Two recent inquiries have recommended changes to Victoria’s police complaints system. The Department of Justice is now responding with a review that should see new processes introduced by the end of this year. There is a strong likelihood that the current system will finally change. But the Government needs to hear from enough affected people, because the police and some politicians might not want this change.
The current police complaints system
Police officers currently investigate more than 98% of all complaints against them (IBAC investigate the rest). The police uphold less than 3% of those complaints. This means police can act with impunity, knowing they will be investigated and supported by their colleagues. It’s why people have no confidence in the system and why it needs to change. See the flowchart.
We have written up on why the system is failing and what is needed to make a strong independent complaints system here in Victoria work. See here for our detailed report on Independent Investigations of Complaints against the Police
By completing the survey you can tell the government why you didn’t complain, or if you did, what you thought of the process.
- If you did lodge a complaint, the survey asks some questions about your experience
- If you didn’t make a complaint, the survey will ask you what features you would want in a police complaints body. You can use your own words, but you can also say things like:
- I would want someone independent of the police to investigate my complaint
- I would like to be supported to make my complaint
- I would like the process to be open and transparent
- I would like to be consulted along the way
- I would like officers held to account when they do the wrong thing
By completing the survey you will help change the police complaints system in Victorian.
The survey is here: Systemic review of police oversight | Engage Victoria
And must be completed by 1 February 2021.
Once again, we strongly encourage you to complete the survey. Change is on the way and you can be part of it.