Updates and latest news

  • 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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  • Tip of the iceberg: Stories of a broken police complaints system

    An avalanche of news stories from people who have experienced excessive force, racist policing or other police misconduct, and tried unsuccessfully to make complaints, provide a shocking glimpse into the failings of Victoria’s police complaints system.

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  • IBAC’s new Victoria Police audit is welcome but not enough.

    The Audit of Victoria Police’s oversight of serious incidents (27 March 2018) has been described as ‘damning’ and ‘scathing’ for good reason. The audit which examined 142 serious incident ‘oversight’ files found that police officers involved in deaths or serious injuries to the public are not properly investigated due to “clear conflicts of interest” and most cases failed…

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  • Culture, Complaints and Systemic Change: Victoria Police in the Spotlight

    The current Inquiry into External Oversight of Police Corruption and Misconduct in Victoria has established beyond doubt the urgent need for a robust and independent police complaints system. But this moment in time also offers a rare opportunity to shine a spotlight on the systemic factors that help to sustain misconduct in everyday policing.

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  • Body Worn Cameras: A call for regulation, safeguards and accountability

    Dear Commissioner Ashton,
    We urge you to ensure that the proposed trial and roll-out of BWCs is accompanied by clear legislative guidelines, that footage is made accessible to those who need it, that there are proper incentives for police officers to record interactions with the public and that any expansion of BWCs is based on evidence and rigorous evaluation.

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  • How reforming Victoria Police can help victims of family violence

    Guerin is a product of a failed police complaints system and this is the broader issue, lost in the current narrative. This is a system that puts police before victims, and this is most acute in the space of family violence. There are countless examples of this.

    One of them is Amalia.

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  • Victoria Police ‘ownership’ of professional standards and integrity

    Would the independent investigation of police complaints remove responsibility for ethical standards from police? No, not at all we argue.

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  • Can civilians investigate police misconduct?

    One of the pervasive myths in the current debate about how complaints against police are investigated is the belief that only police have the skills and experience to conduct investigations into allegations of police misconduct.

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  • First public hearings on police complaints in decades now underway.

    The Victorian Parliament’s IBAC Committee will commence Public Hearings this week as part of it’s historic Inquiry into the external oversight of police corruption and misconduct in Victoria.

    These public hearings represent the first time parliament has looked seriously at this critical aspect of police accountability in many decades and have been welcomed by community, legal and human rights groups.

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  • No one should be stopped by police just because they’re black: 5 years since the race discrimination case

    The Haile-Michael case, in which the men alleged police had engaged in racial profiling, was settled by agreement on the eve of an eight-week trial. It’s a testament to the tenacity of the men, who despite years of vehement denials and strident opposition, never gave up in their struggle for justice.

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  • Police in Schools a ‘terribly flawed idea’

    The Police Accountability Project has called the State Opposition Police in Schools Program (PIS)a ‘terribly flawed and outmoded’ concept.

    “It generates what is known as a ‘schools-to-prison pipeline”, Anthony Kelly, Executive Officer of the Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre said today.

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  • 10 things you need to understand about crime reporting in 2018

    Media coverage of crime involving African young people is in hyper-drive in Victoria at the moment. If you are wondering what all the hype is about and whether we really are in the grip of an ‘African Youth crime wave’ as some media outlets are claiming, then here are 10 points to consider.

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  • Reporting crime and race: A short guide for journalists

    More reflective, better researched and ethical public commentary around these issues will go some way towards reducing the racial perceptions of crime across media and society.

    Journalists seeking fair, accurate and ethical reporting on these issues can consider the following guides.

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  • An Australian community vilified as it tries to celebrate

    Liberal MP Jason Wood, the Federal member for Latrobe, is trying to trick us. His release of certain statistics this weekend (Sudanese youth crime surges in Victoria, 19/11 Herald Sun), prior to the outcome of the federal ‘Settlement Outcomes Inquiry’ is a deliberate ploy to mislead Victorians. So many people, including many journalists who should know better, are…

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  • Melbourne Cup incident highlights growing use of OC foam as compliance tool

    The spraying of horse trainer Saab Hasan by a Melbourne Cup day highlights the growing misuse of OC Foam by Victoria Police, according to a specialist legal centre based in Flemington which is currently researching the use of the substance.

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  • Youth Workers & Racialised Policing

    In the lead up to our Police Accountability Practice Forum we thought it would be useful to public extracts of the More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same report we published in 2015.

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  • Australia grilled at UN over Horvath case

    Vice-chair of the HRC, Dr Anja Ms Siebert-Fohr speaking to Australia’s non-compliance with the Horvath decision, reflected on the “massive police brutality” involved in the case, in which “Australia denied responsibility under the Covenant”. She queried: “What are the mechanisms in place to ensure victims have effective access to these remedies?

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  • Racial Profiling monitoring call to the United Nations

    A coalition of 56 Australian non-government organisations have called upon all Australian state and federal governments to adopt measures to track and record racial profiling throughout Australia. Read more…

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  • Police Accountability Practice Forum

    NEW DATE! The Police Accountability Project is presenting a unique full day professional development training for law practitioners, community & youth workers. Wednesday 15 November 2017

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  • Restraint of twelve-year old does not meet community standards of policing

    It is understandable and appropriate that we are seeing widespread community outrage about the video taken on Friday showing a twelve-year old boy being physically held down by two police members and a Protective Services Officer outside the Bendigo Train station (Victoria).

    The community have a right to expect police to treat all children with dignity, respect and the greatest…

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  • UPDATE: Overhaul of police complaints system overdue

    A Parliamentary Inquiry examining how police complaints about misconduct and corruption are handled in Victoria has received over 40 submissions.

    88% of publicly available submissions call for the establishment of an independent body that would see expert investigators from outside the force examine police misconduct investigations.

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