three hundred and thirty-five days after receipt, and, 124 days after the investigators report was marked as completed in ROCSID, seven hundred and thirty days after receipt, at which point the investigators report was marked as completed in ROCSID. It goes on to note that recommended action might include management intervention, no action, admonishments, discipline charges, criminal charges, action in accordance with the VPMG, managing underperformance, and/or action on any identified deficiencies in Victoria Police premises, equipment, policies, practices or procedures.48, If a complaint raises allegations involving a criminal offence, criminal proceedings must be pursued before starting disciplinary proceedings. listed a determination (such as unable to determine) or other comments (such as no file) as the recommended action in ROCSID (six files). five complaints with minor shortcomings in the evidence considered. 26 VPMP, Complaints and discipline, section 6.2. The issue was first raised by Victoria Police employees and was promptly referred to . This included files where a subject officers complaint history included: In four of these 17 files, auditors were not able to identify notes or other evidence on the file to indicate that complaint histories had been considered. IBACs audit of PSC investigations identified that investigators generally made contact with relevant parties as part of the investigation process. The majority of complaints are referred to the regions, departments or commands for investigation. 2 Victoria Police Professional Standards Command 10 2.1 Introduction 10 2.2 Legislation and policies relating to Victoria Police complaints and investigations 11 2.3 Previous IBAC audits 12 3 Findings from the PSC audit 13 3.1 Pre-investigation process 13 3.1.1 Key findings 13 3.1.2 Characterisation of allegations and classification 14 This is outlined in the case study on the following page. Has any action been taken in relation to identified human rights breaches? The 59 files audited were investigated by 33 different investigators attached to PSC. Following an off-duty incident, a subject officer was charged with assault by interstate police (charges were later dropped due to the victims reluctance to attend court and the possibility that the court could accept the subject officers claim of self-defence). lessening public confidence in Victoria Police, or. IBAC Insights provides quarterly updates, analysis and commentary, Follow us for the latest on our investigations, research and events, Information for Public interest Disclosure Coordinators, Discipline Advisory Unit (Victoria Police), Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission, Victoria Police investigation, intelligence and registry management system, Law Enforcement Assistance Program (a Victoria Police database), Victoria Police professional development and assessment plan, Professional Standards Command (Victoria Police), An offence referred to in Schedule 4 of the Victoria Police Act, Register of Complaints, Serious Incidents and Discipline (a Victoria Police database), Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, a matter uncovered during an investigation not forming part of the complaint laid (such as a failure to complete an official document), requiring remedial action, the weight of available evidence does not support the account of events as described by the complainant, but is weighted in favour of the account given by the employee Unable to determine the available evidence does not permit the investigator to establish whether the complaint is true or not, the complaint is not proceeded with, due to the unwillingness of the complainant to supply information but is unwilling to withdraw the complaint, or there is some other reason for being unable to take the complaint further, a complainant having made a formal complaint, of their own volition makes a request that the complaint investigation cease, a query or complaint by a person that is subsequently found to be an action sanctioned by law, or a complaint lodged by a third party which is denied by the alleged victim who has no complaint to make, the available evidence clearly establishes that there are no grounds for the complaint whatsoever, the evidence clearly establishes that a particular employee is not involved in a complaint or is completely free from blame. In the final report, the investigator noted that unauthorised disclosure of police information is a Schedule 4 offence which would require consultation with the OPP to proceed by way of discipline notice, however if the AC PSC determines that the matter be appropriately dealt with by means of admonishment or workplace guidance, consultation with the OPP is not required. That report made recommendations in relation to Victoria Police complaint handling processes. failed to notify police or offer assistance to attending officers on becoming aware of the assault. The audit also identified inconsistences between ROCSID and the files in relation to the recording of determinations in 20 matters. Does the audit officer agree with the count and identification of members complained against? Figure 4 provides a summary of the types of relevant evidence considered, partially considered and not considered in the 59 files audited. Trust and confidence can be undermined by a failure to vet and manage misconduct and complaints or investigate counter-corruption activities effectively. For example, in one matter it appeared a relevant witness was overseas, and in another the witness had already been interviewed by other police. The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) audited 59 investigations run by Victoria Police's Professional Standards Command (PSC) from 2015 and 2016. Extensions were sought and approved in relation to 23 files which ranged in total length from 30 to 534 days. However, IBACs audit of complaints investigated by PSC also identified eight files that raised concerns about the way Victoria Police views complaints and its treatment of officers who make complaints about their colleagues. The audit identified areas for improvement across the areas examined in the audit, which have informed this reports key findings and recommendations. 65 C 2-1 minor misconduct, C3-2 misconduct connected to duty and C3-3 criminality not connected to duty complaints. A complaints form can be completed online. In a statement, Victoria Police said the "exact circumstances" around the incident were "yet to be determined" and added that it was being investigated by the Transit Safety Division and Professional Standards Command. 35 VPMG, Complaint management and investigations, section 6.2. Contact Us. In 2011 it was alleged the subject officer, while intoxicated at an official function, groped three female colleagues. Victoria Police is a contemporary and agile workplace and supports flexible working arrangements. Our focus is on preventing corrupt behaviours involving police employees. Victoria Police received an historic allegation of rape dating back 17 years involving an unidentified subject officer. This audit assessed whether PSC's complaint investigations were thorough and impartial and met the standards required for the handling of such serious allegations. Recognising that PSC investigates the more serious complaints including allegations of serious misconduct and corruption, IBACs audit of a sample of investigations conducted by PSC in 2015/16 was undertaken to examine how Victoria Police handles these more serious complaint allegations. Four files in the audit suggest that recent initiatives adopted by Victoria Police to address issues of predatory behaviour, sexual harassment and bullying are having a positive effect. Direct comparisons cannot be made based on the samples drawn for IBACs regional audit and PSC audit. https://www.vic.gov.au/copyright.html, Disclaimer Notice: In relation to the main file, the investigator concluded senior management could have done more when they initially became aware of the situation. While both resulted in workplace guidance for other substantiated allegations, as a matter of procedural fairness, a subject officer should be advised of all substantiated findings to allow them the opportunity to respond. This is illustrated in case studies 27 and 28. IBAC continues to liaise with Victoria Police on this issue, emphasising the important role rigorous conflict of interest processes play in demonstrating impartiality in complaint investigations. 45 Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding. Police misconduct in Victoria is defined in the Victoria Police Act 2013 and the IBACA to include: the failure or refusal to perform duties. Was the choice of investigator appropriate? You can also complain directly to the officer-in-charge at any police station if you feel comfortable and safe doing so. 8 Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011, ss 160 and 161. Do the determinations in ROCSID reflect those in the final report and final letters? Taking into account approved extensions, the audit identified 15 files that were delayed. providing investigators with guidance and training on the Victorian Charter of Human Rights to assist in identifying human rights that have been engaged by a complaint or incident. This process should ensure IBAC is notified of all work files. Was there any delay in classification and/or allocation? Victoria Police provides policing services to the Victorian community across 54 Police Service Areas (PSAs), within 21 divisions and four regions - North West Metro, Southern Metro, Eastern and Western. police witnesses in 24 of the 28 files (86 per cent) that identified a police witness. associated with a person he knew used illicit drugs and associated with OMCG members, advised that person that another off-duty officer suspected him of dealing drugs, which caused the person to assault the off-duty officer. informal interim action in relation to 10 subject officers (10 files). The VPMG on complaint management and investigations states that an investigation report is to address each allegation subject to investigation by one of the following determinations shown in Figure 5.42. not appearing to record a determination in the file, while ROCSID recorded determinations of substantiated or not finalised (two files). The matter was reported to PSC by the local Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) responsible for investigating the burglary. Figure 6 summarises the determinations reached in the 59 files audited. 46 NSW Police Force 2016, Annual Report 2015/16 reported a 16.67 per cent substantiation rate for the 8,340 allegations made against police officers in the 2015-16 financial year, p 95. Complaint histories were considered relevant if the subject officer had a significant number of complaints, similar allegations in the recent past, or another complaint that was being investigated at the same time. A file that listed one allegation of criminal association but failed to list an allegation of unauthorised comment. IBACs audits also identify good practice that could be considered more broadly by Victoria Police. thirteen statements taken from subject officers in relation to 10 files. service of a show cause notice as to why the officer should remain employed by Victoria Police, drug testing (without any formal interview or statement). Comment on human rights issues that were or should have been addressed. Officers who undertake investigations should be of excellent character and not have a history of complaints that would raise concerns about their impartiality or ability to investigate a complaint. Learn about how our Professional Standards Command are working to enhance and promote a culture of high ethical standards across the organisation and improve community trust in Victoria Police. Once allegations have been identified that warrant classifying the matter as a notifiable complaint, it is not clear why it would ever be appropriate to later reclassify the complaint as a work file. All 59 files audited were reviewed by a senior Victoria Police officer on completion, however most reviews involved endorsement without further comment. resignation or termination of the subject officers employment before the complaint could be investigated (three files). 5 Victoria Police Act 2013, s 169(2) and (3). For matters allocated to PSC, the file is sent to the Commander, Investigations Division. Issues were identified with the documentation included on all 59 files audited. call to police communications in which he reports that he lost sight of the vehicle. Canberra City ACT 2601. High quality education and training qualifications and programs. Does the audit officer agree with the characterisation of the allegations? This included four complaints in which a targeted DAT was proposed by the investigator but not approved. While there is no record of the DAUs assessment of the brief, a file note from the Assistant Commissioners staff officer to the DAU indicates that the Assistant Commissioner reviewed the investigation file[and] after considering the facts and actions of [the subject officer] he has deemed that an admonishment is appropriate in the circumstances. However, from September 2017 Victoria Police started notifying IBAC of these files. The body notified IBAC about the allegations against Rosenblum . A file that listed one allegation of duty failure but failed to list an allegation of improper conduct. Three work files were ultimately notified to IBAC following reclassification as corruption complaints (C3-4). While this matter indicates that the investigators were aware of the need to involve a more senior officer, the fact that the senior officer was still only of equal rank as the subject officer suggests it may be difficult to engage suitably senior investigators when subject officers are highly ranked. Of the 19 files that identified subject officers but did not contact them, the reasons for not making contact were recorded in 14 files. Auditors identified two other files that addressed conflicts of interest but not via the formal process. In doing so, these audits help build public confidence in the integrity of Victoria Polices processes and in IBACs independent police oversight role. For instance, in one matter a criminal brief of evidence was prepared but not authorised on the basis that the victim of the alleged assault declined to press charges. Directory Home fifty-six days after receipt, at which point the investigators report was marked as completed in ROCSID. Figure 7 summarises the recommended action in the 59 audited files. The IMG notes that where investigations reveal and recommend discipline action investigators should consult the DAU to establish the requirements in proving the alleged breach [noting that] consultation at the earliest opportunity is essential for expedient resolution.51. All complaints involving Victoria Police officers are assessed by PSC and classified according to the type and seriousness of allegations made. Comment on outcome letter or advice to subject officers, Incident to receipt (time taken to lodge complaint), Receipt to classification (time taken to classify), Classification to allocation (time taken to allocate). Reasons for decisions are easier to explain when all the details are maintained on file. Victoria Police has accepted all of the recommendations made in both these reports. Section 127(2) of the Victoria Police Act states that the obligation to consult with the OPP applies if the Chief Commissioner or authorised person reasonably believes that the police officer or protective services officer has committed an offence referred to in Schedule 4. The PSC investigator focused on whether the subject officer disclosed that the information came from a registered human source or simply told her partner that a crook had alleged he was dealing drugs. More allegations were substantiated in this audit compared with IBACs 2016 audit. The Professional Standards Bureau contains a variety specialized units. 60 IBAC, Special report concerning illicit drug use by Victoria Police officers: Operations Apsley, Hotham and Yarrowitch, December 2016, Recommendation 1, and 30 June 2017 progress report from Victoria Police. 9 Victoria Police 2015, Professional Standards Accountability and Resource Model 2015/2016. Professional Standards Command, The role of PSC is to enhance and further promote a culture of high ethical standards throughout Victoria Police. Numerous phone calls were made between the victim and the subject officer (the senior constable) following the burglary. Broader issues relating to other complaint classifications have been highlighted in IBACs 2016 Audit of Victoria Police complaints handling systems at regional level and were not considered to warrant further examination in relation to PSC at this time. While notes in ROCSID indicate the first extension was due to delays in data analysis and preparation of the briefs of evidence, no reasons were recorded for the last two extensions, both of which were made after the subject officer resigned. In these circumstances, it may have been prudent to reallocate the file. These matters suggest Victoria Police is adopting a serious approach to dealing with allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault, and is sending a clear message to both victims and offenders that Victoria Police will not tolerate such conduct. A detective made a complaint to PSC after a police officer was named by two suspects in an espionage investigation. twenty-seven files that identified at least one subject officer but failed to attach the subject officers complaint histories, fifty-six files that did not attach a conflict of interest form or contain any other documents to indicate that conflicts of interest were otherwise considered, forty-seven files that did not contain a formal investigation plan, including two matters that involved the preparation of criminal or disciplinary briefs, nine of 11 files where advice was sought from the DAU but that advice was not attached, twelve files that identified a contactable complainant but did not attach a copy of the outcome letter sent to the complainant as required by section 172 of the Victoria Police Act. Complainants and members of the public who are directly involved in an incident must be informed of the progress and key stages in an investigation. Those associations may not actually cause an investigator to be biased, however there is a risk that a failure to consider any real or perceived conflicts could compromise an investigation and undermine PSCs standing as an independent complaint investigation unit within Victoria Police. This included two matters in which discipline charges were downgraded to management action and two matters in which Victoria Police did not consult with the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) despite establishing a reasonable belief that a reportable offence had been committed. Articulated standards, including entry capabilities for each rank and for education and training. a prior complaint mentioned in a discipline hearing was not included on the subject officers complaint history, even though it resulted in an admonishment notice. Auditors only identified one file that attached an official conflict of interest form 1426 and a further two files that addressed conflicts of interest in other ways. In those matters Victoria Police is recorded as the complainant in ROCSID without identifying the specific officer who submitted the report. A clear statement of the standard of proof for complaint investigations in the IMG could assist investigators. person involved member refers to an officer involved in an incident but where there is no complaint or apparent performance issue about that officer. However, targeted drug and alcohol tests could not be conducted because the employees worked in Record Services Division (RSD). Investigators are generally left to identify the allegations raised in the initial complaint and any additional allegations in the course of the investigation. The 26 complaints in which identified subject officers were contacted involved: Additional notes in terms of contact with subject officers indicate that other types of contact with subject officers included: Both criminal and disciplinary interviews were conducted in relation to four complaints. We will verify the details you have sent, and correct the record if necessary. A total of eight ROCSID records were created over 16 months relating to two officers following the breakdown of their marriage. However, for internal police complaints it is not generally necessary for the investigator to contact the police complainant because they are not aggrieved, do not require ongoing updates and are more likely to include all the relevant information in their initial report, minimising the need to clarify details. Notes on one file indicated that the public complainant, who was interstate, declined to participate further, while the other file involved a detailed report from the former officer in charge of a police station which did not require further follow up. IBACs 2016 audit of Victoria Polices complaint handling at the regional level found that where action was recommended, it usually took the form of management intervention. 22 Victoria Police Act 2013, s 169(2) and (3) in relation to misconduct and the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011, s 57(2) and (3) in relation to corrupt conduct or police personnel misconduct. This was also noted in IBACs 2016 audit of how Victoria Police handles complaints at the regional level. Of the 18 allegations that were effectively substantiated, workplace guidance was the most common action recommended (nine allegations) followed by admonishment (six allegations) and discipline hearing (four allegations). 19 PSC Conduct and Professional Standards Division SOPs 2014, Version 14, section 25. seventeen complaints where the primary complainant was an identifiable member of the public, eleven complaints where the primary complainant was anonymous. In a matter that involved a total extension period of 534 days: the first extension request was made two months after the initial 152-day time frame expired for a C3-4, the second request was made six months after the first extension expired. While the majority of the DAUs work involves providing advice in relation to discipline briefs and assisting in the discipline charge process, the DAU also provides investigators with advice in relation to any disciplinary issues. IBACs audit found that the five determinations reached most often were: Taken together, these five determinations accounted for 74 per cent of all determinations. a reckless driving incident in which officer A did a wheel stand on his motorbike but was not booked by the intercepting officer, who also cancelled a request for assistance when he realised the rider was a police officer, a separate speeding incident in which officer A submitted a statutory declaration that nominated an unnamed potential buyer as the rider of the motorbike. In response, Victoria Police stated the incident in question arose as a result of a lack of judgement without criminal intent on the part of the subject member. The VPM complaint management and investigations guidelines states: It is a requirement of the Victims Charter Act that complainants and members of the public who are directly involved in an incident are: The last point reflects the requirements of section 172 of the Victoria Police Act, which states that the Chief Commissioner must in writing advise the complainant of the results of the investigation and the action taken or proposed to be taken unless it would be contrary to the public interest. That officer had been admonished for improper behaviour while intoxicated 18 months earlier.