Royal Commission confirms Independent investigations key to police accountability

Monday 30 November 2020

Updated 4.47 pm

There’s no more excuses not to act on systemic police accountability

The Police Accountability Project welcomes the findings and recommendations of Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants (RCMPI) which were handed down today by Commissioner McMurdo.

“The Royal Commission has firmly asserted that independent oversight is key to a robust and effective integrity and anti-corruption system in Victoria. The Royal commission has recommended that the IBAC have the capacity, skilled staff and resourcing required to hold Victoria Police accountable for human rights abuses, misconduct or acts of corruption. said Anthony Kelly, CEO of the Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre who run a specialist Police Accountability Project for victims of rights abuses.

The Andrews Government has also stated today that it will  “release a detailed response and implementation plan”  for both the Commission’s recommendations and the 2018 IBAC Committee inquiry into the external oversight of police corruption and misconduct in Victoria in the first quarter of 2021.
“We look forward to working with the government on this critical systemic reform and ensuring the the plan meets the concerns that the community and community sector have raised over recent years,” said Mr Kelly.

The family of Auntie Tanya Day, a Yorta Yorta women who died  in police custody have been calling strongly for independent and non-police investigations in Aboriginal deaths in custody.

A detailed policy brief for Victorian legislators which outlines four concerns with the 2018 IBAC Committee recommendations can be seen here.

“Now is the time for Premier Andrews to finally provide IBAC with the resourcing and powers to investigate serious police misconduct and police-contact deaths. Parliament has been calling for it, IBAC is calling for it and the people of Victoria have been calling for it and the Royal Commission has affirmed it again today,”  Mr Kelly said.

Recommendation 53 states that the government must, provide IBAC “with all necessary and reasonable powers required to fulfil its legislative functions”

Recommendation 61 states that the Victorian Government review  “institutional and legislative structures for the oversight of Victoria Police’s exercise of powers, to ensure that Victoria’s police oversight system is consistent and coherent and contributes to improved police accountability”.

For the past two years the Andrews government has been sitting on an important parliamentary report that recommends IBAC independently investigate most allegations serious police corruption and misconduct.

“The recommendations of the earlier 2018 parliamentary report has now been backed up by the RCMPI findings.  In fact, there may well have been be less need for a Special Investigator to be appointed had IBAC been properly resourced many years ago.” said Mr Kelly.

“Victoria needs a system that has enough clout and resources to effectively and rapidly investigate police abuse and police-contact deaths, is publicly transparent, supports and includes victims and their families and is truly independent.”  Mr Kelly said today.

“Today’s findings and the government response have been an important step towards that.”

A detailed backgrounder ‘How close is Victoria to finally getting independent investigations?’  can be found here.


1 Comment

  1. George Graf 3 December 2020 Reply

    A welcomed development in the right direction which is way overdue.

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