Revelations in Victoria’s Coronial Court today have highlighted systemic problems with police-contact death investigations in Victoria.

    The Coronial Inquest into the death of Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day has heard concerns regarding the perceived independence of the police investigator assigned to investigate on behalf of the Coroner.

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  • Calls for real change in policing of people with mental illness

    The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System has been urged to avoid “piecemeal reviews and more training updates” by police accountability advocates who say that the policing of people experiencing mental health issues is a vital area of system-wide reform. The submission by the Police Accountability Project has also called for an end to having police as…

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  • Renewed calls for Independent police complaints system

    In April 2016 Tommy Lovett was set upon by plainclothes detectives from Darebin Police. He was seriously assaulted, capsicum sprayed and ultimately hospitalised for his injuries. Police were looking for a suspect described as an ‘Aboriginal male, aged in his 40s with a goatee and red hat’. At the time Tommy was 18, wearing a black hat and riding…

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  • Victorian Government must ensure that the Horvath case is not repeated.

    The onus now is on the current Victorian Government to ensure that Victoria has an independent body that can meet international human rights standards – that is resourced and empowered to promptly, effectively and fairly investigation allegations of serious police misconduct like Corinna’s. We believe that the recommendations currently before Parliament for a new Police Corruption and Misconduct…

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  • Royal Commission into Victoria Police scandal welcome, but lawyers and experts call for immediate police accountability reforms

    Lawyers and advocates from across Victoria have welcomed the Andrews Government announcement of a Royal Commission into police misconduct, but say the Andrews Government should immediately establish an independent Police Corruption & Misconduct Division within IBAC.

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  • Have you ever been stopped by police?

    Are you 18 years or over? Have you been stopped by the police in Victoria in a vehicle or public place in the last 10 years?

    We want to hear your story.

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  • Police must take action on racial profiling after Four Corners expose

    Racial profiling by Victoria Police and the harmful impacts of media distortion, stereotyping and racism have been exposed in a hard-hitting look at Victoria’s racialised crime panic on national television. ABC’s Four Corners interviewed several of our clients who have experienced some shocking incidents of racial profiling, including two young men who were aggressively ordered out of a…

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  • Will a more diverse police force reduce racial profiling?

    A solution that’s often proposed to deal with problems of racial profiling is to increase police ­force diversity. But does a more diverse police force mean less discrimination?

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  • New body for complaints against police in Victoria is a good move, with some caveats

    A parliamentary committee has recommended that all serious police misconduct be investigated by a new independent Police Misconduct and Corruption Division within IBAC. Tamar Hopkins, Professor Jude McCulloch & Professor Leanne Weber discuss what this means for Victorians.

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  • The independent investigation of complaints against police

    The Victorian Government must, as a matter of urgency, resource a body separate from police to independently investigate all complaints made against Police.

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  • Court opens door to domestic violence victim to sue police for negligence

    In refusing to strike out Smith’s claim, the court has accepted that it is arguable police could owe a common law duty of care to specific victims of domestic violence to protect them from preventable harm.

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  • Four years since the Horvath decision: Its time for parliament to act

    Four years ago, human rights, legal and social justice organisations called upon the Victorian Government to respond decisively to the United Nations decision on the case of Corinna Horvath, a young woman who was allegedly bashed by a policeman in her home more than 20 years ago. This week, these same organisations have written again…

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  • Predictable, ineffective and dangerous: Impacts of anti-association laws

    Anti-association laws like this criminalise entire communities and entire generations. They send the visceral and racist message that these communities are outside the law and outside the protection of human rights.

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  • Contact Cards are not enough to prevent racial profiling

    Police have launched new Contact Cards but these will not reduce or prevent racial profiling.

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  • UPDATE: Parliamentary report into police complaints system delayed.

    The Parliamentary Inquiry examining how police complaints about misconduct and corruption are handled in Victoria was due to report this month but this has been delayed after several high-profile incidents and scandals have beset Victoria Police’s integrity and internal complaint handling system this year.

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  • What would it take for Victoria Police to make ethical standards their core business?

    Evidence from the behaviour of ‘High Reliability Organisations’ shows a clear path forward to improve, not just the perception of, but the ethical conduct of its operations. Vic Police can and should adopt this path, regardless of who handles police complaints writes Tamar Hopkins.

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  • Learning from history: The Police Complaints Authority

    Commentators such as Jon Faine on ABC Melbourne have pointed out that previous attempts taken in Victoria to independently investigate police were unsuccessful.

    But are these previous attempts an indication that it would never work? What can we learn from these previous attempts to keep police accountable in Victoria?

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  • Over-policing of young people: Making youth programs safer

    Ultimately, building closer relationships between young people and police often results in the intensification of policing of those young people, rather than the desired decrease of these interactions…

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  • Body-worn cameras will help reduce police use of force, but the problem runs much deeper

    And it should not be forgotten that true police accountability is located in the way operational codes are observed, the practices of the relevant internal and external review bodies, and in the culture of every police organisation.

    The ConversationThe new visibility provided by BWCs will add a layer of transparency to police activities. But this alone will not be, and…

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