NSW Law Enforcement Complaints Commission (LECC) only investigated 2% of complaints due to funding cuts. With the pressure of a $6 million budget cut over the next four years, the Commission was struggling to process the rising number of complaints. “Like most other public service organisations, we are consistently required to do more with less,” said LECC chief commissioner Michael Adams QC in a recent report. Although 2,547 complaints were assessed by the police watchdog last year, LECC’s report means 98% of complaints against police conduct are not being investigated.
Principal lawyer Peter O’Brien of O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors said, “The number of cases of complaints against police is disturbing. It is consistent with our own work in prosecuting suits against police for misconduct, assaults, unlawful imprisonments and malicious damage, demonstrating the general problems in the area.”
Shocking recent video released by LECC
A recent video released by LECC showed two NSW police officers racially abusing two Afghan women at a traffic stop in Western Sydney. In the police body-cam video, the officer walks towards the 24-year-old female driver and says, “You have to be the most stupidest (sic) person I’ve met as the driver of a motor vehicle.” Later, the police threaten to put the stepmother in prison after learning that she recently migrated to Australia. The police officer can also be heard hurling unrelated charges at the women. The officer says: “Don’t argue with me love or you’ll be going in the back of the paddy wagon as accessory to bloody murder.”
Following a complaint by the female driver, the Commission’s investigation concluded the officer had used “intimidating and abusive language” against the women. LECC recommended disciplinary action be considered against both police officers.
The NSW Government has said the auditor-general will be looking into the funding issue.
Have you been a victim of police abuse? Contact O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors at (02) 9261 4281 to discuss your legal options.