Police Integrity Commission
|Police Integrity Commission|
|Crest of the PIC|
|Formed||1 July, 1996|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||State of New South Wales, Australia|
|Constituting instrument||Police Integrity Act 1996 (NSW)|
|Specialist jurisdiction||Anti corruption.|
|Overviewed by Inspectorate and parliamentary committee||Inspector of the Police Integrity Commission and Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Ombudsman, the Police Integrity Commission and the Crime Commission|
|Headquarters||St. James Centre, Level 3, 111 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia|
|Minister responsible||Hon. Barry O'Farrell, Premier|
|Agency executive||Bruce James QC, Commissioner|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The Police Integrity Commission, a statutory corporation of the New South Wales Government, is responsible for the prevention, detection, and investigation of alleged serious misconduct in the Police Force in the state of New South Wales, Australia.
The Commission was established on 1 July 1996 pursuant to the Police Integrity Act 1996 (NSW) following the Wood Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service.
The Commission is led by a Commissioner, presently Bruce James QC. The Commission previously reported to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, but since 2011 it has reported to the Premier. An independent Inspector of the Police Integrity Commission provides oversight of the operational functions of the Commission.
The Commission was set up following a recommendation by the Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service. That recommendation, among others, led to a radical transformation of the police service in New South Wales. The Commission can be seen as the successor to the Royal Commission, although the Commission's powers and duties are far more extensive than those granted to the Royal Commission.
The Commission only looks into serious police misconduct and can refuse to investigate. There is no other body or Commission that looks into police misconduct except for the NSW Ombudsman. However, the Ombudsman, as a matter of procedure, will refer any complaints made about police or unsatisfactory police investigations back to the area command or the investigating officer.
The Commission is established under the Police Integrity Act 1996 (NSW). The act sets out the principal functions of the Commission. They include:
- preventing, detecting or investigating serious police misconduct;
- managing or overseeing other agencies in the detection and investigation of serious police misconduct and other police misconduct; and
- manage matters not completed by the Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service.
The Commission employs a variety of experienced staff including lawyers, accountants, police, investigators and analysts. Where police officers are employed, they are employed from overseas or interstate.
The Commission has extensive powers to summons witnesses and require the production of documents by third parties in relation to an investigation. The Commissioner may issue a warrant for the arrest of a witness who does not appear in answer to a summons. The Commissioner may direct that a prisoner be brought out of prison to be examined. The Commission may also issue search warrants to search and seize property.
The Commission may conduct public or private hearings depending on the nature of the allegations. A hearing may be partly heard in private and partly in public.
The Commissioner has the discretion to allow persons to appear and take part in a hearing. There is no automatic right of appearance.
Similarly, the Commissioner may allow a person to be legally represented. Generally, the Commission must give a person giving evidence the opportunity to be legally represented.
St James Centre Level 3, 111 Elizabeth Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000
Telephone: (02) 9321 6700 Fax: (02) 9321 6799
Postal Address: GPO BOX 3880, SYDNEY NSW 2001
Parliamentary Joint Committee
A parliamentary joint committee has a statutory oversight over the Commission. This includes monitoring and reviewing the exercise by the Commission and the Inspector of the Police Integrity Commission of their functions. The committee may report to both Houses of Parliament on any of those matters raised. The committee also examines each annual report and other report of the Commission and of the Inspector and report to both Houses of Parliament on any matter arising out those reports. The committee may also examine trends and changes in police corruption, and practices and methods relating to police corruption, and report to both Houses of Parliament any changes which the Joint Committee thinks desirable to the functions, structures and procedures of the Commission and the Inspector. Lastly, the committee may inquire into any question in connection with its functions which is referred to it by both Houses of Parliament, and report to both Houses on that question.
The members of the committee as at 30 June 2006 were:
- Mr Paul Gerard Lynch, MP, Member for Liverpool (Chairperson) (ALP)
- The Hon Jan Burnswoods, MLC (Vice-Chairperson) (ALP)
- Mr Malcolm John Kerr, MP, Member for Cronulla (LIB)
- Ms Lee Rhiannon, MLC (The Greens)
- The Hon David Clarke, MLC (LIB)
- Mr Steven Chaytor, MP, Member for Macquarie Fields (ALP)
- Mr Geoffrey Corrigan, MP, Member for Camden (ALP)
Inspector of the commission
The act provides for the appointment of an inspector of the Commission. The inspector is an independent person of the Commission has the authority to investigate complaints against the Commission. For further information, see the Inspector of the Police Integrity Commission.