Reforms called for VicPol
A Victorian parliamentary committee has called for a major overhaul of the police oversight system.
The joint committee called for major reforms, making 69 recommendations to improve the complaints system.
The reforms include a requirement that the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) investigates more allegations of serious police misconduct.
It described the current system as “extraordinarily complex and confusing”, and based on an “intricate, overlapping, and sometimes fraying patchwork of laws, policies and processes”.
About 98 per cent of police misconduct complaints are referred back to Victoria Police for investigation.
“The committee considers that the proportion of complaints that IBAC investigates is insufficient,” the report said.
The report called for a new dedicated Police Corruption and Misconduct Division within IBAC to be created to investigate complaints so that there is an equal focus on police conduct as there is with corruption within the public service.
Liberal MP Kim Wells, the committee chair, said police command must maintain discipline within its own workforce, but that does not mean police should investigate themselves.
“However, what we're stipulating now is if it's serious misconduct that should be investigated by IBAC and not referred back to police, unless there are exceptional circumstances,” he said.
The report proposed serious police misconduct be redefined to include cases of serious assault, wrongful arrest, serious mistreatment in police custody, use of excessive force and human rights violations.
It called for IBAC to be given new powers including the ability to order Victoria Police stop an investigation or to veto the appointment of particular investigators.
The report also called for changes to ensure investigators are free of any conflicts of interest.