Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT
Tabled paper 934
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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12 CHAPTER 2 ROYAL COMMISSION The final report of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory was handed down in November 2017. It made a number of recommendations relevant to police administration and police conduct, areas that fall within the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman. I set out below a number of recommendations of particular relevance to NT Police. Recommendation 25.1 1. The position of Aboriginal Community Police Officers be expanded and include the position of Youth Diversion Officers. 2. Establish a specialist, highly trained Youth Division similar to New Zealand Police Youth Aid. 3. All officers involved in youth diversion or youth engagement be encouraged to hold or gain specialist qualifications in youth justice and receive ongoing professional development in youth justice. 4. Northern Territory Police organisation and remuneration structures appropriately recognise officers with specialist skills in youth justice. 5. All Northern Territory Police receive training in youth justice which contains components about childhood and adolescent brain development, the impact of cognitive and intellectual disabilities including FASD and the effects of trauma, including intergenerational trauma. Recommendation 25.2 1. Northern Territory Police undergo training every two years to reinforce their obligations under the Police Administration Act (NT), Youth Justice Act (NT) and Police General Order Arrest in relation to the exercise of their discretion to arrest children and young people. 2. Northern Territory Police collect data on the incidence of arrest of children and young people, the reasons for the use of arrest, rather than summons, the outcome of the charges laid against children and young people who were arrested, and prepare a report to be published annually. 3. The Northern Territory Commissioner of Police amend the Police General Order Arrest to provide that children and young people must not be arrested at school unless there is a substantial risk the child or young person will abscond or reoffend if not arrested at school. 4. The Northern Territory Commissioner of Police review Police General Orders and police training to ensure police understand the basis on which charges may be laid against a child or young person. 5. Undertake a review of charging practices over the last three years with respect to children and young people. Recommendation 25.3 1. The Northern Territory Government ensure all police cells are made suitable for detaining children. 2. Provision be made in either the Police Administration Act (NT) or the Youth Justice Act (NT) that children and young people may be held in custody without charge for no longer than four hours. Any extension up to a further four hours may only be granted by a Judge. Recommendation 25.4 1. A custody notification scheme be introduced requiring police to notify a lawyer from an appropriate legal service as soon as a child or young person is brought into custody. 2. The Northern Territory Government commit to resource the custody notification scheme following the initial three-year funding from the Commonwealth Government, including funding the legal services to provide the custody notification scheme.
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