Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT
Tabled paper 934
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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17 The Task Force was established immediately following the announcement that the Royal Commission would be convened. Its terms of reference included, in relation to the period since 2006: reviewing all reports made to police of incidents involving youths in detention; examining all information relating to allegations of criminal offending by Correctional Services employees, staff and management at youth detention facilities; reviewing any inquiries or reports conducted into youth detention centres, including those conducted by the NT Children's Commissioner, which may relate to criminal conduct by any person; reviewing all previous police investigations involving alleged assaults on youths whilst in detention; identifying instances of criminal offending by any person and where appropriate, investigating and preparing prosecution files as necessary; reviewing all Intelligence held by the NT Police in relation to youth detention. NT Police identified and assessed a number of matters arising over the course of the ten year time span. The Task Force analysed 478 matters, with 71 subject to full review in accordance with the provisions of the NT Police Major Crime Plan and 306 audit reviews completed. Inadequacies in approach were identified in some cases. Matters that were considered to require further assessment or investigation were identified and dealt with. A number of general recommendations were made aimed at improving operations for the future. NT Police also advised that a number of individual complaints or issues had been brought to its attention in the time period during which the Royal Commission was in operation. NT Police further advised that it undertook a thorough review of all Adverse Material notices sent to it by the Royal Commission and a review of the final report of the Royal Commission to identify any matters that might require further assessment or investigation. It appears to me that NT Police has undertaken a thorough process to identify any matters arising in this context since 2006 that might have involved commission of an offence. NT Police then went through a process of assessment and, where appropriate, further investigation in relation to each matter identified. I was provided with a schedule which lists over 70 allegations, along with a description of actions taken and outcomes. The majority involve complaints of youths or staff against youths but there are also a number involving complaints of youths against staff. A significant number of these incidents occurred many years ago. In many cases, when contacted by Police, the victim either indicated that they did not now wish to pursue the matter or declined to provide information to Police. Ultimately, no fresh prosecutions have been commenced. In a small number of cases, including a number that gained notoriety in the lead up to and in the course of the Royal Commission, prosecutions had already been pursued, in one case to the level of appeal, without success. In many cases, the decision not to proceed was based substantially on the victims indication that they did not wish to pursue a complaint or failure to provide information. There may of course be various reasons why a victim does not wish to pursue a matter. In older matters, they may have moved on and decide that the matter is best forgotten or take the view that a prosecution is unlikely to succeed