Police Integrity Commission
|Police Integrity Commission|
Crest of the PIC
|Formed||1 July 1996|
|Superseding agency||Law Enforcement Conduct Commission|
|Operations jurisdiction||New South Wales, Australia|
|Overviewed by Inspectorate and parliamentary committee||
|Headquarters||St. James Centre, Level 3, 111 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia|
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 mission of the Commission is to be an effective agent in the reduction of serious police misconduct.
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, however since 2011 it has reported to the Premier of New South Wales, presently the Honourable Gladys Berejiklian MP. An independent Inspector of the Police Integrity Commission provides oversight of the operational functions of the Commission.
Prior to the Commission's establishment, matters of police integrity were dealt with by the Police Tribunal of New South Wales. 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 was the successor to the Royal Commission, although the Commission's powers and duties were far more extensive than those granted to the Royal Commission.
The Commission 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.
On 26 November 2015 Police Minister Troy Grant announced that the PIC would be replaced by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission. On 8 November 2016 legislation was passed by the NSW Parliament to establish the Commission.
- 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.
Parliamentary Joint Committee
The Committee on the Ombudsman, the Police Integrity Commission and the Crime Commission is a current joint statutory committee of the Parliament of New South Wales that was established on 4 December 1990, and re-established 22 June 2011, that has a statutory oversight over the Commission. This oversight 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.
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.
- "Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service". Police Integrity Commission. Government of New South Wales. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- See, Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW), AustLII
- Olding, Rachel (26 November 2015). "Police Integrity Commission scrapped in the biggest overhaul of police oversight in 20 years". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
- Kidd, Jessica (9 November 2016). "New police watchdog can't recycle other agencies' staff, NSW Police Association says". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
- Police Integrity Commission Act 1996 (NSW)
- "Committee on the Ombudsman, the Police Integrity Commission and the Crime Commission". Committees. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 11 April 2015.